|Haboob near Phoenix|
Larger dust storms or haboobs occur regularly toward Phoenix, especially on the I-10. They're as dangerous as a blizzard, and maybe more so because people don't know how to drive in such severe conditions here. There have been many multi-vehicle pileups on the I-10 that have cost more than a few lives. Dust causes zero visibility just like snow, so if you see it coming, discretion is called for. Get off at the nearest exit, find a restaurant, and sit a spell. It beats getting creamed in the constant flow of truck traffic.
We most often experience dust devils which are mini tornadoes. They plow through your yard and rearrange patio furniture, garbage cans, and tear your roses apart. I've been caught in a couple and ended up with grit everywhere. A shower is immediately in order. They're not nearly as powerful as a tornado, but they are a nuisance. Because of the air heating up and the dry conditions, these whirling dirt throwers show up until the monsoons hit. When we actually have some humidity, the devils disappear.
There are scientific explanations of the weather patterns that cause these wind events, but I won't bore you with the details. The bottom line is that every area has its own ugly weather, and ours involves wind and dust rather than wind and snow. So, I'll keep collecting cushions in the courtyard and putting them back on the patio furniture until rain arrives.