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Dust storm, monsoon cancel Fourth of July events, threaten others

PHOENIX — Two Fourth of July events were canceled Thursday after a large dust storm blew into the Valley.

Dust first started blowing into the Phoenix metro area about 6 p.m. Wind speeds topped 50 mph and visibility was reduced to one-quarter of a mile. The dust was followed by rain — nearly an inch fell in some areas — and lightning.

The events, Ahwatukee’s 39th Annual Red, White and Boom Fireworks Show and the Light Up the Sky Fireworks Display in Maryvale, were canceled as a result of the weather. Some events, like the Cave Creek Fireworks Celebration at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek, Ariz., were able to continue as scheduled while others, like the Independence Day Music Festival at Salt River Fields, experienced a slight delay.

The National Weather Service forecast said blowing dust and periods of heavy rain are again possible Friday night, when the majority of the Valley’s Fourth of July events are scheduled. The weather could cancel or delay events around the metro area.

“With the moisture we have available, we have a pretty good chance of having a round of storms,” said Austin Jamison with the NWS. “I would expect to see also more of western Arizona getting into the act as well.”

Jamison said there is a 30 percent chance for storms Friday.

Should an event near you be canceled, check our Fourth of July Fireworks Map to find another show nearby.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.