Dust storm blankets Narromine region and surrounding areas

DUST BLANKET: Residents show off the extent of the recent dust storm. Photos: WATCHING NARROMINE SHIRE / EWE TWO ON DANDALOO AND SUSAN ORCHARD-BARBER
DUST BLANKET: Residents show off the extent of the recent dust storm. Photos: WATCHING NARROMINE SHIRE / EWE TWO ON DANDALOO AND SUSAN ORCHARD-BARBER

The sight of dust is wearing thin for residents as they clean up after another heavy dust storm.

Dust blanketed parts of the region, including as far as the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland on January 10, predicted to have been whipped up by a strong front and gusty south-westerly winds.

The dust storms even closed the Narromine Aquatic centre for the day on January 11 and the Trangie Aquatic centre until further notice.

Residents took to Facebook to share photos of the aftermath. The Watching Narromine Shire page posted photos from Susan Orchard-Barber who lives 18 kilometres from Narromine.

"Susan says all the doors and windows in her home were closed but it didn't stop the red dust getting in," the post read.

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Gaye Rush also commented expressing her frustration with the littering of dust.

"I have given up trying to keep my farm house in Tottenham dust free while experiencing weekly dust storms. One day when it rains again and the dust storms cease, I'll tackle the bigger jobs," she commented.

However according to the Bureau of Meteorology showers are expected this week, from Thursday, January 16 through to Monday, January 20, with storms predicted on Thursday and Friday, as well as on Monday.

The BoM has forecast an 80 per cent chance of rainfall in Narromine on Thursday, with between four and 15 millimetres expected to fall.

The rain will be a welcome event as BoM's annual Climate Statement found the national average rainfall total in 2019 was 277 mm, the lowest since consistent national records began in 1900.

The previous record low was 314 mm set during the Federation drought in 1902.

BoM's head of climate monitoring Dr Karl Braganza said the record warm and dry year had been one of the key factors influencing recent and current fire conditions across the country.

"2019 was consistently warm, but it was book-ended by periods of extreme heat," Dr Braganza said.

Unfortunately the 2020 outlook is not much better, with no indication of a widespread return to wetter than average conditions over drought and fire affected parts of eastern Australia.