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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581. IKE
One front comes through the SE USA by early next week...another front possible the end of next week..another possibly stronger front a few days after that.

I don't see anything in the tropics for the next 10-14 days other than the low in the Bay of Campeche in a few days. Unlikely it gets to be a named system.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting leftovers:
the area approaching the southern windwards has alittle structure. as for the boc about 10 yrs ago or so a system got stuck down there spinning for days


Goodmorning... I remember just a few years ago there was a Mini or Micro hurricane in the BOC.. If memory serves, it developed from a stalled front.
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Quoting kuppenskup:
I wanted to go to sleep but I hear voices in my head, they council me, they understand, they talk to me


They have meds for that now!
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good morning everyone
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Quoting AllStar17:
Wow! Talk about a quiet blog.

3 posts total in a half-hour span from 10:00 to 10:30 AM GMT


yea, you could imagine some root for this? lol

The southern hemisphere will start in the next month.
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Wow! Talk about a quiet blog.

3 posts total in a half-hour span from 10:00 to 10:30 AM GMT
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Good Morning

Tropical Update
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573. IKE
From Birmingham,AL..morning discussion...

"BEYOND THE FRONTAL PASSAGE SUNDAY INTO MONDAY...WILL SEE A
SECONDARY....MORE STOUT COLD FRONT WORK THROUGH THE AREA. THIS
SHOULD USHER FALL LIKE CONDITIONS TO MUCH OF THE SOUTHEAST OVER
MUCH OF NEXT WEEK. MODELS ARE STILL SUGGESTING LOWS IN THE 50S
WITH HIGHS ONLY REACHING THE 70S FOR A MAJORITY OF THE CWA.
DEWPOINTS ARE EXPECTED TO FALL IN THE 50S...AND POSSIBLY THE 40S
ADDING AN EXTRA CHILL TO THE AIRMASS. OUR COLDEST MORNINGS ARE
SETTING UP TO BE WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY AS SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE
CENTERS CLOSE TO THE REGION."


Long-term discussion from Mobile,AL....

"THERE IS GOOD CONSENSUS AMONGST THE GFS/ECMWF/UKMET AND CANADIAN
SPECTRAL MODELS ON OPENING UP THE MASSIVE UPPER LOW OVER THE PLAINS
DURING THE WEEKEND AND PROGRESSING IT EASTWARD. THIS BRINGS LOWER
HEIGHTS AND THE WEAK SURFACE FRONT ACROSS THE GULF COAST. AS THIS
OCCURS...SHWR/TSTM CHANCES WILL SHOW AN UPWARD TREND SATURDAY. POP
DECREASES AS THE FRONT EASES SOUTHWARD INTO THE NORTHERN GULF AND
STALLS ON SUNDAY...AWAITING A REINFORCING SURGE WHICH IS PROGGED TO
COME THROUGH LATE MONDAY. NOT EXPECTING A GREAT DEAL OF CHANGE IN
TEMPERATURES WITH THE WEEKEND FRONTAL PASSAGE. THE SECONDARY
SURFACE/LOW LEVEL FRONT LOOKS TO BRING A ZONE OF CLOUDS THROUGH THE
AREA AND MAY SQUEEZE OUT SOME SHOWERS ON MONDAY. THEN THE AIRMASS
CHANGE...WITH DRIER AIR AND DAILY LOWS/HIGHS LOWERING TO NEAR
SEASONABLE LEVELS BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK. LATEST GUIDANCE SHOWS
SOME OF THE INTERIOR COUNTIES DOWN INTO THE MID/UPPER 50S BY
WEDNESDAY MORNING WITH DAYTIME HIGHS IN THE LOWER 80S. A REFRESHING
CHANGE INDEED."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Offshore Waters Forecast


SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 AM CDT THU SEP 24 2009

.SYNOPSIS...A COLD FRONT IS STALLING FROM SE LOUISIANA TO THE CENTRAL BAY OF CAMPECHE. A BROAD LOW LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE SE WATERS WILL MOVE W MERGING WITH REMNANTS OF THE FRONT ON FRI. BROAD LOW PRES IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE FRI AND PERSIST THROUGH SAT NIGHT DISSIPATING ON SUN AS HIGH PRES BUILDS W ACROSS THE AREA. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE INTO THE NORTHERN GULF MON NIGHT.
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571. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Marine Weather Discussion

AS THE INVERTED TROUGH OVER THE S CENTRAL GULF SHIFTS W ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA INTO THE BAY OF CAMPECHE IT WILL INCREASE THE POSSIBILITY OF CYCLOGENESIS ALONG THE TAIL END OF THE STALLED FRONT. THUS WILL INTRODUCE A WEAK LOW PRES AROUND SUNRISE FRI...AND FORECAST THIS LOW TO MEANDER IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE THROUGH SAT...THEN WEAKEN SAT NIGHT THROUGH EARLY SUN DISSIPATING SUN NIGHT INTO MON.






