Australian Supercell outbreak

Hi all,

Eastern Australia has had a severe weather outbreak with supercells. Conditions were conducive to supercell development eith tornadoes though nothing has been reported thus far.

The following photographs are from September, then the 24th October 2004 supercell Gulgong to Musewellbrook, then mostly recent supercells and wall clouds from the 7th and 8th December:

Click for Australian Severe Weather latest photographs page

My favourites

24th October 2004 Gulgong to Muswellbrook supercell View attachment 17cb8a818c2f08aaac5b52b3dc993804.jpg View attachment 12df9b740bd6be94391a999b83f80648.jpg View attachment 2f0670cdd9e43aaeac1a348e27df0519.jpg

7th December 2004 Supercell near Nyngan

View attachment b20be7d9c9f79575b71500ebc39bc2d5.jpg View attachment 81e9c244486503e75524fd933c6fe582.jpg

8th December 2004 Supercell 40km SW of Walgett View attachment 0965df2c44b7bbdb9887bf37fb1d1432.jpg View attachment 3ac489d408ffc353f7015ff3276299ee.jpg

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
I got a radar capture of a storm that went right over my house this afternoon, about 1500 LDT:
89a09aba97f76be2ed88f4499a9ec309.gif
Dang it if that's not a supercell, because it sure looks like one to me (albeit without a particularly clear hook echo). At the very least, it had a very pronounced updraft base which passed directly abouve us, although no wall cloud was obvious. My location is just to the SW of the cross marked "Bankstown."
 
Thomas,

I chased this afternoon's event you are mentioning but did not get as good a view from the front. There was certainly a possible hook at one stage based on visual structure. The storm weakened after that. David Croan got a better look from Padstow of the visual vault region of this supercell!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
Great looking storms...a lot better than we are having over here currently. I have a question: If a person wanted to take a vacation to Australia and do some chasing while there, how realistic would that be? We have discussed visiting there (just to visit, not specifically for chasing), and if the opportunity occured, we would love to actually do a chase or two while there.
 
Hi Chris,

Storm chasing here as you can see above is fine. Things to consider:

- we drive on the wrong side of the road and right hand drive:) We drive in the US so you can definitely do it here but be careful!!! Some people simply do not make that adjustment easily.
- don't come here expecting tornadoes as they are rare events and I think hard to predict. The case posted here in this thread was a one in 5 year event where tornadoes could be expected even though a few tornadoes are observed each year
- the road network is nowhere near the aligned network of the US
- we have many trees covering our view so chasing is not always easy

The good thing about chasing in Australia is that you will see different and also some similar behaviour. The differences though are that our supercell storms are chased from the northern side and thence you chase the left movers not so much the right movers. The targets of where to chase are sometimes easy to pick and still you may find yourself out fo position and the road network can make or break a chase based on this decision. For picturesque settings and clarity, Australia has less population and I guess less pollution haze overall.

I hope this explains things. Please do contact us if you do decide to come out this way - http://www.australiasevereweather.com/

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
Well, the skies haven't finished yet — this afternoon, I had three severe thunderstorms (two with hail) pass over my house in the space of about one and a half hours! After committing cardinal sin on Sunday and not getting any photos of that storm, I wished not to miss that opportunity today, and took about 15 shots of three storms visible from home at once. (Trust me, this was some afternoon!) Going by the Bureau of Meteorolgy radar, none of the storms looked to be specifically supercellular — possibly multicells, though. The hail was real Twister stuff here, most translucent and melting before I could collect any, but stones up to golfball size fell on suburbs to the east, forcing the closure of Sydney's international airport, which was right in the thick of it. I have to admit I was rather freaked out in the transition between storm 1 and 2; what I could see was that the rain had turned to hail, abruptly stopped, and then the winds started blowing violently as all manner of low-hanging scud darted around. As far as I knew, I was under the updraft base . . . which would mean . . .

Nonetheless, the brief transitions between storms meant that I had the most beautiful view of the updraft towers and anvils of each storm, bathed in still-radiant afternoon sunlight.
 
Hi all,

I did intecept the storm and it was an awesome supercell. This supercell was also well structured which is what intrigues me - something we are not so used to here in Australia.

Some brief stills of the event - the footage came quite nice considering I was moving at the time..

[Broken External Image]:http://www.australiasevereweather.com/temp/20041213/clip0000.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.australiasevereweather.com/temp/20041213/clip0013.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.australiasevereweather.com/temp/20041213/clip0022.jpg

As the pics show above, what an awesome explosive storm! I paralleled the storm along the freeway and got video of the updraft, wall cloud, lightning, and then also went after the other storm nearer the airport. Some nice cg action there as well. Hail a bonus.

David Croan got timelapse of the event as well and easily shows rotation.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
Those are some fantastic pictures Jimmy!! Wish we had storms like that in my area right now, but alas, its December and we can't even get a decent snow fall right now let alone some storms. Feel free to checkout my website at Http://www.supercellstalker.com
my site is still in the developing stage but does have 3 awsome video clips, pictures, links, etc. Good luck on catching more spectacular storms down there!!
 
I have long been fascinated by Australian weather and in particular Australian storms. Unless I'm mistaken they are way far behind the US in tornadoes but one of the major contenders for second place. I recently stumbled across an interesting site with good pictures http://www.bsch.au.com (don't know if any of you are from there).

I was wondering, where do your outbreaks typically occur on the continent and if anything like the geography plays different than the US.
 
