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 CybrTeddy:


The fact of the matter Vince formed throws that all out of proportion IMO. If its moving fast, along the gulf stream then its possible.


What exactly does minimal hurricane Vince prove in terms of Cat 4 hurricanes?
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reminds me of 2006, dud year
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Was raining all night last night & this morning, also quite squally, but this afternoon the skies are much clearer, I'm starting to get suspicious of the flare up off Nigaragua though.


Wind shear at 20kts on that disturbance, won't kill it but not much will happen atm.
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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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Quoting Dakster:


That's no way to talk about ws... He can't change genetics...

You're suggesting that I am WS, man you couldn't be more wrong!
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Picture of Sweetwater Creek Subdivision in Austell, Ga. 25 miles Northwest of Atlanta, Ga.


... THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE SWEETWATER CREEK NEAR AUSTELL... * UNTIL WEDNESDAY EVENING. * AT 4 PM TUESDAY THE STAGE WAS 29.6 FEET AND FALLING. * MAJOR FLOODING WILL CONTINUE. * FLOOD STAGE IS 10.0 FEET. * AT 20.0 FEET... RECORD FLOODING DATING TO JULY 8... 1916 OCCURS. DISASTROUS FLOODING OCCURS IN DOUGLAS AND COBB COUNTIES.)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Unbelievable of a September, this is supposed to be the month of be all you can be out there, and just didn't materailize

Hopefully it wont skip a beat to October. Remember Hurrcane Opal in 1995 ,150 mph winds hit p-cola?
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Now I'm kind of wishcasting to get through the month without a named storm, that would be odd
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Quoting IKE:


I love weather like that. Lower dew points.


exactly, well time for supper, see ya guys tonight
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
Quoting Weather456:


and chances are it will be worst than 09, not becuz of number of storms but rather complacent.

Just like everybody in 2005. Time is a powerful manipulator.
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Unbelievable of a September, this is supposed to be the month of be all you can be out there, and just didn't materailize
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218. IKE
Quoting tornadodude:


sounds good haha my highs will be in the 60's and lows in the 40's


I love weather like that. Lower dew points.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
What a blessed year, 2010 coming up


and chances are it will be worst than 09, not becuz of number of storms but rather complacent.
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Were in the last chapter, and the book is about to be closed.
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Quoting IKE:


Yo bud. I am so glad...

From Mobile,AL. extended....

"MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON ANOTHER TROUGH BECOMING HIGHLY
AMPLIFIED OVER THE EASTERN STATES MON-WED. A STRONG COLD FRONT IS
FORECAST TO MOVE INTO THE REGION BY MONDAY NIGHT AND CLEAR THE
FORECAST AREA BY TUESDAY MORNING.
STRONG MODEL PERSISTENCE AND
AGREEMENT LEADS TO A HIGHER CONFIDENCE OF THIS FRONTAL PASSAGE
OCCURRING. THE EVOLUTION OF THE PRECEDING TROUGH AND THE RESULTANT
AVAILABILITY OF MOISTURE WILL GO A LONG WAY IN DETERMINING POPS FOR
THIS FROPA. FOR NOW...WILL MAINTAIN JUST CHANCE POPS. AFTER ANOTHER
WARM AND HUMID DAY ON MONDAY...MUCH DRIER AND COOLER AIR IS EXPECTED
TO FILTER IN FOR TUE-WED. SLIGHTLY NUDGED TEMPS DOWN TUE/WED TO AT
OR JUST BELOW CLIMO WITH HIGHS EXPECTED TO BE IN THE LOW 80S AND LOWS
IN THE UPPER 50S INTERIOR TO LOW 60S ALONG THE COAST."


sounds good haha my highs will be in the 60's and lows in the 40's
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
Quoting P451:


I personally believe it's impossible for a Cat4 to reach NYC. Just impossible.

Given low SSTs, shear from land based systems, dry air advection as a result of proximity to the coast - something we constantly see with systems that reach Cape Hatteras and then move northward near the coast, down sloping winds off the Appalachians, among other things.

At an absolute maximum - everything absolutely perfect - you could have a ragged looking minimal Cat 3 storm affect the region. In that only the eastern side of the system would have a big punch, and you're just not going to get widespread reports of Cat 3 wind damage.

When the atmosphere and the oceans in this region are able to support a Cat 4 hurricane? We've already been long gone and dealing with what comes with such. Manhattan would have long been under water as a result of a catastrophic climate shift.

When we have the necessary 85F SSTs in this region to allow a CAT4 hurricane to make it this far north without losing intensity and structure - we've already had serious problems that have forced us inland - years in advance of such a potential storm.

Why this is discounted and we keep reading or hearing about potential Cat4-Cat5 disasters in cold weather climates is BEYOND LOGIC.

Why no one does their homework on this before they run to the presses with such a scare tactic is just baffling.



