Massive duststorm chokes eastern Australia; Atlanta floods ease

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:22 PM GMT on September 23, 2009

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A massive dust storm swept through eastern Australia today, turning the skies in Sydney a eerie shade of red-orange. The dust storm was reportedly the worst since the 1940s, and Sydney recorded its highest levels of particulate air pollution ever. The dust storm resulted from strong winds associated with a powerful low pressure system that swept through eastern Australia this morning. Winds today at the Sydney airport were sustained at 36 mph, gusting to 51 mph. Wind gusts as high as 64 mph were recorded in the Sydney area as the storm's strong cold front passed through. Particulate pollution levels are still in the hazardous range this evening in Sydney, but are expected to improve to the "good" range on Thursday as the winds die down and the dust storm dissipates.


Figure 1.. Strong northwesterly winds carry dust over Sydney, Australia, at 00 UTC 9/23/2009. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2.. A strong cold front passing through eastern Australia this morning generated a sustained winds in excess of 20 mph over a large portion of the region.

Severe drought has affected large regions of Southeast Australia over the past three years (Figure 3). In isolated areas near Melbourne, the drought is the worst on record. The resulting loss of vegetation has created large regions of loose dust, which the strong winds from this week's storm was able to loft in the air and transport long distances.


Figure 3.. Rainfall deficiencies for Australia for the past three years. Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Atlanta floods ease
Very heavy rains exceeding fifteen inches soaked the Atlanta, Georgia region early this week, triggering widespread major flooding that continues today. Rainfall eased yesterday, and all of the rivers in the Atlanta area have crested and are now falling. Record flood levels were observed on at least seven rivers and creeks in the Atlanta area yesterday, breaking records that had been set as long ago as 1919. Utoy Creek near Atlanta broke its previous flood record by nearly 11 feet on Tuesday. The floods have killed at least nine people and did $250 million in damage. Portlight.org is experimenting with a new disaster relief strategy for this flood--they have decided to adopt a single family to help, the Baxter family of Lithia Springs, Georgia. The Baxters lost their home, car, furniture, clothes, and everything else in their house, and need assistance to defray the short-term expenses of lodging, food, and clothing, so help out if you can.


Figure 4. Radar estimated rainfall for the Atlanta, Georgia region ending on September 22. More than 15 inches (white colors) had fallen in and around Atlanta.

There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of our reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Parkinson Avenue 06:15 (LNRSYDNEY)
Unusual sunrise 1
Parkinson Avenue 06:15

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Pressure is 1009.4mb in Grand Cayman & falling, wonder if something might be starting to brew in the area.
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Quoting iceman55:



more RAIN head this way


I've already gotten caught in that, actually. I went to Gonzales for a bit, and there was blinding rain.
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Anybody want to go on Tropics Chat?
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Quoting Weather456:
Low level visible and infrared winds along with QS and 850 mb vort indicate that this upper low has a surface reflection in the form of a trough. Both the CMC and NAM are developing the area, so model support is unreliable at this moment. Upper winds are currently 20-30 knots, which is unfavorable but may briefly become a bit more favorable if showers continue to persist as they have been for the past 2 days.



Thanks for posting.






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Quoting fire635:


I would lay a golden goose egg if I saw snow this year! :-) The one thing I miss about being up north is the 4 seasons.

LOL...there haven't been 4 seasons here in Nebraska since I can remember. It is either hot or cold with a rare day of what would be considered inbetween.

As far as snow goes, you can have all you want of ours. I dream of the day when the only time I see snow is in a picture or on a vacation when I can leave after I get tired of it.
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Since is slow and is Autumn :

My love will come in autumn-time
When leaves go spinning to the ground
And wistful stars in heaven chime
With the leaves’ sound

Then, we shall walk through dusty lanes
And pause beneath low-hanging boughs,
And there, while soft-hued beauty reigns
We’ll make our vows

Let others seek in spring for sighs
When love flames forth from every seed;
But love that blooms when nature dies
Is love indeed

Love Autumnal, Oliver Jenkins

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Quoting iceman55:
Link


:0


Thanks. I see they have it going towards LA, whatever it may be...
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Is LaNina coming soon?



