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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Quoting leftovers:
?


USC
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Season not over until end of November and don't have a clue what will happen between now and then (anything is possible) so here is some food for throught from the Wki Article on Hurricane Kate in 85 which formed in mid-November:

Kate was unusual, because it became a major hurricane in November, one of only 7 storms to do so. Other storms that became major hurricanes in November include The Jamaica Hurricane of 1912, The Great Cuba Hurricane in 1932, Hurricane Greta in 1956, Hurricane Lenny in 1999, Hurricane Michelle in 2001, and Hurricane Paloma in 2008. Kate was also the latest-season major hurricane, having become a major hurricane on November 20. Kate was also one of the latest landfalls, as well as the strongest U.S. landfall in November, hitting with 105 mph winds.

Who Knows?......... :)



i remember that hurricane, it was a very warm november and the ssts were high. that was the same year of hurricane elena. so it depends on the cold fronts. you have to look at the climate before you can make comparisons.
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Please be sure to check out the Portlight featured WU blog...and, if you can, let's pester NRAmy with e-mails...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
With the tropics so quiet, I can't help myself. Sure was nice to see the pretty boys of Southern California choke this last weekend! Anyway, back to the tropics.
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Had to have a window of good weather for this:
(& way too much time on their hands)

Crossing the Atlantic in a 21' Flats Boat
(and trying to stay ahead of Bill)
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124. 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
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originalLT, it's like when you get a song stuck in your head! Fedex will now and forever be Fredex!
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That's a good-one, pcbhere.
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Season not over until end of November and don't have a clue what will happen between now and then (anything is possible) so here is some food for throught from the Wki Article on Hurricane Kate in 85 which formed in mid-November:

Kate was unusual, because it became a major hurricane in November, one of only 7 storms to do so. Other storms that became major hurricanes in November include The Jamaica Hurricane of 1912, The Great Cuba Hurricane in 1932, Hurricane Greta in 1956, Hurricane Lenny in 1999, Hurricane Michelle in 2001, and Hurricane Paloma in 2008. Kate was also the latest-season major hurricane, having become a major hurricane on November 20. Kate was also one of the latest landfalls, as well as the strongest U.S. landfall in November, hitting with 105 mph winds.

Who Knows?......... :)



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Hi Guys! Long time lurker, first time poster. Just wanted to ask everyone that whenever they now see a Fedex Truck, they think Fredex! I can't stop doing it. LOL!
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Quoting ElConando:


Looks like it will be subtropical if it forms.


yeah
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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.



Looks like it will be subtropical if it forms.
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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.

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A dry Australia coincides with El Nino events.
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Good Afternoon to all

My blog is updated

Met Office GloSea Model Performance for 2009
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Quoting Dakster:


It is a water park afterall...


rimshot
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Quoting rwdobson:


If I'm not mistaken, the "downtown connector" is the same as I-75...where 75 and 85 run together....really, the only way for her to avoid horrific ATL traffic would be to go through Alabama the whole way.


Too late now (my bad) but I thought the same thing yesterday.......I-65 up to Birmingham then over towards Rome......
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Quoting Dakster:


It is a water park afterall...


LOL,good point
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Quoting JLPR:
Other years with similar El Ni%uFFFDos to this year are:

1994

2002 but this year El Ni%uFFFDo was a little stronger

1982

and of course 2004


http://portal.iri.columbia.edu/portal/server.pt
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Quoting NEwxguy:
This morning on the news showing six flags completely under water


It is a water park afterall...
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108. JLPR
Other years with similar El Niņos to this year are:

1994

2002 but this year El Niņo was a little stronger

1982

and of course 2004
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107. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED SEP 23 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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This morning on the news showing six flags completely under water
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Quoting Dakster:
Aussie - Can't blame a guy for trying though...

I bet they are filming the Mars Lander footage at the moment. Maybe even a pre-emptive video of man's first mission to mars.

The dust storm is practically gone right now... but cant tell cause its 3am
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting rwdobson:


If I'm not mistaken, the "downtown connector" is the same as I-75...where 75 and 85 run together....really, the only way for her to avoid horrific ATL traffic would be to go through Alabama the whole way.


you're not mistaken...I sent dr masters a photo of the connector from the Ga Power bldg...still a LOT of water standing...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
103. JLPR
El Nino this year is equal to that of 2004 and we know 04 was not a dull year
instead this year has been very similar to 97 but in 97 we had a very strong El Nino so there must be something enhancing the effect of El Nino in the Atlantic this year
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


I told her to stay off the "loops/connectors" and just ride out I-75 all the way up. She presents tommorow morning and I know she will hit traffic near Atlanta but should get in alright tonight to Rome.


