A warning has been issued for strong winds in South Australia after gusts stirred up dust and left many areas in an orange haze.
A warning has been issued for strong winds in South Australia after gusts stirred up dust and left many areas in an orange haze.

Warning as Aussie city turns orange

Strong winds are predicted across South Australia's southeast coast after parts of the state were cloaked in thick dust on Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued strong wind warnings and high fire danger for the Lower South East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday.

It comes after residents were told to stay indoors with the windows shut as strong winds stirred up dust across areas including Adelaide, the Eyre Peninsula and the Mid North on Tuesday.

The dust storm, driven by strong turbulent winds, turned the sky into a hazy orange and sparked warnings from police and health authorities.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Brett Gage said the raised dust began in the state's west, and over Tuesday morning caused visibility at Ceduna Airport to drop to 900 metres.

A general view of the city as a dust storm hits Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz
A general view of the city as a dust storm hits Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Visibility at Port Lincoln also fell to three to four kilometres late in the morning before dust blanketed the central agricultural parts of the state by early afternoon.

In Adelaide, the airport recorded the lowest visibility of 1600 metres about 1pm, but by 3.30pm it had improved to more than 10km, Mr Gage said.

Mr Gage said the worst dust was believed to be in the area just north of Adelaide, while the highest gusts reported were 91km/h at Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula about 6am.

Gale-force winds of almost 80 km/h were also recorded at Port Lincoln, while gusts of 67 km/h passed Edinburgh air base, in the city's north, just after 2pm.

Police had warned urged drivers to take care after the extreme winds whipped up the dust, reduced visibility and increased fire danger.

Strong winds whipped up dust that turned the sky hazy in Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz
Strong winds whipped up dust that turned the sky hazy in Adelaide. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Health alerts were also issued for people with chest conditions, such as asthma and heart issues, with SA Health warning the raised dust could exacerbate their condition.

Many landmarks and buildings were blanketed by dust, including city skyscrapers, beaches and Adelaide Airport.

Mr Gage said dust storms were not unusual for South Australia, with low rainfall, strong northerly winds and a hot, dry summer and autumn months combining to create the ideal conditions.

"If you get strong northerly winds, which we had yesterday, the strong northerly winds and dry soils will bring us the raised dust," he said.

"Also, there's no crops in at the moment. When you have farming crops in during winter, that helps negate the dust as well."

Mr Gage said a cold front moved through overnight, with west to south-westerly winds gusting up to 55km/h expected on coastal waters.

He said raised dust was not expected for the rest of the week now cooler conditions had taken over, with rain expected across the state's south.

Originally published as Warning as Aussie city turns orange



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