Massive duststorm chokes eastern Australia; Atlanta floods ease

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

Share this Blog
5
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 381 - 331

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

380. Skyepony (Mod)
EXPECT THE TROPICAL WAVES TO BE THE DOMINATE FEATURES OVER THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

$$
FORMOSA

I do enjoy his discussions..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
buoy
Station 42057
5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): NE ( 50 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 13.6 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 15.5 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 3.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 6 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 4.7 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.80 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.3 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.7 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 73.4 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 89.6 °F
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We have about $500 in hand for the Baxters...and about $2000 pledged...plus a bunch of goodies....Y'all rock!

www.portlight.org

Portlight WU Featured Blog has all the scoop
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting lavinia:
I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I found this season pretty interesting. I certainly learned what shear and dry air can do to development. lol
Ditto!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bluefields, Nicaragua
weather conditions now
Humidity: 83%
Wind Speed: NE 9 MPH
Barometer: 1006 mb
Dewpoint: 25°C
Heat Index: 32°C
Wind Chill: 28°C

Civil Twilight: 5:14 AM GMT-6 Moon Phase:
Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon
Sunrise: 5:36 AM GMT-6
Sunset: 5:42 PM GMT-6
Civil Twilight: 6:03 PM GMT-6

Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua
weather conditions now
Drizzle
Drizzle
Temp: 25°C

Humidity: 94%
Wind Speed: NE 9 MPH
Barometer: 1006 mb
Dewpoint: 24°C
Heat Index: 26°C
Wind Chill: 25°C

Civil Twilight: 5:01 AM GMT-6 Moon Phase:
Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon
Sunrise: 5:22 AM GMT-6
Sunset: 5:29 PM GMT-6
Civil Twilight: 5
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
375. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting HIEXPRESS:

Fred's Really Entirely Dead?


Yes with his remains mixed with another feature & his low pressure dissipated over land, if this trough formed into a TS it shouldn't be named Fred.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening all! Wanted to check in and see what's up with the Carribbean? What is the concensus on here this evening?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
372. flsky
Gorgeous aurora pic.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
352. wunderkidcayman
I was just saying earlier the area off Nicaragua is place to watch, the sun crossed the line yesterday, this is time of year we have to keep an eye on the SW/NW Caribbean.

yes two minds think alike the months for the Western carib is late September October and early November and I am quite sure that everyone in the caymans at the least will keep there eyes open this time of year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
lol, i knew it let me go get my dad! thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


From the 2:05 NHC Discussion..

A SURFACE TROUGH IS ALONG THE FLORIDA EAST COAST. THIS TROUGH
IS ASSOCIATED WITH WHAT WERE THE REMNANTS OF FRED. THAT LOW
PRESSURE CENTER HAS DISSIPATED FINALLY NEAR THE FLORIDA/GEORGIA
BORDER.

Fred's Really Entirely Dead?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
365. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
JLPR huh 12 ?


that's what im asking
what are you talking about 12?
xD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
weak to mod el nino year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey guys, my dad and i r having a lil disageement on this years pattern it is an el nino year this year coorect?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
Lots of convection over the Caribbean & Atlantic, I think the extreme Western Caribbean is worth watching as pressures are low in the area & convection is strong, jmo.

yes my weather station was reading 1007.5 mb around 400-430 our time I am watching this one closely might do something like paloma but weaker
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


yea, that was the original thinking.
Again it's not Fred it's a trough geez would you call a cell that produced a Tornado a Tornado after it receeds back up? no it's remanants and Fred went into the trough the trough didn't go into Fred
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
359. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
JLPR 12 :0


12? XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
352. wunderkidcayman
I was just saying earlier the area off Nicaragua is place to watch, the sun crossed the line yesterday, this is time of year we have to keep an eye on the SW/NW Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
slow in theblogs huh we are averaging 23 posts per hr lowest its been since april
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
356. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 954FtLCane:


ROTFLM*O


From the 2:05 NHC Discussion..

A SURFACE TROUGH IS ALONG THE FLORIDA EAST COAST. THIS TROUGH
IS ASSOCIATED WITH WHAT WERE THE REMNANTS OF FRED. THAT LOW
PRESSURE CENTER HAS DISSIPATED FINALLY NEAR THE FLORIDA/GEORGIA
BORDER.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
354. JLPR
TW off Africa has nice Vorticity

Link

but no convection


its dry, but the area around the wave isnt that bad
umm XD

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I personally think October could be full of surprises.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hi guys check out the vort at the carib low disturbance the ULL that is making it way to the surface the disturbed weather E of the northern leewards and the CW wave with the low
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lots of convection over the Caribbean & Atlantic, I think the extreme Western Caribbean is worth watching as pressures are low in the area & convection is strong, jmo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
350. flsky
Quoting brazocane:
Seeds left by Ike bear fruit in Galveston:
Link

That's a great story! I also heard they are making carvings of many of the trees that died. I spent a lot of time there after the storm. It was nasty -- and very sad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexNowNM:
Hurricane Rita came ashore four years ago tomorrow.



Hi. How are you? Yep 4 years ago at right about this time an exhausted bunch of travelers were sleeping off that evacuation. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
347. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
JLPR



Link


go here


for?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
344. flsky
Quoting Pitcher4114:
Fred is spread out from Jacksonville all along the coast from there to South Carolina.

Also had some Fred in Daytona Beach Shores today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening all. Wouldn't give up on this season quite yet. Wasn't there mention of a homegrown threat. Possibly from a stalled front.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
342. JLPR
The last quickscat to show the area
had a low but it is well south of the Blob of convection

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
341. JLPR
The TW off Africa


ULL with some surface reflection


Well that's all in the Atlantic ...
hard to believe it is September xD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msphar:
In the high desert, 10 miles SE of Lake Tahoe when I'm not on my boat in Puerto Rico.


oh ok, wow
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
338. JLPR
Another interesting looking Tropical Blob xD

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
337. JLPR
interesting looking tropical Blob =P

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricane Rita came ashore four years ago tomorrow.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
335. JRRP
AN EASTERN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 20W SOUTH OF
19N MOVING W AT 10 KT. A 1011 MB LOW IS CENTERED ALONG THE WAVE
AXIS NEAR 12N. THIS SYSTEM SHOWS UP WELL ON SATELLITE IMAGERY
AND ON THE SSMI TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY. A BAND OF DRY
AIR AND DUST HAS WRAPPED AROUND THE NORTH AND WEST SIDES OF THE
TROPICAL WAVE AND LOW HOWEVER. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED
MODERATE CONVECTION ARE W OF THE WAVE AXIS FROM 11N-17N BETWEEN
20W-25W.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
334. IKE
Quoting zoomiami:


Would you like to share?


LOL....

This is becoming a broken record....

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 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 BROWN
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I found this season pretty interesting. I certainly learned what shear and dry air can do to development. lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In the high desert, 10 miles SE of Lake Tahoe when I'm not on my boat in Puerto Rico.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting zoomiami:
Thanks PCola...

Still very hot, humid and sticky here. Were debating at dinner what the weather in orlando will be for mid october, planning a trip to Disney.


You really need to go to Universal.. They have a new rollercoaster!! Rip Ride Rockit!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 381 - 331

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
75 °F
Scattered Clouds