NASA's Aqua satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging
Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken on October 17 shows
bushfires in Australia. Photo from Reuters
Smoke from the New South Wales bushfires is expected to
drift over New Zealand in the next few days, the National
Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says.
The devastating bushfires, located mainly across the Blue
Mountains near Sydney, have been burning for eight days. More
than 200 homes have been destroyed so far.
Niwa atmosphere scientist Tony Bromley said wind patterns in
the Tasman would bring some of the smoke over New Zealand.
"Some will be washed out of the atmosphere by rain, but the
sheer size of the smoke plumes will ensure a lot will make it
to New Zealand and beyond," he said.
Evidence of the smoke would most likely be visible in
Auckland and the top of the North Island from tomorrow
evening. It should remain visible until about Saturday night,
Mr Bromley said.
Central New Zealand would see smoke from the bushfires from
about midday on Saturday. It would remain for a period of 26
- 48 hours.
"The South Island is unlikely to see smoke until early next
Tuesday," he said.
Mr Bromley said the forecast for smoke over New Zealand was
based on forecast weather patterns.
"The predicted winds across the Tasman over the next few days
are forecast to be strong, and it may take the smoke as
little as 15-18 hours at times to cross from New South
The smoke could make sunsets and sunrises more intense,
depending on cloud cover. The smoke plume should remain
clearly visible during the day, he said.
- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