Sydney could find itself blanketed by a red haze later this week with the possibility of a dust storm sweeping across western NSW reaching the capital.
Forecasters are closely monitoring a system that has already brought dust storms to South Australia and western NSW. Eerie footage recorded at White Cliffs in far western NSW was posted on social media on Tuesday.
High winds could pick up masses of loose dust caused by drought conditions and send it towards more eastern parts of the state.
“If it does happen it could have big impact,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Anita Pyne told AAP.
“Dust storms can affect transport and even stop planes from landing.”
In 2009, Sydney and Brisbane had red skylines caused by dust storms.
Residents on the Gold Coast told the Bulletin at the time that visibility had been reduced to 500 metres with work stopping on construction sites due to health concerns.
However, BOM forecaster Lachlan Stoney said there’s a “zero per cent chance” of southeast Queensland being hit by another dust storm this time.
“That’s based mostly on the dry soil and direction of the wind,” Mr Stoney told Yahoo7.
“There is some potential for it to push into southwest Queensland but that area has had recent rainfall leading to damp soil.”
However, parts of Queensland could be hit by damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall through the central and south-eastern interior.
BOM also issued a strong wind warning for Wednesday and Thursday on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, areas of Melbourne have been battered by rain in the past 24 hours.
Areas around Olympic Park, Essendon and Footscray have received up to 24mm.
Carrum and Frankston North in the southeast received up to 32mm of rainfall.
South Australia is also set to be hit with damaging winds of up to 65km/h along with showers and thunderstorms in areas including Adelaide, Maitland and Port Lincoln.
It follows heavy winds battering parts of the state on Tuesday, with the SES responding to more than 80 calls.