Wild dust storm with winds over 100kph (DRONE VIDEO)
A huge dust storm, with winds as high as 109 kilometers per hour, engulfed settlements throughout northwest Queensland, Australia, on Sunday. Scientist says the event was triggered by a line of several thunderstorms in the region.
On Sunday, the communities of Boulia, Mount Isa, Dajarra and Urandangi were hit by a freak dust storm. Footage from the Outback settlements shows a dark red storm front of biblical proportions sweeping across the vast arid plains.
Wind speeds reached up to 109 kilometers per hour (nearly 68 mph) as the giant weather front descended on remote population centers. Reports suggest some local residents were caught off-guard by the surely terrifying sight and rushed to batten down their hatches.
Helen Kirkup, a weather expert at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, said the dust storm was a result of a line of thunderstorms in the region, stretching over 100 kilometers.
"Because we had a line of storms, we had a gust front of all these cold air outflows working together. So, residents would have experienced the dust storm, and then thunderstorms following that," she said.
The meteorologist contended that the region could see a lot more dust storms throughout the summer. The area is prone to very hot summers; the daily high temperature is expected to remain above 40C in the Boulia for the foreseeable future.
Local residents told Australia’s ABC News that Sunday’s storm was the largest they had seen for years. The storm seemingly impacted a huge area of land, with afflicted settlements Mount Isa and Boulia situated some 250 kilometers apart.