RED dust covered much of northwestern Victoria and the west of New South Wales yesterday, making its way into the border city of Mildura, Victoria, shortly after noon as gale force westerly winds culminated with a dust storm. A cold front moved rapidly through western and central Victoria on Tuesday morning before weakening in the east in the afternoon.

Weatherzone meteorologist Alex Zadnik said the weather was caused by a cold front moving across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania attached to an intense low pressure system. He said dust storms were not uncommon when a system of this kind hit an area of prolonged drought and moved through the Great Dividing Range, where it loses a lot of moisture. “With that front, there are some strong winds, and it’s the changing pressure combined with the top soil that whips up the dust,” he said The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for numerous districts, including the Mallee, late on Tuesday as damaging winds swept across the state. MORE