A trough moving through central Australia on January 11, 2020, lifted up huge amounts of dust, creating a massive dust storm — almost the entire width of the continent. The trough is expected to bring showers and storms to the southeast into Sunday morning, January 12.
The storm brought down visibility to as low as 100 m (328 feet) in Queensland, volunteer weather observers said. Meanwhile, visibility was reportedly less than 1 000 m (3 280 feet) in parts of the Channel County.
Dr. Santiago Gasso, an expert in aerosol remote sensing from the University of Washington, said the situation is "now on a continental scale."
"It was just like someone had put a piece of red cellophane over the Sun," said Sarah Cameron from Bollon– 100 km (62) miles west of Saint George.
"There was no wind, so it was just slowly creeping in and was quite eerie," she described. "We have had many dust storms come through in this crippling drought, but this would have to be the worst of them all."
— Santiago Gassó (@SanGasso) January 11, 2020
Big old dust storm going through South West Queensland atm pic.twitter.com/iWwP1jt4qM
— Bek (@Redandblack91) January 11, 2020
— Sherrill Stivano (@bellevueluck) January 11, 2020
The dust storm is expected to continue toward east but would diminish before reaching the Darling Downs, said meteorologist Lauren Pattie. "As we move into the evening, the system moves eastwards and weakens a little bit."
Pattie continued, "There will be a little bit of dust haze around tomorrow, but it will slowly start to [ease] back."
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said although the dust storm was intense, these types of weather events were not uncommon during the summer season.
"It is fairly common for us to see dust associated with fronts and troughs moving through," Pattie added. "It is helped by how dry it is in the southwest of the state at the moment."
The same trough that is bringing dust to the southwest is forecast to bring showers and storms to the southeast on Saturday night into Sunday morning, January 11 into 12.
Furthermore, isolated severe storms may dump up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain, with flash flooding likely. Most showers will bring between 15 to 30 mm (0.6 to 1.2 inches) of rain.
Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA at 06:40 UTC on January 11, 2020.
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!