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 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
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Quoting iceman55:
tornadodude for now.more rain heading this way


yeah, on friday we are supposed to get severe storms up here
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Quoting iceman55:
thank .matt


no prob, you staying dry tonight?
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Quoting Chicklit:

ShearMap
Has shear relaxed in the Caribbean?

It's running around 20-30 around our blob, but decreasing north of it's current position.

Strong divergence aloft nearby.





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Still, pretty darn cool. I remember hearing about the LCROSS mission a couple of months ago, on...NOVA maybe?
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This article from Reuters is a bit less dramatic:

Missions find evidence of water on the moon

Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:12pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three separate missions examining the moon have found clear evidence of water there, apparently concentrated at the poles and possibly formed by the solar wind.
The reports, to be published in the journal Science on Friday, show the water may be actively moving around, forming and reforming as particles mixed up in the dust on the surface of the moon.

Carle Pieters of Brown University in Rhode Island and colleagues reviewed data from India's Chandrayaan-1 mission -- India's first mission to the moon -- and found spectrographic evidence of water. The water seems thicker closer to the poles, they reported.

"When we say 'water on the moon,' we are not talking about lakes, oceans or even puddles. Water on the moon means molecules of water and hydroxyl (hydrogen and oxygen) that interact with molecules of rock and dust specifically in the top millimeters of the moon's surface," Pieters said in a statement.

Jessica Sunshine of the University of Maryland and colleagues used infrared mapping from the Deep Impact spacecraft to show water all over the moon, while Roger Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey and colleagues used a spectrometer -- which breaks down light waves to analyze elements and chemicals reflecting them -- from the Cassini spacecraft to identify water.

"These reports of lunar surface water coincide with intense interest in water at the poles of the Moon," Paul Lucey of the University of Hawaii, who was not involved in the research, wrote in a commentary.

"There may be much 'wetter' regions to be discovered far from the sites that have been sampled to date," Lucey added.

"It is also possible that rare water-bearing minerals previously observed in lunar samples, but argued to be terrestrial contamination, might be indigenous. Perhaps the most valuable result of these new observations is that they prompt a critical reexamination of the notion that the Moon is dry. It is not."

Next month, NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite or LCROSS mission will try to detect water by deliberately crashing a large spacecraft onto the moon.

(Editing by Paul Simao)


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Quoting iceman55:


that is cool
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Quoting iceman55:



Things are shaping up for an interesting last week of September for us here in the NW Carib'
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pretty cool...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting TexNowNM:
Goodnight Homeless, Tornado and everyone else.

Presslord, thanks for the link... I was out of the loop on that.


Good night. :)
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Quoting mikatnight:


Dreams of establishing a manned Moon base could become reality within two decades after India’s first lunar mission found evidence of large quantities of water on its surface.

Data from Chandrayaan-1 also suggests that water is still being formed on the Moon. Scientists said the breakthrough — to be announced by Nasa at a press conference today — would change the face of lunar exploration.

Wow.


its incredible
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Quoting TexNowNM:
Goodnight Homeless, Tornado and everyone else.

Presslord, thanks for the link... I was out of the loop on that.


have a goodnight too
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Quoting presslord:
Link

check THIS out.,..


Dreams of establishing a manned Moon base could become reality within two decades after India’s first lunar mission found evidence of large quantities of water on its surface.

Data from Chandrayaan-1 also suggests that water is still being formed on the Moon. Scientists said the breakthrough — to be announced by Nasa at a press conference today — would change the face of lunar exploration.

Wow.
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Goodnight Homeless, Tornado and everyone else.

Presslord, thanks for the link... I was out of the loop on that.
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Quoting TexNowNM:
Hey Homeless,

I just got back and saw your post. It is pretty chilly in NM tonight. The days are nice and cool, though.

I wish I could have sent all of ya'll on here a picture of the clouds when the front came in Monday. Low clouds were going one direction while lower clouds were going the other way. Then the whole pile started going in a big circle across the whole sky. I have never seen anything like it. We were not under any watches but I would have appreciated a professional opinion on the clouds - especially as to if it was as unusual as I thought it was. Not like a giant tornado - just a giant circle.



