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Broken Hill dust storm paints the sky red

Sara Tomevska, Wednesday October 3, 2018 - 21:49 EST
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Dust storm - ABC

The skies above Broken Hill turned red as an intense dust storm swept through the city, resurfacing memories of the "big storms" the area received a decade ago.

The intensity of the storm forced people to take shelter inside their homes.

Broken Hill grazer Sonia Carey, who was in the region a decade ago, said the intensity of the storm reminded her of the 2007 event.

"It's starting to make me feel like if we don't get any rain shortly, they'll start to develop into those really big storms," she said.

Ms Carey said the similarities between this storm and those a decade ago were the strength of the wind and the speed it came into the city.

"It came in a massive, huge, gust of wind, and blew everything over," she said.

"I was surprised really. They don't usually come that strong unless there's a huge storm behind it."

Storms don't always put rain on the ground

As dry conditions continue across New South Wales, Broken Hill meteorologist Phil Mew said the drought was exacerbating the problem with dust storms.

"The lack of rainfall has a great deal to do with it. With the situation the way it is, we will see more dust storms," Mr Mew said.

"When we get a dry system coming through and you get strong winds, you get a dust storm due to the wind picking up small dust particles."

The current storm did precede some rain, but that's not always the case.

"A lot of the rain that comes out of the cloud is mainly virga, which is moisture falling in the form of rain but the atmosphere dries it out before it reaches the ground," Mr Mew said.

Ms Carey said she had noticed an increase in the frequency and severity of dust storms in the region.


© ABC 2018

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