Cool Pacific Temp. [animation] Tampa. It could be seasonal, but I've been noticing the change myself casually, over off the Galapagos Isles, on the [NOAA SST page.] In the past when you start to see that green develop around the Galapagos Islands, especially before winter sets in, it means a La Nina is coming.

The timing couldn't be more perfect, either, because this is the beginning of the second wave in the hurricane season.

And what have we here off Central A., but pure drama in the making?

Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 489
Quoting iceman55:
TexasHurricane what links ?


Your cmc link..I think there was another one to. maybe not...sorry.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting iceman55:
TexasHurricane .u have waiting for models to seeing


The links you have posted, I am not able to view for some reason. If these are the models you are referring to.
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Quoting iceman55:
cmc and ECMWF show wave in Western Carribean


Hi iceman - this wave in the Carribean...does it have a chance of doing anything and getting into the Gulf?
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Almost a full 2mb drop in one hour in the W. Carib, fwiw.

Wind shift, too, but looking at sat winds, they're all over the place down there right now.

Link
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Quoting presslord:
Please be sure to check out the Portlight featured WU blog...and, if you can, let's pester NRAmy with e-mails...


Where's she been lately?
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pearland, I got the email...thanks, I will look the paper over!
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139. JLPR
Quoting tropics21:
Lotsa Dust in It's future From the plume yesterday


yep that's what I said xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting JLPR:
A lot of dry air in the area
but even with that it is a little interesting =p


This one should clean the path for a low the CMC and GFS were developing but not sure if it even reached TD status xD
gotta check the models
Lotsa Dust in It's future From the plume yesterday
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Can you say Snow :)


I would lay a golden goose egg if I saw snow this year! :-) The one thing I miss about being up north is the 4 seasons.
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Quoting fire635:
I .. for one.. am quite glad El Nino showed his face this year. The slow season has been rather boring at times, but I am VERY much looking forward to the higher rain chances and COOLER weather for Florida this winter :-)


Can you say Snow :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
One Wiki "on the side" please.

This could interesting for a site like this.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/help-and-learn-from-others-as-you.html

Today, we're launching Google Sidewiki, which allows you to contribute helpful information next to any webpage. Google Sidewiki appears as a browser sidebar, where you can read and write entries along the side of the page.

http://searchengineland.com/google-sidewiki-allows-anyone-to-comment-about-any-site-26420
Google Sidewiki Allows Anyone To Comment About Any Site

The comments are being shown within a separate browser window. ...The browser just opens up a different window alongside the original page, where related Sidewiki information is shown.

=============================================
One could think of it as a "Banned Aid"

or a place for "Poof Lists"

heh heh heh

The mined reals...
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So, looks like Jason-1 isn't kaput.

email: "The CNES and JPL Mission Operations Teams has scheduled the JASON-1 spacecraft to be switch on Friday 25 September 2009 at 12:44 GMT. The CNES and JPL investigation showed, in particular, no problem on the reaction wheels.

Thus, according to the above schedule JASON-1 wind/wave products will be available starting Friday 25 September 2009, and JASON-1 SSHa products will be available starting Monday or Tuesday, 28 -29 September 2009."

Given that the revisit rate for the SSH-detecting satellites is rather infrequent, I have to imagine that the TCHP (and OHC) data set must have had less frequently updated SSH data embedded...and an increased potential to miss features.

The JASON-1 satellite entered safe hold mode at on September 15. It is a very old satellite; maybe we should be planning to do without or replacing it if it being down had a measurable effect.
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Quoting leftovers:
?
the person was talking about the USC football(american) game.
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I .. for one.. am quite glad El Nino showed his face this year. The slow season has been rather boring at times, but I am VERY much looking forward to the higher rain chances and COOLER weather for Florida this winter :-)
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Quoting leftovers:
?


USC
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.