Good Strange Morning. I was woken up at 4AM to the sound of hurricane winds whipping through the flat. Of course, I have all the windows open as it has really gotten warm in the past couple of weeks, with the night time temps still too warm to have blankets on the bed. In fact, records are being set with one spot having a low of 73F rather than their typical 60 or so. While laying there awake, listening to the howling of the wind, I noticed a smell in the air of dust. The back of my throat seemed coated and I even put the sheet part way up my face (not all the way, I'm not dead yet).
About an hour later, it began to get light, but not the usual light. The curtains and entire flat glowed a eeire red colour! I knew right a way what it must be...the dust storm they usually have in the Outback has jumped the Escarpment and hit the Illawarra. The Google Earth shot shows the extent of the plume ranging from here in Wollongong to Newcastle 115 miles away with Sydney right in the middle! It's not as thick here as it is in the City and I've attached some pictures from the TV news this morning.
First, wind and rain storms have been pelting the area from here to Adelaide over 700 miles away. Trees have been uprooted, areas flooded and then in Melbourne last night was a small earthquake! Just when you wonder what else can happen, here comes this dust storm that is supposed to stay in the Outback. Yep, lotsa fun downunder.
More soon...if I survive!