Thursday 24 September 2009

It's slim, dusty, and a whole lot of country

NASA's satellite has captured this amazing image, showing the enormous wall of dust that stretches from North Queensland to the southern tip of Eastern Australia.

"The dust is thick enough that the land beneath it is not visible,"the NASA report says.

The dust storm is the worst in 70 years, and has causes flights and traffic disruptions, and health issues. Today, all other the greater Cairns area, you can clearly, or not so clearly, see the effects of the dust storm as it travels north.

NASA says of the image...
  • The concentration of particles in the air reached 15,000 micrograms per cubic meter in NSW. A normal day sees a particle concentration 10-20 micrograms per cubic meter. Strong winds blew the dust from the interior to more populated regions along the coast.

    The dust rises in plumes from point sources and concentrates in a wall along the front of the storm. The large image shows that some of the point sources are agricultural fields, recognizable by their rectangular shape.

Australia has suffered from a multiple-year drought, and much of the dust is coming from fields that have not been planted because of the drought, ABC news says.

Hat Tip: Henry Poyntz

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