More Weird Clouds

image Here's a picture of some more weird clouds, sent in by Darren McEwen. I've got absolutely no information about where or when this picture was taken, or if it's real or not. I'm guessing that it's real because it looks to me like some of the scenes we saw during the forest fires here in Southern California last year. But the time stamp on the picture says it's from 2002, so it can't be from the 2003 fires.


Posted on Tue Jun 08, 2004


I've received this same picture today in my mail claiming to be a australian sand storm
Posted by sakeb  on  Tue Jun 08, 2004  at  01:56 PM
The event was real enough. A sandstorm that occurred in central Australia picked up hundreds of tons of the "Red Centre" and conveyed it east to the coast. The storm struck Canberra (nations capital) and Sydney. It happened around(?) May 03. The picture is purported to be a suburb of Sydney. Confirmation should be easy enough, the Australian bureau of Met runs a website: and you can probably scout around for additional data there. The picture ran in the Sydney papers with a tagline about the storm.
Posted by GJF  on  Tue Jun 08, 2004  at  10:27 PM
Yes, I'm almost certain it's an Australian dust storm, but I don't think it's Sydney.
That red soil you see in the foreground is typical of most of inland Australia and they do have nice looking suburbs like that in cities like Dubbo, as well as more frequent dust storms.
Maybe the photo was described as "a suburb west of Sydney" giving the impression it was actually in Sydney?
Or maybe the newspaper used an old photograph to illustrate a new story (wouldn't be the first time).
Posted by Peter L.  on  Tue Jun 08, 2004  at  11:27 PM
Looking at the time stamp (end of 2002 whichever way you read the date, US or Aussie) that's bushfire season for Oz. The Canberra fires were in January of 2003... that summer was a particularly bad season.
Any possibility of it being a picture bushfire smoke from that summer (obviously not Canberra specifically, too early for that)? Or is it definitely a dust storm??
Posted by Nefertari  on  Wed Jun 09, 2004  at  01:04 AM
This shot is of a dust storm that went over Mildura, Victoria (or maybe Irymple or Red Cliffs - smaller townships/outer suburbs of Mildura). Happens pretty regularly and the edge of the dust storms are generally well defined. I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to be in Mildura when this storm went through, and I'm still cleaning red dust out of the car! There were shots of a large dust storm hitting Melbourne in the 1980's - similar thing, but just on a larger scale. Bushfires are completely different type of cloud/smoke - a permanent sunset in affected areas.
Posted by Neil  on  Wed Jun 09, 2004  at  02:42 AM
Looks like a duststorm. I'm in Sydney and there was nothing like this around that date at least from my vantage point. Probably down near the victorian borser judging by the red colour. There's another photo around of a larger storm hitting Melbourne years ago at
Posted by John Baker  on  Wed Jun 09, 2004  at  04:02 AM
This is in fact a duststorm which was photographed in Griffith, NSW. I was sent the photo from my brother who lives there (I grew up there, but have since moved away). It is not a hoax, since the family was there that day for my Grandma's funeral. The street is in Northgrove Estate, a new sub-division of the city just off Lake Wyangan Ave.
Posted by Caroline  on  Mon Aug 30, 2004  at  01:54 AM
That was a dust storm in IRAQ! There is a video of it on
Posted by Christian  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  09:04 PM
Isn't that that sandstorm in al asad or wherever??
Posted by Ian  on  Fri Jul 08, 2005  at  11:33 AM
A haboob. Massive dust storm. Awful name.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  07:25 PM
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