If I'm not mistaken, the "downtown connector" is the same as I-75...where 75 and 85 run together....really, the only way for her to avoid horrific ATL traffic would be to go through Alabama the whole way.
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Aussie - Can't blame a guy for trying though...

I bet they are filming the Mars Lander footage at the moment. Maybe even a pre-emptive video of man's first mission to mars.
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100. JRRP

i am out
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Quoting Dakster:
Press: You need clothes?

I got a TON of toddler to young kids clothes to donate. I might be limited by how much money I can spend to ship them....



Hey! You have WU mail...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
Quoting Dakster:
Aussiestorm - is the most popular song on the radio, Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bangles???

I always thought it was:

Red at Night Sailor's Delight, Red in the Day, Australians Dismay.

Its spring here not winter...lol
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
97. IKE
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Very interesting conversations yesterday about low activity in all the basins this particular year.......Agree with some of the folks that El Nino may not be the only reason but I suspect that the pros/scientists will be writing papers very soon trying to figure the reasons/factors behind this overall slow activity this year.......Need to subscribe to the Journal of Atmospheric Science this year to even begin to get a handle on the issue.


I think the cause is El Nino in the Atlantic basin.
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Quoting Floodman:


Willaim Miller, one of the founding lights iof the 7th Day Adventists preached that the world would end (or rather, the Milleniuum begin) sometime in 1843; his congregation pushed him on it so he predicted that it would happen beween 3-21-1843 and 3-21-1844...these guys have been at it for quite a while


Too bad everyone is wrong, the real year is 5770 anyways...
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Press: You need clothes?

I got a TON of toddler to young kids clothes to donate. I might be limited by how much money I can spend to ship them....
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Quoting IKE:
Looking at the long-range 12Z GFS and 00Z ECMWF, I would be surprised with anything beyond 2 more named systems in the Atlantic and that may be a stretch.



Very interesting conversations yesterday about low activity in all the basins this particular year.......Agree with some of the folks that El Nino may not be the only reason but I suspect that the pros/scientists will be writing papers very soon trying to figure the reasons/factors behind this overall slow activity this year.......Need to subscribe to the Journal of Atmospheric Science this year to even begin to get a handle on the issue.
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Aussiestorm - is the most popular song on the radio, Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bangles???

I always thought it was:

Red at Night Sailor's Delight, Red in the Day, Australians Dismay.
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Statement as of 10:49 AM EDT on September 23, 2009

... Coastal Flood Advisory remains in effect until 2 PM EDT this
afternoon...

A coastal Flood Advisory remains in effect until 2 PM EDT this
afternoon.

Elevated tides will continue to impact south coastal South
Carolina today. Tide levels are expected to reach 7.0 to 7.2 ft
mean lower low water in the Charleston Harbor with the next high
tide. These levels typically produce shallow coastal flooding up
and down the lower South Carolina coast... particularly in the
downtown Charleston area and along the Charleston County coast.
Rainfall combined with the higher tides may allow for shallow
coastal flooding to develop along the Colleton... Beaufort and
Jasper County coastlines and may exacerbate shallow coastal
flooding concerns for the Charleston County coastline.

High tide will occur at 1208 PM in the Charleston Harbor and
124 PM in the Beaufort river near Beaufort.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
Good moring Storm. Iam on other side of state from you. Please tell me how long I will have rain or damp weather? this is causing a great deal of pain. thanks Star
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Good small slide show from msnbc.

View images from the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to hit the United States.
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Everyone who is on facebook or myspace should do this! I'm sure there are more people on those social sites than here since the season is slow.


Amen! Amen! and...Amen!

Forward...post...and spam to your hearts' content...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
Everyone who is on facebook or myspace should do this! I'm sure there are more people on those social sites than here since the season is slow.

Quoting presslord:
jax...Thanks!!!
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87. IKE
Looking at the long-range 12Z GFS and 00Z ECMWF, I would be surprised with anything beyond 2 more named systems in the Atlantic and that may be a stretch.

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jax...Thanks!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
The pictures of the Australian dust storms looks like the dust storms in Iraq
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I just posted the Portlight effort on my facebook status. I know I have clothes that can be donated to help this family. Truly heart-wrenching.

Quoting Portlight:
Updated info on the Baxter family is available at the Portlight WU Blog...
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83. JRRP
personally i think we will see 4 or 5 name storms
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and you, Flood, are astute, as well...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10484
Quoting tkeith:
Presslords wife is a very astute lady...I trust her observations...lol.

:)


LOL

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

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