The fact of the matter Vince formed throws that all out of proportion IMO. If its moving fast, along the gulf stream then its possible.
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Cold fronts gonna start sweeping that high octane water in the Gulf on out, and shear gonna increase over the Gulf,
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Lucky you Ike, its going to be in the upper 90's for highs and the lower 70's for lows for the rest of the week here..
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I've always thought to myself, that the waters first of all are too cold, aint gonna happen
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209. IKE
Quoting tornadodude:


wow...


Yo bud. I am so glad...

From Mobile,AL. extended....

"MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON ANOTHER TROUGH BECOMING HIGHLY
AMPLIFIED OVER THE EASTERN STATES MON-WED. A STRONG COLD FRONT IS
FORECAST TO MOVE INTO THE REGION BY MONDAY NIGHT AND CLEAR THE
FORECAST AREA BY TUESDAY MORNING.
STRONG MODEL PERSISTENCE AND
AGREEMENT LEADS TO A HIGHER CONFIDENCE OF THIS FRONTAL PASSAGE
OCCURRING. THE EVOLUTION OF THE PRECEDING TROUGH AND THE RESULTANT
AVAILABILITY OF MOISTURE WILL GO A LONG WAY IN DETERMINING POPS FOR
THIS FROPA. FOR NOW...WILL MAINTAIN JUST CHANCE POPS. AFTER ANOTHER
WARM AND HUMID DAY ON MONDAY...MUCH DRIER AND COOLER AIR IS EXPECTED
TO FILTER IN FOR TUE-WED. SLIGHTLY NUDGED TEMPS DOWN TUE/WED TO AT
OR JUST BELOW CLIMO WITH HIGHS EXPECTED TO BE IN THE LOW 80S AND LOWS
IN THE UPPER 50S INTERIOR TO LOW 60S ALONG THE COAST."
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Quoting P451:


I personally believe it's impossible for a Cat4 to reach NYC. Just impossible.

Given low SSTs, shear from land based systems, dry air advection as a result of proximity to the coast - something we constantly see with systems that reach Cape Hatteras and then move northward near the coast, down sloping winds off the Appalachians, among other things.

At an absolute maximum - everything absolutely perfect - you could have a ragged looking minimal Cat 3 storm affect the region. In that only the eastern side of the system would have a big punch, and you're just not going to get widespread reports of Cat 3 wind damage.

When the atmosphere and the oceans in this region are able to support a Cat 4 hurricane? We've already been long gone and dealing with what comes with such. Manhattan would have long been under water as a result of a catastrophic climate shift.

When we have the necessary 85F SSTs in this region to allow a CAT4 hurricane to make it this far north without losing intensity and structure - we've already had serious problems that have forced us inland - years in advance of such a potential storm.

Why this is discounted and we keep reading or hearing about potential Cat4-Cat5 disasters in cold weather climates is BEYOND LOGIC.

Why no one does their homework on this before they run to the presses with such a scare tactic is just baffling.



exactly
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.
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What a blessed year, 2010 coming up
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Quoting IKE:
HPC has the cold front in central Florida at day 6...




HPC 7 day forecast has the cold front all the way down to the Florida Keys....



wow...
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
202. IKE
From Birmingham,AL. extended...

"THE REST OF THE FORECAST IS FILLED WITH GOOD NEWS AS IT LOOKS LIKE
DRY AIR WILL QUICKLY BE FILTERING IN FROM THE NORTH BEGINNING MONDAY
NIGHT AND TUESDAY DURING THE DAY. AUTUMN-LIKE TEMPERATURES WILL
FINALLY COME TO CENTRAL ALABAMA BY THIS TIME NEXT WEEK."
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.
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Quoting ElConando:


well if there is, it is not lookin like much.


That's no way to talk about ws... He can't change genetics...
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Good Afternoon bloggers...Here is the latest from the NWS in New Orleans, La.

Doppler Radar..



Forecast for the Rest of the Afternoon...



The Extended Outlook for Thursday Thru Tuesday...


Presently in Bay Saint Louis, MS.
Data as of: 4:23 PM CDT

Sky: Cloudy
Heat Index: 92°F
Humidity: 82%
Dew Point: 77°F
Wind: East 5 MPH
Pressure: 30.00"
Tendency: Falling Slowly
Rain: 0.00" - Month: 1.46"
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198. IKE
HPC has the cold front in central Florida at day 6...




HPC 7 day forecast has the cold front all the way down to the Florida Keys....

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Quoting ElConando:


okay but as I said it does not look like much is over CI, is it raining?

Was raining all night last night & this morning, also quite squally, but this afternoon the skies are much clearer, I'm starting to get suspicious of the flare up off Nigaragua though.
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196. 786
They added the low near Africa. Steering seems to take this South of the SAL...
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I'm reading that book Dr. Masters mentioned about a major hitting NYC. "Landstrike" by Ken Bass et. al. It's good and I recommend it.

