Man encounters huge 'wall of dust' raging through Australian outback
One of the scariest events of my childhood happened in Las Vegas. I was leaving the mall with my parents when, halfway across the parking lot, we found ourselves in the middle of a dust storm. Thankfully, my dad had the good sense to tell me to put on my sunglasses to protect my eyes, but it was my first real experience of how scary natural phenomenon can be. And because I didn't put on my glasses straight away, my eyes were pretty red and swollen for the rest of the day.
However, I'm far from the first person to accidentally find themselves in the middle of the storm. While it's an experience that no one would recommend, it's definitely memorable - for all the wrong reasons. So if you've ever wondered what it's like, but not had the misfortune of experiencing the real thing, you're in luck, because one man has filmed a huge "wall of dust".
To see the shocking footage filmed by a driver in rural New South Wales, Australia, check out the video below:
Just like when I was caught in the dust storm as a kid, 65-year-old Barry Turner had been minding his own business as he drove to his property in rural New South Wales. Although he had some inclination that a storm was brewing, he'd have never attempted to make the journey if he'd any inclination that he was going to find himself in the middle of colossal, pitch black dust storm.
"I had to get home, but I didn't think it was going to be quite as bad as what it was," Turner said, recounting the incident. He added, "It got pretty dark so I pulled over to the side of the road and waited for it to pass."
In the video above, Turner can be seen driving towards the monstrous cloud of dust before being plunged into total darkness.
"Not much scares me but I was a little bit nervous," Turner said.
Dust storms themselves are relatively common and occur when dry conditions and strong winds combine.
"We've got very dry topsoil and a lot of loose dust around and there were a lot of thunderstorms that moved across western NSW and with those thunderstorms you can get pretty gusty conditions which have whipped up that loose dust," Weatherzone meteorologist Tom Hough said.
"Obviously it is very welcome rain, but you do get these pretty gusty conditions."
Turner revealed that he and his wife, Annette, 65, have lived in the area for 56 years, and while they have experienced numerous dust storms, this was the second one which Turner would describe as being "extreme".
"They get a little bit darker but they're never as dark as that," Annette said. "It is a bit scary when it goes black. It just makes you feel uncomfortable."
I can't blame her, it looks like a scene from Stephen King's The Mist.
Hough revealed that there's likely to be more dust storms in NSW in the near future. So once Turner has replaced his windscreen after this incident, he'll need to prepare himself for round two.
Thankfully, he seemed relatively unphased by this news and said that it was just a part of "life in the big dust".