Dust shrouded Alexandra Headland beach in an orange glow on September 23.
Dust shrouded Alexandra Headland beach in an orange glow on September 23. Cade Mooney

Dust and storms on their way

THE Bureau of Meteorology says although there is the possibility of dust haze in south-east Queensland either today or tomorrow, it will not be on the same level as last month's dust storm which left New South Wales and Queensland coated in dust.

"There is a dust event out west at the moment, but it is very different to the last event," forecaster Michelle Berry said.

She said while the path of the dust storm is difficult to predict, showers and storms forecast for south-east Queensland on Tuesday afternoon could prevent the dust reaching Brisbane and the coast.

Householders in western Queensland are sweeping, vacuuming and hosing again after the region was hit by its third dust storm in two weeks yesterday.

Quilpie Shire mayor David Edwards said it was the worst dust storm he's seen in 40 years.

"(19)65 was the last time I saw anything like this," he said.

"On the stations they've just finished cleaning all their houses out and we just got another one.

"You can't keep the dust out."

Mr Edwards said visibility was reduced to 200 metres as 50km/h to 60km/h winds blew through.

"I just talked to a property owner who had three troughs with stock hanging around looking for a drink and they're all chock full of sand," he said.

"He had to go and shovel them all out."

Gutters in Quilpie's streets were half full of sand, he said.

Sixteen Queensland shires, representing about a third of the state's total land area, remain in drought.

Mr Edwards said south-west Queensland was so gripped by drought there was no ground cover to hold the soil and winds were whipping up the dust storms.

He predicted more dust storms but was hoping for rain at Christmas.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also warned that there is the possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon.

"We're expecting gusty thunderstorms in the southeast" Ms Berry said.

"It's very, very unstable and it's very windy as well. We may in fact go into (issuing storm) warnings as well."

A strong wind warning is current for waters from Yeppoon to Point Danger, including Hervey Bay and Moreton Bay. N/NW winds of 25/30 knots, reaching 25/33 knots at times offshore are expected south of Double Island Point with seas rising to three metres offshore.

There is also a fire weather warning for the Maranoa, Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt Districts. A severe grassland fire danger is forecast for the Maranoa and Warrego district and a severe fire danger is forecast for the Darlng Downs and Granite Best district.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Rural Operations Branch has advised that any fires will be fast-moving and uncontrollable.

A total fire ban is in place in the local government Areas of Toowoomba, Western Downs, Southern Downs, Paroo, Balonne, Goondiwindi, Maranoa, Murweh,  Palm Island, Banana, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Central Highlands, Woorabinda, Isaac, Mackay, Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Flinders, Richmond and Burdekin.

All fire bans will remain in place until midnight Monday, 19 October.

Queensland Fire and Rescue has urged people to call triple zero and report any fires.

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