A 'Red Wave' Dust Storm Strikes Australia

As if they didn't have enough to worry about.

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As devastating wild fires and too-hot-for-the-map temperatures envelop much of the continent, a terrifying dust storm hit the coast of Western Australia Wednesday evening. The massive storm was unrelated to a cyclone expected to hit the north coast this weekend, both of which may or may not be related to the massive heatwave. "The Bureau of Meteorology said the incredible sight of a 'red wave' at sea was created as wind and rain caused the storm to dump the sand and dust it had taken from the land," reports The New Castle Herald.

No extreme damage has been reported as a result of the dust storm thus far, but the photos reveal a wild site that you would certainly not want to behold in person.

The huge ball of dust built up in a "matter of minutes," tug boat worker Brett Martin told The West Australian's Rhianna King. Thanks to the Perth Weather Live Facebook page, which has a selection of incredible photos, we get a glimpse of that swift and terrifying site:

The storm eventually hit land, eating up a residential area in Onslow, Australia:

Once it hit, gusts reached about 63 miles per hours. Here's some video footage of that, also via Perth Weather Live:

While the dust storm looks ominous, the western coast of Australia is also bracing for its first cyclone of this bad-weather season, reports Reuters. The category-three cyclone is scheduled to hit Sunday, threatening 80 mile per hour winds, according to The Daily Telegraph. Below is the expected trajectory from the Australian Meteorology Bureau, with Onslow right in its way.

Oh, and about those fires: They are still blazing on.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

  • Rebecca Greenfield is a writer based in Brooklyn. She was formerly on staff at The Atlantic Wire.