Dust storms swept over Sydney Wednesday morning, turning the city sky so red, some residents thought theyâ€™d left the blue planet.
“It was like waking up on Mars,â€ Sydney resident Marcus Schappi wrote in an e-mail to Wired.com.
Residents of eastern Australia have had to battle these bizarre conditions, because strong winds from the dry interior swept up dust and brought it gusting into the city.
â€œAn intense north low pressure area formed and generated gale-force westerly winds during yesterday, and those winds picked up a lot of dust from the very dry interior of the continent,â€ Barry Hanstrum, New South Wales regional director at the Bureau of Meteorology, told Bloomberg.
Even though they knew what was happening, the strangeness of the event understandably caught Sydneysiders off guard. A Twitter hashtag to track the event, #sydneyduststorm, quickly appeared. One @wiredscience follower on Twitter declared it â€œa leeetle apocalyptic,â€ and none of them had ever experienced dust storms of a comparable intensity in their lifetimes. Perhaps the only similar event in recent Australian history was a massive dust storm in Melbourne in 1983.
In other areas of southern Australia like Broken Hill â€” well inland in western New South Wales â€” the storms have been even more intense. Dust storms have occasionally blacked out the sky, as you can see in this incredible video.
I don’t know about you, but I would be scared sh*tless if this happened in my town! Wow. It is amazing to watch though.