PHOENIX -- The latest round of monsoonal moisture spawned severe thunderstorms in southern Arizona on Wednesday that caused damage in the Phoenix area.
Ariel footage from FOX 10 Phoenix showed images of damage left behind when the powerful storms slammed through the area late Wednesday into early Thursday morning.
"This is presumably damage from those storms," FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar said. "With these monsoon thunderstorms that develop, we can get very strong winds with gusts upwards of 40 or 50 mph or stronger."
Some of the most significant damage was reported in the community of Gilbert, which is to the southeast of Phoenix.
Vivid and dangerous lightning was also reported, causing damage to at least one home in the area.
One person in the Tucson area said bright lightning and loud thunder made him run outside to see if anything was damaged.
"I went out and checked things out, and everything looked fine," the homeowner said. "And I looked around the neighborhood here, and I didn't see any damage anywhere, so I went back inside."
Things didn't stay quiet for long, however.
"And maybe a half-hour to 45 minutes later, I heard the firetrucks come," he said. "And when I went outside to look, the house behind me had flames coming out of the roof."
FOX 10 Phoenix reported that authorities in Gilbert have received multiple reports of downed trees and debris covering roads throughout the town.
In a tweet early Thursday morning, police in Gilbert had asked residents to stay off the roads if possible while crews worked to clear trees and debris from roadways.
Debris and downed trees weren't the only hazards affecting the region.
Flooding from the monsoonal moisture prompted the National Weather Service to issue Flash Flood Warnings as heavy rain fell.
So much rain fell in such a short period of time that the Arizona Department of Transportation closed U.S. Highway 60 as water covered the road.
The road was eventually reopened, but motorists were advised that delays were likely as some water remained on the road and some lanes stayed closed.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix also issued a Dust Storm Warning as dust dropped visibility to less than a mine in the Phoenix area.
"The visibility dropped so quickly that it's not safe to drive through," FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin said. "You really do need to stop driving and let it pass through before you continue on your journey."
Intense downdrafts from nearby thunderstorms cause haboobs. Heavy rains or a collapsing thunderstorm can bring an enormous rush of cold air racing toward the ground. As the air hits the ground, it rushes 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.