Gales in the deserts

Submitted: Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 18:41
ThreadID: 133276 Views:3664 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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I'm planning travels in the deserts west of Alice via Gary Junction Road, Sandy Blight Junction Track, Great Central Road, Connie Sue Highway and Anne Beadell Highway in September, possibly into October.

Len Beadell in his book "Too long in the bush" says .."by far the most disturbing period of the year follows the winter, with a succession of gales,making camping out in the open most disconcerting.".. and .." these experiences all happened at around the same time of year, so we look forward to having September behind us,..."

Anyone care to comment about their experiences with wind (of the meteorological variety!) and effects on camping in these areas in Sept and October?
cheers Andy
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Reply By: Danny 1 - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 19:48

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 19:48
I'm sure your camping gear will be better than poor Ol Len will be fine..
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 20:05

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 20:05
Andy - Yes, the wind can be very strong in the Spring in Outback and inland rural areas, particularly where you encounter a lot of flat country.

However, from my experience of camping in many remote areas, the greatest damage comes from violent thunderstorms, and surprisingly, - small, but violent willy-willys.

I've had a substantial caravan awning totally destroyed by a small willy-willy on a moderately hot day.

My father told me how he found a windmill frame nearly twisted into wire rope by an extremely violent willy-willy.

Pegging your camper, caravan awning or tent down securely will alleviate most strong, persistent wind problems - and if you can find a patch of vegetation - even thick scrubby broombush or mulga, the vegetation will do a lot to break the wind strength.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 603717

Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 21:42

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 21:42
Same happened to me, Ron.

Perfectly calm sunny day, I spotted it about 50 m away. By the time I pointed it out to my wife and we closed the van door to keep the dust out, our awning was gone. All within about 20 seconds after spotting it. As we related the story to others in the camp, they looked at us as if we'd invented it as there'd been no wind to speak of. We'd seen them many a time on the roadside as we travelled but this was our first real experience.
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Reply By: gbc - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 21:51

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 21:51
We were in central oz in sept 2006 for the spawning of the dust storms which came to the east coast that year. I can sympathise with LB. the wind doesn't ease at night like an afternoon northerly, it just cranks all night as well. We were well and truly over it after a week. Around poppel corner was nearly a white out from the dust off the salt pans.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 22:25

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 22:25
We met a very strong headwind when travelling west on the Great Central Road so stopped as soon as we could find somewhere to get well off the road. Conditions were calm by morning. It was September, and that was the only bad day.

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Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 12:14

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 12:14
September 2005 travelling south of Birdsville on the track looking for the Walkers Crossing junction a dust storm started up and got so bad that our party of 4 vehicles wondered around for hour and a half (no GPS then and no signage of the track just used the 'dead reckoning' method. Visibility down to about 10 meters it was a shocker. Finally found it and headed to innaminka arrived in the afternoon and went to the pub for a couple of hours hoping the storm would cease. Well it didnt and we drove out to the Cullumurrawaterhole put up the tents with great difficulty and waited till it stopped. About 1.30am it stopped all was quiet then the lightening started then the rain came. Let me tell you it was hot and very very dusty in the tent. Finally opened the tent and laid there exhausted after a crappy day and even worse night. The morning was fine and sunny as if nothing untoward had happened.
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Reply By: Member - Andy M (QLD) - Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 17:04

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 17:04
Thanks all for your thoughts. Maybe windy maybe not! Hopefully there won't be any of those huge duststorms after the rains. The joys of Australia - can't wait to see what comes up. Safe travels.
AnswerID: 603747

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