Weather News

Giant dust storm blankets parts of south-west Queensland

By John Ballot, Saturday January 11, 2020 - 16:16 EDT
ABC licensed image
Visibility was low at the Balonne River in St George as the dust storm moved through. - ABC licensed

A giant dust storm has brought visibility down to as low as 100 metres in parts of south-west Queensland.

A front pushed up from the South Australia and New South Wales whipped up the dust storm stretching from the Northern Territory border to west of St George in Queensland.

Visibility was down to less than 1,000 metres in parts of the Channel Country with some volunteer weather observers reporting visibility at less than 100 metres.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Lauren Pattie said the dust storm would continue east but dissipate before reaching the Darling Downs.

"As we move into the evening, that system moves eastwards and weakens a little bit," she said

"There will be a little bit of dust haze around tomorrow but it will slowly start to easy back."

Despite the intensity of the dust storm, BOM said these types of weather events were not uncommon during the summer months.

"It is fairly common for us to see dust associated with fronts and troughs moving through," Ms Pattie said.

"It is helped by how dry it is in the south-west of the state at the moment."

Sarah Cameron from Bollon, 100 kilometres west of St George, witnessed the dust storm rolling into town this morning.

"It was just like someone had put a piece of red cellophane over the sun," she said.

"There was no wind so it was just slowly creeping in and was quite eerie.

"We have had many dust storms come through in this crippling drought but this would have to be the worst of them all.

Potential storms for south-east Queensland

The same trough bringing dust to the south-west will bring showers and storms to the south-east tonight and tomorrow morning.

Isolated severe storms may bring rains of up to 50mm with potential flash flooding but most showers will bring between 15 and 30mm of rain.

BOM said it expected those showers to move off the coast by Sunday afternoon.


© ABC 2020

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