Huge clouds of dust engulfed the Phoenix Metropolitan Area this week – a consequence of monsoon season’s arrival without the rain that drought-plagued Arizona usually expects from the storms. A drone flown in one Phoenix suburb filmed video of the eerie gray mass as winds blew the dust clouds over the city.

Video of advancing dust clouds shot by drone pilot

The drone captured its video as the dust clouds approached on Tuesday evening, just before they covered the Phoenix area in a thick shroud of gritty gloom. The dark, sinister veil in many ways resembled the smoke from raging wildfires that has choked the skies in other western US states. About the same time as the drone shot its footage, the National Weather Service issued an advisory for a “sudden drop in visibility to 1/4 mile or less resulting (from) widespread or localized blowing dust.”

It turned out to be somewhat understated.