Rain began moving into central Phoenix Thursday evening, hours after a massive dust storm rolled across the Valley and heavy thunderstorms pounded the West Valley, damaging homes and downing power lines.

Downtown Phoenix saw rainfall as storm cells developed over the area around 8 p.m., National Weather Service spokesman Marvin Percha said.

Percha said the cells were unlikely to bring severe weather to the area as most of the storm activity across the Valley was tapering off. He said the central Phoenix storm would likely move toward the northeast Valley as the evening went on.

The National Weather Service issued a severe weather advisory for all of Maricopa County just after 6:45 p.m.

 Minutes earlier, the weather service issued a dust storm warning for a widespread area, including Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Peoria, Fountain Hills and Anthem. A severe thunderstorm warning was also issued for parts of the southeast Valley.

Just before 8 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was also issued for areas of the west Valley including Glendale, Avondale, Tolleson and Peoria.


A dust storm rolls into Glendale on August 2, 2018.
Arizona Republic

Most of the rainfall hit the West Valley, with the heaviest amount falling in the Surprise and Sun City areas. The Rainbow Valley area west of Estrella Mountain Ranch saw damage to several homes and downed power lines.

The storm tore the roof off of a Buckeye Valley home in the far West Valley and downed multiple power lines in the area, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said. No one inside the home was hurt.

Around 6:30 p.m., a wall of dust could be seen moving into the Valley from the south. Areas of Chandler and Gilbert were among the first hit, as the wall of dust continued engulfing the region.

Thunderstorms were moving toward the Valley from the south behind the dust, with the West Valley taking the brunt.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said that it was hailing near State Route 347 at Riggs Road just before 7 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Surprise, Sun City and El Mirage just after 6:50 p.m. and was set to expire by 8 p.m. Measurable rain was reported in those areas, including nearly 0.9 inches west of the Loop 303 in Surprise.


Cars on Interstate 10 near Florence drive through a dust storm on Aug. 2, 2018.
Nick Oza, The Republic | azcentral.com

Sun City West was the heaviest-hit area with a rainfall total of 1.38 inches as of 8:45 p.m., while parts of Litchfield Park and Surprise had just under 0.40 inches of rain.

Percha said that the storms were dying out by about 9 p.m. and that the West Valley was unlikely to see more significant storm activity overnight.

The storm left more than 3,000 Salt River Project customers in south Phoenix and southwest Mesa without power as of 7:15 p.m.  

Around 4,000 Arizona Public Service customers across Arizona were left without power just before 10  p.m., in the Phoenix area, most because of because of storm activity, according to APS spokeswoman Jill Hanks.

The majority of customers without power were in Avondale, Surprise and Buckeye, Hanks said.

There was no estimated time for the power to be restored. 

Sky Harbor International Airport was seeing taxi delays between 15 and 30 minutes, with delays expected to increase, according to the FAA.


A massive haboob cloud of dust rolls into Phoenix on Aug. 2, 2018
Nick Oza, Arizona Republic

The National Weather Service issued a dust storm warning late Thursday afternoon for areas of Interstate 10 and Interstate 8 south of Phoenix.  The warning impacted areas including Gila Bend, Maricopa, Santan, Coolidge and parts of Chandler, as the storm was moving north toward Phoenix.

Blowing dust in the area brought near-zero visibility to some areas along I-10 and State Route 347 south of Phoenix, according to ADOT.

A severe thunderstorm warning also was issued for areas in the southwest Valley, including areas near Laveen and Buckeye. The weather service said that the storm could bring winds of up to 60 miles per hour and penny-sized hail.

Parts of State Route 347 were experiencing strong winds and low visibility at around 5:45 p.m., the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

Strong thunderstorms were also expected to hit areas along the Interstate 8 and State Route  347, the department said.


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