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September 23, 2009 - Earth, Wind And Fire: Sydney, Australia Dust Storm

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020, 6:00 am - Meteorologoists from around the world called the September 2009 dust storm "unprecedented” and "the mother of all dust storms."

Sydney dust/Wikicommons On Sept. 23, 2009, a mammoth dust plume measuring more than 500 kilometres (310 miles) in width and 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) in length moved over and covered dozens of towns and cities in two Australian states. Photo: John Byrne/Wikimedia Commons

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The September 2009 Australian dust storm, also known as the eastern Australian dust storm, reached Sydney and resulted in thousands of tonnes of dirt and soil being absorbed into the storm and subsequently dumped in Sydney Harbour and the Tasman Sea.

It was on Sept. 23, 2009 that a mammoth dust plume measuring more than 500 kilometres (310 miles) in width and 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) in length moved over and covered dozens of towns and cities in two states.

The dust storm was described by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology as the worst in the state of New South Wales in nearly 70 years. Meteorologoists from around the world were calling this dust storm "unprecedented” and "the mother of all dust storms."

Air particle concentration levels reached 15,400 micrograms per cubic metre of air. To put that into persepctive, air particles on normal days register up to 20 micrograms while bushfires generate 500 micrograms. And in these air particles, it was estimated that the dust storm carried some 16 million tonnes of dust from the deserts of central Australia.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei talks about the infamous, potent dust storm, why it was so severe and the conditions that led to creating the massive weather event.

"This Day In Weather History” is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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