The Phoenix Haboob of July 5th, 2011

People have asked how to buy prints of the haboob. You can do so right here: Black & White or Color. If you would like to license the video or images, please contact me via the contact form.

There are really not many words to describe this dust storm, or what we call it here (and they also do in places like the Sahara Desert)…a haboob.

This was a haboob of a lifetime. I’ve lived in Phoenix for my entire 35 years of existence and have never seen anything like this before. It was incredible. I stood on the top of a 4-story parking garage just off 7th street and McDowell and couldn’t believe it. Some dude raced up next to me a bit too late with a video camera. People were snapping photos and posting them EVERYWHERE like madmen, me included.

This is a timelapse of the haboob. I wish I could have lasted five more seconds, but the dust was so thick, daytime turned into night instantaneously.

Below are two images from the haboob, one in color and one in B&W!

  • brian kruckenberg

    mikey…unreal timelapse… i love how the lights start popping on under the dust as day turns to night…amazing. So glad you were downtown to get this!!!!!!

  • Michelle Feeney

    Awesome Mike! Friggin fantastic!! Love it. 🙂

  • brian wurzell

    awesome photo and great video! thanks for sharing it! i posted in on my FB wall for people to see what we saw today.

  • Jay Taylor (aka Sirfishalot)

    Awesome job Mike! I just saw your fantastic work of this on our local newscast all the way up here in Seattle .

  • Simon aka Pixel Alchemist

    this is incredible Mike.this Storm has also made international News ( seen in New Zealand Main Channel News coverage) . However the news coverage I saw was no where as awesome as what you have just captured. thanks for sharing this incredible event.

  • Bryan H

    WOW…utterly speechless…I wish I could have been there to watch that roll in like that.

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  • Dan Munro

    Great capture! Another 5secs would have been nice too – but we definitely get the full sense from this. It was massive.

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  • Chuck Reynolds

    Wow great time-lapse man! I have a video from driving in that crap tonight… Linked to this page from there too cause… dang that’s a great capture.

  • Jerry Ferguson

    Kudos on being prepared and thinking fast on this. I was shooting engagements in Gilbert and didn’t even notice the MASSIVE wall of dust until 45 seconds before it hit us. Let me know the next time you guys plan on doing a photowalk.

  • Heath O’Fee

    WOW! Awesome job capturing that as a timelapse…that’s one that you’ll be able to cherish forever.

  • Stewart Mellentine

    I’ve never seen one that big. Great time lapse.

  • Karl Sefcik

    Wow, talk about being in the right place at the right time (with the right equipment, that is totally awesome. I have some friends I’ll direct here, they live in Canada, and may not have seen this.

  • Holly Baumann Ambuehl

    Awesome! Good work. Makes me miss Phoenix. 🙂

  • Hans

    That is amazing! Great job capturing this, Mike! Cough, Cough… I can feel the dust in my lungs … 😀

  • murphyz

    Wow! That’s all I can say to that video…I had no idea what a haboob was.

  • Billy Barker

    Amazing time-lapse! I live in AZ and was already home when all of this took place and didn’t even know it until watching the late local news. I will follow you on twitter for sure!

  • Jason Hines

    That was insane last night. How was it driving home after all that?

  • Danny

    This is awesome! We had to cut football practice short though…

  • Justin

    I thought a haboob might involve a pinata, not a photo friend fleeing for their life. That is unreal!

  • Kristi Hines

    Awesome timelapse and photo! What a crazy weather phenomenon to capture! We went outside afterwards and it looked a bit apocalyptic!

  • David


  • Dave Wilson

    Wow! Not much else I can say – what a sight and what a great capture!

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Absolutely SICK! Great capture Mike. Love the timelapse and the B&W conversion of the still! You are famous (more famous)! 🙂

  • Britishbees


    Thanks for sharing this fantastic video. To see the ‘haboob’ like this is amazing. I love the black and white still you captured. This was our first ‘dust storm’ and of course it just happened to be ‘biggest one’ for years 🙂

  • Scott Ackerman

    Congrats bud! That truly was an amazing capture. Like you said – ‘Once in a lifetime!’

  • bill richards


  • Edith Levy

    Wow I saw this on the news last night but your photo is unbelievable.

  • Clif

    Great shots and time lapse, Mike. This was one for the ages and I’m glad you documented it!

  • Adam Olson

    WOW! Awesome job capturing that time lapse! That is a serious dust cloud!

  • Michelle

    Fantastic work! Never thought I’d see this in the US. Although we have our fair share of desert, we don’t typically have the other conditions to produce this.

    The weather sure is going wonky!

  • Bob Lussier

    HOLY CRAP! Absolutely amazing!

  • MiaS

    Glad you are safe!

    Your new Tucson Friend,

  • Keith Simonian

    Thanks for posting the time lapse. Great job.
    As it got closer and closer I wondered, when is he going to run for it?

  • Varun

    Awesome timelapse man!

  • Scottie K

    Your logistical effort paid off- the view of that storm was incredible but your footage was superb! I truly enjoyed it!
    And the lightning storm footage as well!

  • Ron

    Impressive. Great video. I’ve never seen anything like this before.

  • Ryan Sexton

    Unreal Mike! That it just amazing to look at, fantastic capture.

  • A.Barlow

    That’s freaking unreal man. Nice job capturing this!

  • Brian Schmucker

    Mike , Congratulations I think your video is awesome ! ! !

  • Lauri

    That is SO INCREDIBLE. I love the vantage point you chose for this and the use of time lapse. I grew up out there with the dust storms…always thought they were fun. But this one…wow. I probably would have been freaked out a little.

  • Pete Kosednar

    I like that b/w pic!

  • Adam Allegro

    This is fantastic! I am happy you got the chance to get it on the camera! Good work my friend!

  • Dave DiCello

    Man Mike, you weren’t kidding!!! WOW! This is just beyond incredible!!! Enjoy your weekend!!!

  • Cristi Zbella

    That is absolutely incredible! I think I watched it 30 times now and have shared it with all my email contacts. Jaw dropping! Great job. And I also saw the footage, and YOU, on Channel 3 news.

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  • Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    Incredible capture!