Sydney Dust storm – Opera House by David Petranker
Strong westerly winds across NSW have generated one of the most spectacular dust storms in the history of Sydney according to the Weather Channel.
An orange haze has covered the city, reducing visibility, causing transport problems and creating health concerns for those with respiratory problems.
“This is the biggest dust storm I have ever seen in Sydney,” says Dick Whitaker, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel with more than 40 years of meteorological experience.
“The last dust storm to hit Sydney was in October 2002 but it was nowhere as big as the one we are seeing today.”
“The storm is as a consequence of an extended period of strong winds and very dry conditions over western NSW. We are looking at it gradually improving later this morning to early afternoon but it should remain hazy all day.”
Leader readers have been quick to grab the abundance of photo opportunities this morning.
Sydney woke to the red haze as dust blown in from western NSW caused havoc.
All citybound lanes on the M5 East tunnel were closed earlier this morning while ferries were cancelled and some trains were delayed.
Even a horse racing meeting at Canterbury Park racecourse had to be cancelled today.
Passengers at Sydney Airport were told to expect significant delays and motorists should take extra care throughout the day because of harsh weather conditions.
Sutherland SES spokesman John Gonzalez said volunteers had taken away fallen trees at Kareela and Menai.
Matt Kirby at Kogarah SES said his team removed trees at Hurstville, Blakehurst and Rockdale.
Primary schools in St George and Sutherland Shire are also taking precautions, keeping children in classrooms until the dust settles.
Students from Our Lady of Fatima Primary School at Caringbah, were among many advised by teachers to remain inside with the windows closed.