Most people love a good weather story. And they love a weather update.
What's the weather doing? Is it going to rain? Do I need to bring the clothes in? Will I need a jacket?
Weather enthusiasts are everywhere.
It wasn't as bad as the infamous red dust storm of 2009 in which air quality was reportedly 35 times worse than during a bushfire. But the conditions weren't pleasant, particularly for people with respiratory illnesses like asthma and heart conditions.
As the haze engulfed the Hunter and other areas of the state, weather experts attributed the dust to the drought and strong winds.
They also noted that the protracted dry weather has contributed to a series of dust storms over the past year.
The Bureau of Meteorology said on Twitter that the dust storm "didn't just come out of nowhere".
"It travelled for hours rolling across the outback before hitting the east," it said.
The dust cloud stretched for 2300 kilometres across south-west Queensland, NSW and the Tasman Sea. As well as the Hunter, the blanket of dust covered Sydney, Canberra and the Illawarra.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage issued an air quality alert for the Lower Hunter at 7.30am on Wednesday, saying PM10 levels had exceeded national air quality standards.
PM10 refers to particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less. The environment office says these particles are small enough to pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs.
"Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects," it says.
Academic studies have linked exposure to these kind of particles with increased hospital admissions and death from heart or lung diseases. It has also been found that health effects can occur from short and long-term exposure to this pollution.
Starkly, the research shows there is no safe level of exposure to air pollution.
Hunter residents will, no doubt, take note of this sober fact, given its history of air pollution from coal mines, power stations and other industries, let alone dust storms.