INDIO, Calif. -

For much of Wednesday afternoon, the sky's color mirrored the ground. The dust of the desert lifted up to make what is always blue turn brown.

"Today it looked pretty scary," Mario Rios said. "Earlier, you couldn't even see the mountains and stuff."

It looked ominous almost everywhere you turned. From heavy winds blowing the trees in every direction, to the dark clouds in the sky, to the blowing dust that seemed to be everywhere.

"When we passed Indio, the desert went by. The sand went by," said Carmel Ruelas, who was traveling east on Interstate 10. "It was very heavy with sand. A desert storm."

What started on the east end of the valley made its way all the way west into Desert Hot Springs. 

"It was just coming over here all of a sudden," said Louise Burns. "I just moved here recently so I'm getting used to the heat and the wind."