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Wow, today was a crazy storm chasing day that ended with a massive Phoenix dust storm. I set out early with my buddy Bryan Snider in hopes of time lapsing the forecasted storm.
Phoenix Dust Storm Rolls Through Valley of the Sun
Our day started with some planning about where we needed to be for the forthcoming dust storm. After some deliberation we set out towards Picacho Peak which is north of Tucson Arizona. Dust storms are notorious for starting in that area and then making their way towards Phoenix. Our goal was to catch it early and then race ahead and setup at a location near Phoenix to finish the journey.
Late in the afternoon we were rewarded with a dust storm that started a little farther south than expected. We got our time lapses going for the first part and when it approached we made our run back towards Phoenix. After getting a sizeable lead on the storm we pulled off onto a rural highway to setup again for the storm. Unfortunately it had lost a lot of steam and never really made its way to us. As we were waiting we noticed a storm system to the southwest that had quite a bit of outflow to it. This outflow had started another small dust storm. As we watched it build it started tracking towards our location. In a very short time we found ourselves overran once again.
We packed up and headed north to outrun the 2nd dust storm of the day. With sunset looming we found an exit off Interstate 10 and headed west to set up for one final time lapse. Shortly after arriving a local TV news crew arrived. Channel 3 news interviewed us about storm chasing and what to expect during a dust storm. Our cameras were time lapsing the incoming dust storm as Jaime Cerreta asked questions regarding storm chasing. The storm chasing interview was featured live and on their website.
This dust storm was huge as it rolled over us. At one point I saw a tweet that had it over 3000 feet tall. Massive! My Phoenix dust storm time lapse can be viewed on Vimeo and is available for license. Please use the contact form on my website if you would be interested in licensing it.