Watch: Day turns to apocalyptically orange night as dust storm strikes Arizona

A raging dust storm turned an ordinarily blistering hot late summer day in Arizona into a surreal nighttime adventure Friday. Photographer Diego Salcedo said the storm descended onto Queen Creek in minutes as he and his family were leaving a parking lot. There was “dust everywhere. It went dark so fast,” Salcedo told Storyful. A line of strong monsoon-fueled thunderstorms formed well to the east of the Phoenix suburb that afternoon.

As heavy rains fall from the storms, they can create tremendous downdrafts that race out ahead of the storms, picking up sand and dust from the barren desert landscape along the way.

The result is a powerful and massive cloud of dust that can race ahead of the storms at freeway speeds.  

Once inside the dust cloud, visibility can drop to near zero in mere moments, creating dangerous driving conditions. The National Weather Service did have Dust Storm Warnings in effect for parts of the Phoenix area at the time. 

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