Much of central and southern Australia could do with some rain to settle the dust being blown about by strong winds, and rain is on the way.
It has become so windy that dust and pollen has been blowing in all states and territories, not only generating a brown haze but also making life uncomfortable for allergy sufferers.
Raised dust has been reducing visibility in many centres, including Eucla, Rabbit Flat, Andamooka, Thargomindah, Tibooburra and Cobar.
Visibility hasn't been low enough to keep out the sunshine. Tibooburra had enough sun to allow it reach 31 degrees, 11 above average and its warmest August day in nine years.
Rain is what much of the country needs after a fairly dry past month-or-so. With the exception of the far east of Victoria and parts of southwest WA, almost all of the country has had below-average rainfall.
Unfortunately for central Australia rainfall in the next few days will be next-to-nothing, but for the south of the country rain will be fairly widespread.
Most of southern Australia is not going to get soaking rain but it will at least be enough to settle the dust.
Initially the rain will be dirty, bringing down some of the dust that has been blown about. This will make cars and windows rather grubby.
For areas along the southern coasts and ranges in Western Australia, South Australia and for most of Tasmania, Victoria and the New South Wales slopes and ranges there will be enough rain for a good sparkling wash.
The cause of the dusty winds is the approach of a strong cold front, which will scatter widespread showers across the region over the next few days. These showers will also be accompanied by further strong, but colder winds, which will continue to raise dust across the drier parts of the country on Thursday.
The wind will die down later on the weekend, bringing some calming relief from the not-so-good air quality.
© Weatherzone 2012
13:39 EST With 28mm already recorded in the rain gauge this month, Alice Springs is having its wettest May since 2004.