Phoenix sees thick haze from wind-blown dust - CBS46 News

Phoenix sees thick haze from wind-blown dust

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A CBS 5 News viewer captured this dust sunrise photo Sunday morning. (Source: Kathleen Morgan) A CBS 5 News viewer captured this dust sunrise photo Sunday morning. (Source: Kathleen Morgan)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Strong winds kicked up dust that formed a thick haze over the desert Southwest on Saturday evening, including the Phoenix area.

By early Sunday, the haze dropped visibilities to between two and five miles, meteorologists said.

Many residents awoke to gray, hazy skies and low cloud ceilings.

With winds remaining strong, a similar scenario is possible Monday morning, forecasters said.

Valley winds will be in the 15 to 25 mph range, with gusts in excess of 30 mph, said CBS 5 meteorologist Jason Kadah. Stronger winds will be experienced across northern AZ with winds between 25 to 35 mph, and gusts to 50 mph, Kadah said.

Some selected winds gusts at 1:30 p.m. included:

38 mph - Mesa

31 mph - Prescott

29 mph - Chandler

28 mph - Scottsdale, Phoenix (Sky Harbor)

26 mph - Buckeye

25 mph - Glendale, Goodyear

A vigorous spring Pacific upper level low was pushing east across the desert Southwest on Sunday morning.

Meteorologists said there is always a threat for blowing dust with strong winds over the deserts, which will reduce visibilities along dust-prone corridors and roadways such as Interstate 10, State Route 347 and Interstate 8.

Recent dry weather and long-term drought conditions have left grasses, shrubs, and trees very dry supporting critical fire weather conditions across much of the Southwest.

The most critical conditions Sunday afternoon exist for portions of southeast California, the lower Colorado River Valley and southwest Arizona. Humidity values fall into the single digits.

After highs only the 80s Sunday and Monday, 90s return by midweek and then back to 100 degrees by Thursday and Friday, Kadah said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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