Arizona Dust Storm Video

Writing can be a dirty job. I’ve said it many times. 2 nights ago, I did another dirty job. This one was different. The old adage, “somebody’s got to do it” didn’t apply. I didn’t have to do it. I wanted to do it. I wanted an up close and personal encounter with the first Arizona dust storm of the 2014 monsoon season. Others have asked me to write about it. Since I am cleaned up, I am doing so.

It was around dinner time. I was heading home to Chandler, Arizona from a good meeting in nearby Scottsdale. I got 2 alerts on my cell phone about a major dust storm approaching. It was warning me to get off the road. At the time it was sunny on the 101 southbound. But the more I drove south, the more I could see the weather was heading south, as in deteriorating.

At 7:00 p.m., I stopped a mile from home because it was time to speak on Skype with my boy who is away visiting his mother. I spun my phone camera around to show him what was coming.

The Baldrick Boys had been though a good Arizona dust storm a number of times together, most while we were at home. The worst was on our way back from Disneyland. It was terrifying. We were on I-10 just inside Arizona from the California border. Visibility was down near zero. There were fatalities in that storm. I chose to keep going, believing when it came to keeping my boy safe and alive I trusted me more than any other driver. On that long white knuckle drive we passed multiple collisions where cars pulled off the road were hit by visually impaired drivers. In trying to keep my son relaxed I told him the Buzz Lightyear line from the movie Toy Story, “Not today Zurg!”

Since I was solo 2 nights ago, after our father-son chat, the approaching Armageddon was so close I didn’t even have to “storm chase.” I decided to go to an open field area near my home. This way, I would be much safe from other people as well as any flying debris. I learned this years ago at ABC News. I covered a hurricane where a flying door decapitated a guy who ran out in the street during a neighborhood house party.Yeah I know. Ouch.

This most recent Arizona dust storm experience was amazing, but by no means pleasant. A “brownout” completely blanketed the sun, and the Chandler Intel facility I used as a landmark. Visibility was lost and my eyes weren’t too happy either. Having covered many hurricanes and tornadoes as a television journalist, I guessed the winds went from zero to 40 miles an hour in an instant. There were also gusts much higher which nearly knocked me off my feet physically.

Armed with only my trusty i-Phone, I created this Arizona Dust Storm video. Others have enjoyed it. I thought you might enjoy , too.

by Thomas Baldrick  Google +