There is not a lot of wild speculation, just a good solid take on what a cat 4 hitting NYC could/would do. Available at Amazon, including Kindle edition.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Conditions at 42058 as of
(4:50 pm EDT)
2050 GMT on 09/23/2009: Unit of Measure: English Metric Time Zone: Station Local Time Greenwich Mean Time [GMT] British Summer Time [GMT+1] Eastern Greenland [GMT-1] Azores [GMT-2] Western Greenland [GMT-3] Atlantic Standard [GMT-4] US/Eastern Standard US/Central Standard US/Mountain Standard US/Pacific Standard Alaska Standard [GMT-9] Hawaii-Aleutian Standard [GMT-10] Samoa Standard [GMT-11] International Date Line West [GMT-12] Western European [GMT+0] Central European [GMT+1] Eastern European [GMT+2] Moscow [GMT+3] USSR Zone 3 [GMT+4] USSR Zone 4 [GMT+5] USSR Zone 5 [GMT+6] USSR Zone 6 [GMT+7] China Coast [GMT+8] Japan Standard [GMT+9] Guam Standard [GMT+10] GMT+11 International Date Line East [GMT+12]
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 90 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 19.4 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 21.4 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 5.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.0 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.05 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 84.6 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.9 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure


okay but as I said it does not look like much is over CI, is it raining?
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The winter of 2004-2005 was affected by a rather weak to moderate El Nino, a situation in which brought Cape Cod, MA it's record snowfall for one season beating the old record set in 1994 by some 20" with a total of 92.6" of snow.
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Quoting ElConando:


well if there is, it is not lookin like much.
Conditions at 42058 as of
(4:50 pm EDT)
2050 GMT on 09/23/2009: Unit of Measure: English Metric Time Zone: Station Local Time Greenwich Mean Time [GMT] British Summer Time [GMT+1] Eastern Greenland [GMT-1] Azores [GMT-2] Western Greenland [GMT-3] Atlantic Standard [GMT-4] US/Eastern Standard US/Central Standard US/Mountain Standard US/Pacific Standard Alaska Standard [GMT-9] Hawaii-Aleutian Standard [GMT-10] Samoa Standard [GMT-11] International Date Line West [GMT-12] Western European [GMT+0] Central European [GMT+1] Eastern European [GMT+2] Moscow [GMT+3] USSR Zone 3 [GMT+4] USSR Zone 4 [GMT+5] USSR Zone 5 [GMT+6] USSR Zone 6 [GMT+7] China Coast [GMT+8] Japan Standard [GMT+9] Guam Standard [GMT+10] GMT+11 International Date Line East [GMT+12]
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 90 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 19.4 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 21.4 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 5.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.0 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.05 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 84.6 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.9 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
wow I left 3 hrs ago and my post is still on the page, lol. It feels like the off-season.

However, I updated by blog

Met Office GloSea Model Performance for 2009

I also will be updating my blog during the off-season so you can always pass by once in a while (I should be saying this 30 November, lol)
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Link
Above link to the Mar 28, 2000 Tornado in Downtown Ft Worth, TX!!
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Pressure is 1009.4mb in Grand Cayman & falling, wonder if something might be starting to brew in the area.


well if there is, it is not lookin like much.
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184. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning #4
TROPICAL CYCLONE NORA (EP172009)
21:00 PM UTC September 23 2009
=================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Nora (1000 hPa) located at 16.8N 118.6W or 615 NM 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 6 knots.

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

Forecast and Intensity
====================
12 HRS: 17.2N 119.6W - 55 knots (Tropical Storm)
24 HRS: 17.3N 120.5W - 55 knots (Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 17.3N 122.5W - 45 knots (Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 17.5N 125.5W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
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Apropos of nothing:
"An obvious peak of significant tornadoes occurred in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Although additional data was ingested from SPC starting around 1950, and the local population density was rapidly increasing in the 1950s through 1970s, this doesn't account for the return to pre-1950 trends starting again in the 1980s. Therefore, there is a good deal of certainty that most of the influence on this data is meteorological, a significant finding."

"The only F5 tornado to ever strike the Chicago area was on August 28 1990."
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182. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Disturbance Summary (1200z 23SEPT)
==========================================
Weakened back down to a low pressure area

Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

Tropical Cyclone Outlook
=======================
At 2:00 p.m PhST, An Active Low Pressure Area was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 700 kms East of Central Luzon (15.3°N 131.4°E)

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Disturbance Summary (1400z 23SEPT)
=========================================
An area of convection (96W) located at 15.1N 132.1E or 645 NM east of Manila, Philippines. Recent animated infrared imagery shows deep convection starting to consolidate about a developing low level circulation center evident in the 0902z QUIKSCAT Pass. A 0837z SSMIS Microwave image reveals curved inflow into the low level circulation center. Additionally, animated water vapor imagery depicts increased poleward outflow into a tropical upper tropospheric trough cell to the northeast.

Maximum sustained winds near the center is 12-17 knots with a minimum sea level pressure of 1004 MB. Due to te increased convective consolidation, the potential for this disturbance to form into a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is FAIR.
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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.