Smoke smothers Sydney again, air pollution levels rocket (+Maps, Photo)


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Australia has lighter winds over the fires but that is keeping smoke stuck over Sydney and other large parts of NSW this morning.

Some areas well inland have air pollution levels now "hazardous" while Sydney itself is in the higher range of "unhealthy".

With a large high in the Tasman Sea this is encouraging a northerly flow down Australia's eastern coastline. This is causing smoke and dust clouds to hug Australia's coast. Inland winds are light and variable and may linger without a seabreeze or wind to move it along, which possibly explains the "hazardous" levels there.

This set up also means New Zealand is smoke free for now with clear skies and air pollution levels "good". White Island's eruption, on an air pollution level, was too small to cause any serious problems in the North Island, especially with winds keeping any future possible ash and current gases out at sea again today.

But smoke from Australia may start to affect the skies around the lower or western South Island. The current airflow that sees the northerly slide down Australia's coastline turns towards the southern South Island of New Zealand when it reaches the Tasmania area. However with so much cloud cover many may not notice it.