Arizona drivers impacted by thunderstorms, flash flooding

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Severe thunderstorms continued to impact Arizona on Thursday after a haboob passed over the state’s capital. 

More thunderstorms are expected across Pima and Santa Cruz counties on Friday, possibly producing strong winds and leading to local flash flooding

The National Weather Service’s office in Phoenix said that showers moving through the metro area had brought the low temperatures down and pushed the dew point above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The agency said wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour would be possible. 

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In addition, dust advisories were in place for Maricopa County, with areas of dust moving through the West Valley and along Interstate 10. 

Arizona roadways feel the impacts of heavy rainfall on Thursday night

Arizona roadways feel the impacts of heavy rainfall on Thursday night (Arizona Department of Transportation)

“Visibility under one mile possible – take it easy on roadways if traveling,” the NWS warned. 

Its counterpart in Tucson cautioned drivers to: “Pull aside [and] stay alive!”

Images from the Arizona Department of Transportation Thursday night showed heavy rain in the West Valley and East Valley. 

Arizona drivers feel the impacts of heavy rainfall overnight on Wednesday

Arizona drivers feel the impacts of heavy rainfall overnight on Wednesday (Arizona Department of Transportation)

The department urged drivers not to tailgate, to slow down on wet pavement and not to drive into flooded washes or roads. 

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This comes after extensive damage was left behind across the Maricopa County town of Gilbert.

Debris blocks a roadway in the town of Gilbert, Arizona

Debris blocks a roadway in the town of Gilbert, Arizona (Gilbert Police Department/Twitter)

The Gilbert Police Department shared photos of debris blocking roads and downed trees.

According to FOX Weather, lightning also caused damage to at least one home in the area.

A fallen tree in the town of Gilbert, Arizona

A fallen tree in the town of Gilbert, Arizona (Gilbert Police Department/Twitter)

Flash flood warnings were issued – U.S. Highway 60 was closed due to flooding – and a dust storm warning was issued in Phoenix.

FOX Weather explained that intense downdrafts from nearby thunderstorms cause haboobs.

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Heavy rains or a collapsing thunderstorm can bring an enormous rush of cold air racing toward the ground and outward.

The front edge of the air rush – known as an outflow boundary – will scoop up a lot of the dust and dirt on the barren landscape and carry it along, creating what amounts to a dust front.

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