National Weather Service meteorologist Keith Kincaid called Monday night’s microburst “nothing unusual” for the monsoon season but added that these types of storms don’t always explode over a metropolis. “It’s when they move over a populated area that it causes the most damage,” he said.
Trees and telephone poles snapped like twigs, lightning struck with such frequency that the sky looked back-lit with a strobe light, and torrential downpours flooded parts of downtown Phoenix and Tempe in the areas that received an inch of rain in an hour. (Tucson got slammed, too.)
The Arizona Department of Transportation shut down sections of Interstates 17 and 10 until midnight, and flash-flood warnings remained in place until late into the night for parts of Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Though the storm knocked out power for at least 55,000 Valley residents, many braved the ever-dwindling batteries of their smart phones to document it. Reports of half-cooked dinners and folks reading by candlelight flooded social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter; phone videos of rain, wind, and lightning were posted to Instagram and Vine; and our informal and unscientific survey concluded that for many, Snapchat was blowing up with storm shots.
Beginning with the tall, anvil-shaped clouds that started rolling in about 6 p.m. and made for a lovely orange and pink cotton-candy-looking sunset, people captured and shared some impressive images of dust storms, flooded streets, stranded cars, and of course, the classic 10-second cell phone videos of lightning in the sky or rain falling into a backyard pool – because come on, in this day and age, is it really a storm if you don’t share it with the world?
Here’s how those around Arizona immortalized it:
Time Lapse of the clouds building this afternoon.Posted by AZHaboobChaser on Sunday, August 30, 2015
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