Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust Storm Shrouds Toowoomba, Southern Queensland

Toowoomba Dust Storm
I woke up and noticed that the color of the sky reflected on my wardrobe mirror was unfathomably yellowish brown today. Immediately, I walked towards the study desk to check out the time, as I did not have my glasses on. I was like OMG?! What happened?!!! It was only 11 something in the morning, not 4 or 5 in the afternoon. And therefore, it's impossible for the sky to be in such unusual color at this time of the day. My first instinct rushed me to snap some photos, then I started google for the keywords, "dust storm september 23 2009 toowoomba".

Here is an article I found, reporting about the Dust Storm Spreads Across Queensland:
A SEVERE dust storm that shrouded Sydney and swept across New South Wales is firmly spreading across Queensland, heading from the west through to coastal regions.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the dust haze, caused by a vigorous dry change coming across the state, should reach the coast by early afternoon.

"There's quite a lot of dust across western Queensland and visibility is very poor in a region extending from just south of the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Darling Downs," a forecaster said.

"Texas has just reported 100 metre visibility and Tambo, 500 metres.

"Toowoomba is located at the top of the Range and it will get dusty in places however the western slopes will get more dust than the eastern slopes.

"Until it crosses the Range it's hard to say how much of it will carry through to the coast. Visibility isn't usually as bad on the eastern side of the Range."

A blanket of red dust has already shrouded most of Sydney after the weather system moved in from central Australia and western NSW.

The dust comes as the state experiences unseasonably warm temperatures and reports of visibility reduced to just 10 metres in Broken Hill.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in Sydney with a gale warning issued for Sydney closed waters.

"Strong to gale force west to northwest winds, gradually easing late afternoon and evening," the Bureau says.

"Raised dust likely," it says.

A Sydney Airport spokesman said a combination of strong cross winds and low visibility would lead to flight delays throughout the day.

"We're operating in low visibility conditions due to strong winds and dust haze," he said.

"Departure and arrivals delays will be experienced at both Sydney and domestic and international airports.

"There have been four or five diversions of international flights to Brisbane Airport already."

Motorists are urged to exercise caution on the road with dangerous driving conditions, heavy traffic and low visibility expected.

The Roads and Traffic Authority says city bound lanes of the M5 tunnel are closed and motorists should use King Georges Road.

Sydneysiders with allergies and respiratory problems are being asked to stay inside.

The State Emergency Services says it has received 175 requests for assistance across the state.

Hail stones reportedly as big as cricket balls hit the town of Crookwell near Goulburn, damaging windows and tiles but there are few reports of damage in Sydney.

Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman Jane Golding said dust had settled on much of the state and visibility was poor.

"It's pretty widespread," she told ABC Radio.

"We've had reports of low visibility up out as far up as Moree, Dubbo, Canberra's got some raised dust in the area and Wollongong, so it's very widespread."

Ms Golding said the weather system was moving in from the west and Sydney could expect dusty conditions throughout the morning.

Gale force winds of up to 100km/h have hit the Hunter region before moving through Sydney early on Wednesday.

"Dubbo's still in pretty thick dust. The dust will last a bit but we're also expecting those winds to pick up as well."

Ms Golding said the barometric pressure had dropped significantly. —

Toowoomba Dust Storm
Some photos taken at the balcony of Student Village, Toowooomba.

Toowoomba Dust Storm

Dust Storm in Broken Hill


  1. omg.. Saw this from Wired news too

    Take good care there.

  2. Thanks, but unfortunately I'm down with flu, cough, and sore throat. But I'll make sure to take a good care of myself ;)

    I was shocked when I read about this dramatic Melbourne dust-storm which happened back in February of 1983 (driest or second driest year on record).


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