SETTLING IN: Dust over Lismore yesterday at 2pm.
SETTLING IN: Dust over Lismore yesterday at 2pm. Jacklyn Wagner

Ill winds drop, remedying crook weather

THE strong hot, dry westerly winds that brought in yesterday's thick dust haze from the western NSW outback to the Northern Rivers will not be repeated today with winds expected to ease back in strength overnight.

Yesterday the grit blew in with vigour, covering areas north of the Hunter region. Strong wind gusts up to 65km/h were recorded at Lismore Airport and reached 61km/h at Casino Airport.

The severe fire weather warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday for the Far North Coast has also been dropped back today to 'very high' on its new scale.

A bureau spokeswoman said the region's long-term outlook continues to be very dry with both Lismore and Casino at more than 150 on the 0-200 moisture/dryness index. A total fire ban for the Far North Coast was in place until midnight last night.

And for hair-blown Goonellabah residents Leonie Chapman and her daughter, Grace, although the dust haze experienced in recent weeks was annoying and can make Leonie a little peeved, she said it was not as bad as the damaging summer storms with hail.

Mrs Chapman said her daughter had suffered an asthma attack in the heavy dust storm some weeks back, but yesterday's haze did not cause her to use her puffer.

“It's bearable, but we just don't like it,” she said.

Mrs Chapman said while it was not as heavy as last month she could still smell the dust in the air overnight.



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