GFS is showing that.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
570. IKE
00Z ECMWF.....shows nothing in the Atlantic through October 4th.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Marine Weather Discussion

AS THE INVERTED TROUGH OVER THE S CENTRAL GULF SHIFTS W ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA INTO THE BAY OF CAMPECHE IT WILL INCREASE THE POSSIBILITY OF CYCLOGENESIS ALONG THE TAIL END OF THE STALLED FRONT. THUS WILL INTRODUCE A WEAK LOW PRES AROUND SUNRISE FRI...AND FORECAST THIS LOW TO MEANDER IN THE BAY OF CAMPECHE THROUGH SAT...THEN WEAKEN SAT NIGHT THROUGH EARLY SUN DISSIPATING SUN NIGHT INTO MON.




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568. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

The Low Pressure Area East of Luzon has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named "ONDOY"

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #1
=======================
At 11:00 p.m PhST, Tropical Depression Ondoy located at 14.4N 129.1E or 480 kms east of Virac, Catanduanes has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots.

Additional Information
========================
Tropical Depression "ONDOY" is expected to enhance the Southwest Monsoon and bring occasional to frequent rains over Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas. Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes are advised to take all the necessary precautionary measures against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 P.M. today.
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567. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning #6
TROPICAL CYCLONE NORA (EP172009)
9:00 AM UTC September 24 2009
=================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Nora (1000 hPa) located at 17.2N 119.2W or 625 NM west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula has sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 55 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-northwest at 4 knots.

Gale-Force Winds
================
45 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
====================
12 HRS: 17.4N 120.0W - 45 knots (Tropical Storm)
24 HRS: 17.5N 121.2W - 40 knots (Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 17.3N 124.0W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
72 HRS: 18.0N 127.0W - 25 knots (Low Pressure Area)
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I wanted to go to sleep but I hear voices in my head, they council me, they understand, they talk to me
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Quoting tornadodude:


yeah :) well goodnight guys

That's "Nana" to you, young friend.
Seriously, have a good night. Bye for now.
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Quoting tornadodude:


ha yeah, well im out guys, have a great night!:)


night
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Anything to avoid studying (it is clever, though.)


yeah :) well goodnight guys
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:
"fedex tracking"

Anything to avoid studying (it is clever, though.)
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Quoting iceman55:
crazy world


ha yeah, well im out guys, have a great night!:)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
"fedex tracking"
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting iceman55:
lmao matt fredx


haha yeah, it was funny when i saw that
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Spetrm:
I'll be rolling up in to sydney in a few days. Sure glad this hit now and not when I get there.

Ohhhh, lucky on both counts -- to go there, and to miss the storm.
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Quoting centex:
Just watching delevoping area and yes change in 4 hours is something to watch. I suspect yellow vorticity off se tx coast which may not have been there 4 hours ago.


Yeah, Houston said was deepening faster than the models thought it would. Apparently no
one else knows it exists. So I don't even know if the NHC will notice it.
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I'll be rolling up in to sydney in a few days. Sure glad this hit now and not when I get there.
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Quoting ktymisty:


its the colour of the soil.


Thank you. It's "A Terrible Beauty" (which is actually the name of a book about Ireland, but I feel it fits.)
Where are you? I noticed the spelling of "colour."
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haha so I about had a heart attack when I saw the main headline on ESPN- "FedEx Tracking" link
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Just watching delevoping area and yes change in 4 hours is something to watch. I suspect yellow vorticity off se tx coast which may not have been there 4 hours ago.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Random sleepy thoughts...
Why is the Australian dust storm red?
Is it because of the light?
Or because of the color of the soil (like "red Georgia clay")?


its the colour of the soil.

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Quoting centex:
4 hours old


just curious, but is it really going to change that much in four hours?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting iceman55:







4 hours old
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Quoting centex:
CC radar

Link


Was wonderin if anyone other than me and Houston saw that. Lol.
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CC radar

Link
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Random sleepy thoughts...
Why is the Australian dust storm red?
Is it because of the light?
Or because of the color of the soil (like "red Georgia clay")?
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Quoting centex:
watching


Me too. :)
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watching
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Quoting iceman55:
tornadodude .that good uneed raining


yes we do, some areas around us have had an inch or so this month, but here at Purdue, we've only had .12 inches
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360

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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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