Hey. :) That does seem strange. I dont know what it couldve been.
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Link

check THIS out.,..
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Hmmm...

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
958 PM CDT WED SEP 23 2009

.MARINE...
SURFACE THROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE LOWER TEXAS COASTAL
WATERS DEEPENING FASTER THAN WHAT MODELS INDICATED EARLIER.
WE
AJUSTED CWFHGX WINDS AND WAVE HEIGHTS ACCORDINGLY AND ISSUED SMALL
CRAFT ADVISORIES FOR UPPER TX COASTAL WATERS AND SCEC FOR BAYS
TONIGHT. 37
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Stop with the polls plz, I no your bored but its wasting space.


Evening...er...Morning Aussie. Dust, fire, and earthquakes making you cranky?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Stop with the polls plz, I no your bored but its wasting space.


Do what I did Aus, I selected "I"
seems to have worked and the poll went away :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Hey Homeless,

I just got back and saw your post. It is pretty chilly in NM tonight. The days are nice and cool, though.

I wish I could have sent all of ya'll on here a picture of the clouds when the front came in Monday. Low clouds were going one direction while lower clouds were going the other way. Then the whole pile started going in a big circle across the whole sky. I have never seen anything like it. We were not under any watches but I would have appreciated a professional opinion on the clouds - especially as to if it was as unusual as I thought it was. Not like a giant tornado - just a giant circle.

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502. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning #5
TROPICAL CYCLONE NORA (EP172009)
3:00 AM UTC September 24 2009
=================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Nora (997 hPa) located at 17.0N 119.1W or 630 NM west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula has sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-northwest at 6 knots.

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

Forecast and Intensity
====================
12 HRS: 17.3N 120.0W - 55 knots (Tropical Storm)
24 HRS: 17.4N 121.1W - 55 knots (Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 17.2N 123.3W - 40 knots (Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 17.5N 126.0W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
poll time
Q:will we see a yellow or orange circle within the next 24-48 hours
(A) yes
(B) no
(1) yellow
(2) orange

Stop with the polls plz, I no your bored but its wasting space.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
500. JLPR
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


I am sure that it will redevelop in the morning or midday tommorow


if the convection persists which seems difficult since there is no convergence with it, it could come back
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


I am sure that it will redevelop in the morning or midday tommorow


can you elaborate please? data? charts? etc.

thanks
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Quoting JLPR:


850mb vorticity with the Blob has almost disappeared



I am sure that it will redevelop in the morning or midday tommorow
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497. JLPR
Quoting wunderkidcayman:



850mb vorticity with the Blob has almost disappeared

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
496. JLPR
definitely nothing rotating


Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting Chicklit:
Here's the loop to the Caribbean blob.

Link


That one has persisted all day and into the late night. I found it interesting this morning, and although they're saying that pressures are high, it just looks like something is up down there.
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Quoting iceman55:
homelesswanderer .Carib


Ok. Thanks. :)
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Quoting kmanislander:


Good evening. Yes, the satellite images do look impressive but there is no lower level convergence, no 850 mb vorticity and no surface low.

In short, nothing more than rain showers at the present time.

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Quoting iceman55:





Hey Ice. Where's that buoy reading from?
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489. JRRP
Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. Nothing happening out there for now.

Will be back tomorrow

Good night all

good night
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I'm out for tonight. Nothing happening out there for now.

Will be back tomorrow

Good night all
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That blow up will likely be gone by tomorrow morning
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
poll time
Q:will we see a yellow or orange circle within the next 24-48 hours
(A) yes
(B) no
(1) yellow
(2) orange


A1 nicaragua/honduros
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
That activity off Nicaragua/Honduras is interesting....


Good evening. Yes, the satellite images do look impressive but there is no lower level convergence, no 850 mb vorticity and no surface low.

In short, nothing more than rain showers at the present time.
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Orca, it worries me when you post those SW Fla AOIs tho I'm more Ecoast. No Name & Ilene came in that way. . .
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About

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