More dust on the way as huge front moves across NSW
A HUGE cloud of dust which has been reducing air quality to hazardous levels to the south is on it's way to the Northern Rivers as raging fires continue to burn to the west.
All the while a low-intensity heatwave which has been lingering over the Northern Rivers this week continues today as a Fire Weather Warning stays in place.
According to predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology, their three-day heatwave forecast will see hotter conditions drop back from tomorrow by up to 10C-12C but today hot, dry and windy conditions ahead of the trough are generating elevated fire dangers across the northeast.
There is a Severe Fire Danger warning for the Far North Coast, New England and Northern Slopes and a Very High Fire Danger for the North Western area.
The Northern Tablelands - where a raging fire has been burning for almost 24 hours, will continue to see hot and mostly sunny conditions today with temperatures in the 40s.
Huge dust front
BoM said dust and smoke haze are predicted during the afternoon and winds are tending westerly in the early afternoon then shifting east to southeasterly 15 to 20 km/h in the evening.
While there has been some haze in the area already today BoM forecaster Jordan Notara said there was definitely the potential for more dust in the north-east late tonight or tomorrow as a second line of dust is moving through inland parts.
"Yesterday a strong cold front has moved through Central NSW which lifted the loose top soil on drought affected areas of NSW bringing dust through parts of the ACT, central inland and through Sydney this morning and yesterday evening," Mr Notara said.
"Today we are still seeing the remnants of this dust through the north-east of the state.
"Currently there's a thin band moving over the Northern Rivers from yesterdays dust storm as well as a thicker band currently going through the north-west slopes and plains down through the Hunter region which is moving towards the north-east."
He said this was a possibility later this evening or in the early hours of tomorrow.
"There's also the addition of smoke that's being pushed in to the higher parts of the Northern Rivers due to the fires out near Tenterfield which may dissipate the look of the sky with the combination of the dust and smoke."
That #DustStorm that pushed through #Sydney, sthn #NSW & #Canberra late yest. didn't just come out of nowhere. It travelled for hours rolling across the outback before hitting the east. Here's the system as it moved across #WaggaWagga many hours earlier. https://t.co/REl2VBlGnA pic.twitter.com/5AqDp9lpAC— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 13, 2019
Cooler change coming
There will be respite from the hot weather with a cooler change coming through later today.
Mr Notara said there's a coastal change that's moving through the area this afternoon
"It's been moving through Coffs Harbour but hasn't reached the north-east yet but should start to move through Grafton after 5pm," he said.
"Winds will start turning from north-westerly into more of a south and south-easterly which will track up through the area as the evening pans out."
He said things will cool down for parts of the Northern Rivers, but not for the Northern Tablelands.
"Today's temperatures are warm - nearly 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
"Tomorrow temperatures are dropping 10C or so to around or just below the normal average.
"The forecast suggests there's a high chance of shower activity particularly north of Ballina, along the coast.
"Although it's not large scale - there's about 2-10mm of rain predicted for isolated areas but unfortunately showers wont reach fire grounds at this point."
Casino - 41.1C
Lismore - 41.1C
Ballina - 33.3C
Byron - 28.1C
Evans Head - 36.72C
The NSW Rural Fire Service advises you to:
- Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
- Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
- Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.
- The Rural Fire Service advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger:
- If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day
- Only stay if your home is well prepared and you can actively defend it
- Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your property - if in doubt, leave.
- For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.