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Brown skies over Canberra

warall 23 September 2009 29

So does anyone know why we have this brown muck in the sky today especially in the North? Is it smoke or dust?

[ED (Kramer) – I have been (unsuccessfully) attempting to get a pic of the tinged sky.
Meanwhile, nothing of note from BOM other than the description “dusty” in today’s ACT weather forecast.
I’m guessing the very strong NW winds overnight have swept up the topsoils from central NSW and southern QLD & NT.]

Supposedly the dust is because Lake Eyre has dried out. See the following sat image.

Dust clouds over Belconnen

Don’t wash your cars just yet, as red dirt is set to rain down tonight.

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29 Responses to Brown skies over Canberra
peterh peterh 12:40 pm 22 Sep 09

I watched this monster storm sweep in from adelaide yesterday, growing in intensity until it was a big band of lightning heading our way.

The lightning tracker was a good show, but as it had picked up speed over mildura, mates in wagga were reporting dust much earlier than we got it, and they had warned me to get all windows closed and the cars undercover – it was going to be a big one.

The storm last night was meh, could have been bigger. But the dust started rolling in at about 9.00pm, turning the sky an eerie yellow, which intensified this morning. The lightning was just big flashes, so i couldn’t get any decent shots of it. The dust will be the thousands of hectares out towards mildura that are bone dry. it has just shifted it here to us. It is definitely dust, if it was snmoke, you would be able to smell it long before it got here…

DawnDrifter DawnDrifter 12:43 pm 22 Sep 09

either that or from north east SA.. my car was mud this morning along with every second or third car on the way to work this morning lol
carlovers would be loving this

Ruby Wednesday Ruby Wednesday 12:53 pm 22 Sep 09

From the BOM weather warning page: “Strong to gale force westerly winds, averaging over 65 km/h with gusts in excess of 100 km/h, are expected near and following the front. The strong winds will generate widespread raised dust.”

prhhcd prhhcd 1:08 pm 22 Sep 09


indigoid indigoid 1:46 pm 22 Sep 09

great, and I’m riding up to Sydney after work tonight too. Hopefully it’ll rain and freshen the air up a bit for me. It wasn’t very nice out at lunchtime 🙁

peterh peterh 2:03 pm 22 Sep 09

to see the progression of the dust across canberra, check out

Snarky Snarky 2:20 pm 22 Sep 09

Here’s a couple of pics taken around 1pm. It’s surprisingly dificult to get a good focussed picture of dust 🙂

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 2:20 pm 22 Sep 09

Hands up all those who washed their cars this weekend.


Chupachup Chupachup 2:20 pm 22 Sep 09

I have the weather for Canberra on my igoogle and it has a picture for the dust!

They list the current conditions as:

Current: Dust
Wind: NW at 24 km/h
Humidity: 60%

Just thought it was interesting as I’ve never seen a picture for dust before

Jivrashia Jivrashia 2:43 pm 22 Sep 09

Dust storm factsheet from NSW Dept. of Health

We might want a hazzard rating for dust storms right next to the UV Alter rating on the BOM site.

Bottom line: stay indoors while you can see the dust outside as prolong exposure can be harmful.

frank2112 frank2112 3:10 pm 22 Sep 09

Pommy bastard said :

Hands up all those who washed their cars this weekend.


Guilty as charged. Washed and polished both the cars on Sunday

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:04 pm 22 Sep 09

And here they are predicting what could be the dump of the season up in the hills over Saturday and Sunday. At least it will cover up all the brown snow.
Monday might be a good day off for a little bus trip to Perisher…

folkie folkie 4:24 pm 22 Sep 09

Washed on sunday now covered in mud… fantastic!

AussieRodney AussieRodney 5:51 pm 22 Sep 09

And this 721 colour sat image from today.

Ryan Ryan 8:18 pm 22 Sep 09

glad i decided to get the bus today!

SheepGroper SheepGroper 9:40 pm 22 Sep 09

I took a shot of the dusty sky over the BBP at lunch time weird pink sky contrasting with the blank white of the building panels.

Swan Swan 10:18 pm 22 Sep 09

Checking on my garden today and I noticed that my plants have red spots all over them.

And this would explain it.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 5:56 am 23 Sep 09

Well that’s all washed away now. Pretty substantial rainfall last night. Now we’ll have several days of high winds to dry everything out to a crisp again.
Talk about extremes…

Thumper Thumper 7:41 am 23 Sep 09

Gininderra creek, I mean, river, was rather wide this morning…

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:27 am 23 Sep 09

On closer inspection, not a lot of washing away if the dust has happened at all – just collected in patches. Surprising given I emptied 56mm out of the rain gauge today.
And the dust will be coming back tonight/tomorrow we’re being told. Gerni’s going to get a workout after all this (with tank water).

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