RED COVER: Coalstoun Lakes township was treated to a spectacular dust storm last Wednesday afternoon resulting everything being covered in a film of red dirt.  Photo Contributed
RED COVER: Coalstoun Lakes township was treated to a spectacular dust storm last Wednesday afternoon resulting everything being covered in a film of red dirt. Photo Contributed

Dust storm 'the size of Tassy' expected to cover NSW

A DUST storm from far west New South Wales is expected to spread to the state's east within the next 24 hours, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Thick clouds of red dust gathered after winds in north-east South Australia picked up and blew into Broken Hill.

Visibility in affected towns has been as low as one kilometre.

BOM forecaster Ashleigh Lange said the spread of dust into the state's east was likely.

"We have some dust visible on satellite images which is to the west of the ranges," Ms Lange said.

"With these winds it's possible for it to move over to the coast.

"This is being brought about by really dry conditions and winds which is bringing up dust from central Australia.

"Sydney this morning had some visibility reductions."

Further south, where the storm's intensity is far greater, Sydney's sky changed colour as the thick line of dust - which is "the size of Tasmania" and stretches almost the entire length of NSW - reached the city, news.com.au reported.

Strong winds from a low-pressure system has whipped up masses of dirt across the drought-stricken state, forming a line of dust more than 500km long that can be seen from the Victorian border, through Canberra and up to Queensland.

Ms Lange said most of it currently lies inland.

"We could see some dust haze overnight or in early hours of tomorrow morning for the Northern Rivers region."

BoM said most districts would see windy and unsettled conditions.

"The deepening of a low pressure system near Tasmania during Thursday and Friday is expected to reinforce winds in some areas, increasing the likelihood of raised dust being transported across the region.

"On Saturday this low is forecast to weaken and move slowly east as a weak high pressure ridge develops over New South Wales, resulting in easing winds and restricting any lingering showers to the state's southeast."

Warning

NSW Health warns that Dust storms reduce air quality and visibility, and may have adverse effects on health.

Visibility deteriorates very quickly during a dust storm. If you are on the road and your ability to drive safely is impaired by poor visibility, reduce your speed. Be prepared to pull off the road if visibility deteriorates to less than 100m. If your car is air-conditioned, reduce the amount of dust entering your car by switching the air intake to 'recirculate'.



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