A DUSTY, gusty day in the Hunter is unlikely to hit the eerie red heights of the 2009 dust storm, meteorologists advise.
The horizon took on a new hue around mid-morning on Thursday as a dust cloud that has floated in from the state’s west made its mark in the Hunter.
By 11am on Thursday, a grimy haze had arrived over Newcastle harbour following a clear start to the day.
The early hours were a far cry from the 2009 storm that blew through the city, although conditions similar to that red mist had hit other parts of the state this week.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Anita Pyne said the Hunter was unlikely to see a storm on the “apocalyptic scale” of 2009 this week.
“I reckon by the end of the day most of it will have movd off east into the ocean,” Ms Pyne said.
“It’s not shaping up anywhere near that magnitude, it’s more of just a red haze.”
Ms Pyne said the dust was driven by a cold front picking up dust from the state’s parched west and pushing it towards the coast, losing intensity as it travelled.
“That [cold front] just lifted all the dust and it’s been slowly marching eastward in a big line,” she said.
The low air quality and strong gusts are expected to stick around into Friday despite expectations the haze will pass.
Areas around White Cliffs were covered in a blanket of dust during the storm earlier this week, with the White Cliffs Hotel posting a video of the event which has already been viewed more than 75,000 times.
Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service said the strong winds forecast for the region will increase the fire danger ratings across the state.
A total fire ban is in place for the Hunter on Thursday.
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