My alarm clock beeped at 6:20 this morning. As my bleary eyes began to adjust I had a sense that something was not quite as it should be. Something was awry and my curiosity intensified by the glow piercing through the edges of our window screen.
My phone rang shortly thereafter; around 6:32. It was Scott, my manager. “A dust storm has hit Sydney … International flights are cancelled … Roads are closed … Health warnings have been issued … feel free to work from home today”. A dust storm! “Eah?”. This was the sharp response from my Pommy English brain. Leaves on the track is often a show stopper in the UK, but never a dust storm. “What do I do about this one?”.
The next image to greet me was our front door. “It’s Armageddon”, I thought. A scene from Independence Day or The Ten Commandments.
The picture from our balcony was equally dramatic. A filter of pure orange (the photo below has not been adjusted. I took the shot and uploaded).
My next step was to get some news. Here is a roundup at what is now 9.48.
Ping (Twitter): Can’t wait to see satellite pics of Australia covered in dust. It’s amazing how bright the glow is. Feels ominous.
Lisa Harvey (Twitter): It is orange and spooky outside today. Best to stay in bed. But I really really have to go out in it.
Misc: ”I went out for a ride on my bicycle and I ended up looking like a red panda.”
Wikipedia: 2009: On September 23, a duststorm in New South Wales Australia blanketed Sydney.
Sydney Morning Herald: Sydneysiders have woken to a red haze unlike anything seen before by residents or weather experts, as the sun struggles to pierce a thick blanket of dust cloaking the city this morning.