Arizona Dust Storm

If you have ever experienced an Arizona dust storm, I don’t need to tell you just how damaging and serious they can be.  If you are driving and get caught in one of these storms, there are some things that may help prevent serious injury to you and those around you. 

I have encountered some very strong winds on a few occasions prior to the actual dust storm but fortunately made it home before visibility made it impossible to drive... but believe me, I was prepared to pull over to the side of the road as recommended.

Here are some Arizona dust storm facts

Arizona dust storm
  • Winds can reach up to 70 mph
  • Dust storms are common in Arizona each year
  • They produce little if any rain
  • They happen between the months of June and September
  • They are often referred to as “haboobs,” which means “violent winds”

If you would like to see additional facts including the causes of these storms, log onto

One of the best things to keep in mind is that these dust storms in AZ often appear without any significant warning.  The other thing to always remember is to NEVER drive into a dust storm.  There have been many instances when drivers have found themselves in the middle of a dust storm with zero visibility with an end result of rear-ending another driver.

Watch this amazing dust storm video below

The Arizona Department of Public Safety has provided these following tips:

  • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

  • If you are faced with a dust storm, immediately check the traffic around your vehicle (look in the front, back and to the side) and begin slowing your vehicle down.

  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull your vehicle off the roadway! Waiting too long could cost you/and your passengers your life/lives.  The Arizona Department of Public Safety advises you to completely exit the highway if you are able to do so.
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane.  Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all of your vehicle lights.  This includes your emergency flashers.
  • Set your vehicle’s emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay inside your vehicle with your seatbelts buckled.  Be patient and wait for the storm to pass.
  • High-profile vehicles should be especially aware of possible changing weather conditions and are advised to travel at reduced speeds.

For a printable PDF of these Arizona dust storm tips, click here.

Use the search box below to quickly find what you're looking for!