Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When The Country Comes To The Coast

A severe weather phenomena swept over NSW today, bringing winds that were gusting at over 100 kph, whipping up dust clouds from central Australia & dumping around a 1,000 million of tonnes of topsoil all over the NSW coastal regions, giving the skies an eerie, almost martian orange glow.

So making sure that I didn't miss out on this unique event, I grabbed the trusty Canon 400D & headed out into the wind to photograph this rare weather event, concentrating my efforts around the Newcastle Foreshore precinct.

To be honest I have never seen anything like this before & even from Queens Wharf you couldn't see the Stockton ferry wharf, a distance of only 700 mtrs, due to the dust! The wind & lack of visibility was making life a miserable experience for anyone that was forced to work outside & away from a sheltered environment. The conditions were even bad enough to close Newcastle Port to shipping, however, our intrepid Stockton ferry kept of ploughing through the wind & the muck, thanks to its excellent radar systems & the skill of the ferry captains & crew. Takes more than a bit of wind, to to deter a tough Novocastrian!

I also went down to Nobbys Beach to check out the conditions on the coast & was met by the same terrible conditions, Nobbys was totally obscured by the dust & Fort Scratchley was only just visible
from the beach. Not a good day to be power walking along the beach front!

The whole of Newcastle was blanketed by this enormous dust storm & although the pictures do look like they were shot through a red filter, or manipulated through colour saturation, what I've downloaded is the actual view. I did sharpen & straighten a few of the shots, but basically this is what I was looking at.

Yes, today the country really did come to the coast & was driven by some of the worst weather conditions to hit Newcastle since the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm. Luckily I was there to capture the moment.

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