Drifting Away: A Sailing Story

About that Phoenix dust storm...

A dust storm occurred in Phoenix the other day. Forbes is certainly writing about it breathlessly. Get this:

Arizonans are calling it the mother of all dust storms.
"The mile-high wall of ominous, billowing dust that appeared to swallow Phoenix and its suburbs is all that locals can talk about. It moved through the state around sundown Tuesday, halting airline flights, knocking out power to nearly 10,000 people, turning swimming pools into mud pits and caking cars with dirt. The sky was still filled with a hazy shade of brown Wednesday as residents washed their cars and swept sidewalks. Because dust storms, also known by the Arabic term "haboobs," are so hard to predict, Tuesday's took everyone by surprise. Seemingly out of nowhere, the 100-mile-wide storm moved like a giant wave, the dust roiling as it approached at up to 60 mph. Once it hit, visibility dropped to zero in some areas, the sky turned nearly black, trees blew sideways, and even downtown Phoenix skyscrapers became invisible. "Just the height of it looked like a special-effect scene from a movie, like a dust storm out in Africa," said Charlotte Dewey, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Phoenix. "It looked so huge, looking at the city down below, it was just specks of light and miniature buildings. She said meteorologists were still trying to get exact measures from satellite and radar to figure out how big the dust storm was and compare it with previous ones, but they estimate it was more than a mile high and more than 100 miles wide. "People who've lived here their whole lives, 30 or 40 years, are saying they've never seen a storm this large," Dewey said." More at link.

The question remains, however, in wondering first how common or uncommon are dust storms in Phoenix? Pretty common, according to this 1984 article in the Journal of Climatology, based on studies of storms in Arizona from 1965-1980. "In general, Yuma experiences the most dust storms per year followed closely by Phoenix, with Tucson and Winslow having very few events. Dust storms at Phoenix, on average, tend to be more severe than those experienced at the other sites. The most intense and frequent dust storms in Arizona occur during the summer months and are associated with strong downdrafts generated by intense thunderstorm activity."

This short news article from 2009 warned about a storm that limited visibility and advised motorists to use caution. That's all, run of the mill.

So in seeing an event like the storm this week, it is wise to stop and place it in context. The answer is that dust storms happen frequently in Phoenix. But in looking at end time signs, it is also wise to wonder about frequency and intensity. We know from Matthew 24:8 that Jesus said the Tribulation will be as labor pains. He likened the Tribulation and end time events as such because it will be a time of increasing travail, rising and rising in pain and intensity until the birth. The end of the Church age as it approaches the threshold of the Tribulation will also be a time of increasing disasters in all realms: spiritual, economic, and 'natural.'

I find it interesting that the storm was so huge, sudden, and particularly devastating. I also think it is interesting that they likened the air quality to the ash fall from the various volcanoes erupting in different hemispheres this month. That the storm was a mile high and 100 miles wide is a very large storm that would strike fear into any person unlucky enough to be in its path.

This article says, "The massive dust storm that swept through Phoenix, Ariz., last night (July 5), reducing visibility to near zero and delaying flights, was a whopper, meteorologists said. The dust storm is what's called a a haboob (Arabic for "strong wind"). In the United States, haboobs are common in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. But yesterday's haboob was more like something you'd see in the Middle East or other arid regions around the world, said Ken Waters, the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Phoenix. It was mind-boggling, just absolutely amazing," Waters told OurAmazingPlanet. "I've been a meteorologist for years and I've not seen a wall of dust like that."

We can all agree- even atheists have to agree- that the science shows increasing meteorological disruption. Outsized storms, volcanoes erupting that never erupted before, strange sun behavior, earthquakes in diverse places...all speak to end time signs. I've been beating the drum long enough that people should really begin looking to Jesus if they have not repented, and be looking to Jesus if they have, as the comfort of His soon appearance.


  1. Well... I guess it's got to be comforting (in a way) that it's relatively common there. Still, that thing was HUGE. I was trained in animation and visual effects, and it looked like a scene out of a movie to me! (A really well done scene!)

    I'd be interested to see if more keep happening, and more quickly. Even if haboobs don't keep popping up more and more, we definitely have other natural occurences that are increasing exponentially....

  2. Even though these dust storms are common, by all accounts it was a particularly large monster. I'm keeping an eye on the mounting financial damage these kind of storms are taking across the world. I notice that in KS, hail caused record losses. Claims are up 30%.

  3. Wow, I bet food prices are going to skyrocket, between this the storms and the floods. Isn't it like the 3rd or 4th seal of the tribulation that a days wage will buy a quart of grain or something.

    I bet Monsanto is all set and ready to make a profit on that.

    It is hard to imagine that; we are still so comfortable, but things are changing so quickly.

  4. Another one for you:

  5. I have lived in Arizona about 50 years and I have never saw anything like this one. Yes, we get a lot of dust storms in the desert, but this one was something else.
    Speaking of hail storms in your comment above, last October we had one major down poor of hail. In places the hail was up to 3" dia, the largest ever reported in Phoenix.
    Here is a video if you are interested:
    here is some stats:

  6. Elizabeth,
    Take a look at what William wrote about concerning Phoenix in October 28 2010, HMMMMM.


    The date of the "storm" is also significant
    7 5 11
    It looks like what is happening or changing in the spiritual realm is causing physical unrest on the earth. There are so many things happening on a global level, that it is impossible to keep abreast of it.

  7. The Third Seal Judgment of Revelation 6 is:

    Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth

    5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

    Food scarcity is based on complex factors, like long-to-set-up agricultural failures, drought, and overpopulation. Add to that the quick-to-impact factors of the previous 2 judgments of war and pestilence, and you see that the global food growing and delivery system is going to be just decimated.

  8. Ken, thank you for the stats. I'll definitely check them out.

    I agree that all accounts seem to indicate that though dust storms are common there, this one was unusual in size and intensity.

  9. I'm hoping it was an answer to my prayers that God shake things up there because of people I know there who have done a huge injustice. People who claim to be Christian and have gloated over their various sins involved in this huge injustice. I will continue to pray God continue to shake that area of Arizona up, and the lives of those involved there, that they realize their sin and repent. It wasn't the earthquake I've been asking for, but maybe that will still come!


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