Particle episodes in Autumn–Winter 2019

Dust event case study

Widespread dust storm during 5 to 6 March 2019.

14 October 2020
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Publication, Newsletter, Report
  • ISSN 2652-2252
  • ID EES20200464
  • File PDF 987KB
  • Pages 6
  • Name particle-episodes-autumn-winter-2019-200464.pdf

The dust storm led to poor air quality due to elevated PM10 at many regions across the State, including the South West Slopes, Central Tablelands, Sydney, Newcastle and the Upper Hunter regions.

Autumn and winter 2019 were dominated by severe drought across much of New South Wales. This case study demonstrates how meteorological conditions contributed to a dust storm event when a cold front and a pre-frontal trough moved over the NSW east coast during 5-6 March 2019. On 5 March, strong north westerly winds entrained dust in central NSW and the Riverina, with elevated PM10 pollution first detected at the Wagga Wagga North Air Quality Monitoring station. This event was later observed overnight at stations in the Central Tablelands, and then during the early morning on 6 March in the Hunter, Newcastle and Sydney regions. Detailed description of the event is provided, and modelling is used to determine a possible source region of the dust.