GOLD Coasters woke on Saturday to their coastal city shrouded in dust, whipped up by wild winds out west.
The dirt – precious top soil from drought-stricken farms – was picked up by a vigorous trough as it surged through western Queensland on Friday night.
The raised dust made it all the way to the ocean and, combined with 27 degree heat along the Coast on Saturday, made it feel like a typical summer’s day.
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The dusty haze is expected to hang around until at least Saturday night, when westerly winds are forecast to turn more southerly.
It is said to be the biggest dust storm event to reach the Gold Coast, including Brisbane, in near a decade.
The word ‘dust’ was trending on Twitter in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
— Stephen Cavenagh (@stevecav1) August 31, 2018
— Simon Lee (@salee75) September 1, 2018
— Trendsmap Brisbane (@TrendsBrisbane) September 1, 2018
Speaking to the ABC, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Woods said while the dust was a rare occurrence in the city, it wasn’t unusual in times of extreme drought.
Mr Woods said the dust was a clear indication of just how dry it is out west.
“It’s quite extensive and I believe it’s the first dust storm we’ve had in Brisbane for a number of years,” he said.
“It’s probably more typical to see these dust storm events when the conditions are very dry and there’s less plant material to bind that soil together.”
Queensland Health has urged people with respiratory issues such as asthma to stay indoors with their windows and doors closed, and medication close by.
— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) September 1, 2018
#Dust, kicked up by a strong trough that moved through western #Queensland yesterday, has made it all the way to #SEQld this morning. #Brisbane is looking murky at the moment but it should gradually improve through the day. Check the satellite imagery at https://t.co/3txT4guH5T pic.twitter.com/lMlKy0frEx
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) August 31, 2018
A lot of dust in Brisbane today as a result of yesterday’s dust storms out west. You can clearly see it on the Satellite. pic.twitter.com/SB3qsW3u9t
— Robbie Shenton 🕹 (@RobbieShenton) August 31, 2018