A couple of more pictures from the supercell outbreak in Australia.


8th December 2004, Nyngan, NSW
9241dae6a9bdf2a1619dc16a9c2d425d.jpg


About to be occluded....
e770914f19a6d31531c7fc3b5c79e202.jpg

Now just a big outflow monster
18ef4334d0ab1b7e0d9f5535aa817bb8.jpg


Last night we had a small but intense storm, as it passed to sea it threw several CA and CC bolts well clear of the anvil.
42855a0163d9d04d80ec8b06e015d913.jpg


As for chasing in Australia - I have been chasing for near 30 years and I have yet to see a ' real ' tornado - have seen funnels and some damage paths, but not the real thing.

A few years ago I came to terms with the fact that we just don't come anywhere near the mid west US - others ( not Jimmy ) will tell you that sightings are under reported due to small population, that our road network is dreadful, etc, etc. whilst these things are considerations, the cold hard truth is that Australian tornadoes are very rare - I even think 2nd after the US is probably too kind.

Before this oubreak we had 3 weeks of a massive anticyclone, no significant storms occurred in most of SE Australia.

If you want to chase Australia I would make it secondary to a great holiday. World heritage Rainforests, beaches, Gold Coast, Sydney - all can be visited and still keep you within 12 hours max for any severe storm outbreaks, but usually much less.

However ! be prepared to chase different countryside. The last outbreak occurred over the plains, more commonly is the NE NSW, SE QLD supercell, you can get miles of forests and hills between views.

One advantage however - you will most likely be the only chaser, even on the last outbreak I had only fleeting chaser convergence.
 
Hi,

Michael has hit the nail on the head! I now very much doubt we have as many tornadoes as first thought particularly after I went to the US in 2001. A scientific paper was written during the late 1960s upon which the conclusion for tornado occurrence was based on area and population density and that many tornadoes go unreported. Since then we have discovered microbursts which leads me to believe that some of the events on the storm database reported as tornadoes were most likely microbursts. Of course there are tornadoes but actual tornadoes reported each year amount to low single figures. A few of the tornadoes are waterspouts coming ashore and thence by definition are tornadoes. Here are some fo the more recent significant tornado events:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/tornado.htm

To look at storm events, go to:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/

Admittadely we do tend to get the cold weather much weaker tornadoes but in terms of tornadoes spawned by mesocyclones, they are rare. Australia is simply too dry a country so bases tend to be higher, we lack the inflow so storms become outflow dominant too quickly, and these setups producing supercells are not common. In fact I think this latest outbreak with pictures included above was likely a 1 in 5 year event...

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
Jimmy, where did you take that video of Monday's storm from? (It's very impressive, too!)
 
Thomas,

That video was taken on the M4 freeway and then Parramatta Road. Yes it was quite an impressive clean storm. Classic supercell.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
In among the "cleanup after yesterday's wild storms" stories on the TV news, there was an interesting side note that I haven't been able to chase up in more detail; there were also severe storms on Monday afternoon on Queensland's Gold Coast (on the SE part of their coastline), which, going by what was shown, had sufficient force to fling yachts around from their moorings several hundred yards. The mooring cable on one — deisgned to support a 3-ton weight — was snapped, which might not necessarily mean anything . . . but the anemometer on another's mast measured winds of 115 knots, or 133 mph (212 km/h). I'm thinking that this could have been tornadic, as supercells that fulfil their entire potential and spawn one or more tornadoes are more common in Queensland (and that SE part in particular) than New South Wales. I'll be interested to see how that turns out.

And I just had to post this, from today's Sydney Morning Herald: 350681b4b388071dfc6e4d11c53bf1a7.jpg This is the M5 Tunnel, which leads to Sydney's international airport, after the storm. It is different from the usual traffic problems in there, at least.
 
This was indeed a very special and amazing outbreak for us over in Australia. As Jimmy and Michael have touched on already we just seem to lack the low level Jets that you guys get so often in the outbreaks across the plains.

December 6, 7 and 8 were indeed great chase days across inland NSW with some very nice Supercells with wallclouds nearly dragging across the ground. However it was the 13th of December that produced something extremely special that I will never forget. An Australian LP Supercell !!



[Broken External Image]:http://sydneystormchasers.com/temp/13dectemp1.jpg


A Full report with a ton of pictures from this day can be found at
http://www.sydneystormchasers.com/2004/dec13.htm

There is also video of the Supercell available via http://www.sydneystormchasers.com/temp/rotation1.wma . The footage has only been increased by 50% normal speed to make the file a little smaller. The rotation in this cell was amazing to watch , just a pity we didnt have that low level Jet to top things off !

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

James
 
That is an awesome video... the rotation and other changes in that storm are really impressive. The pictures on the previous page are nice too -- especially the lightning shot with the shoreline in the foreground and the stars in the background.

Does anyone else have trouble getting their brain to process these pictures of storms from the southern hemisphere? I actually had to copy a couple of them to graphics programs and flip them horizontally before they made complete sense to me :lol: . Do any of you Australian chasers ever come to the US to chase? If so, is it difficult to adjust to different orientations of the storms, or are you used to it from all the great plains tornado video that exists? Maybe its not as different in reality as it seems to me in a still photo.

Blake Allen
 
Does anyone else have trouble getting their brain to process these pictures of storms from the southern hemisphere?

Yes, it is greatly confusing, like trying to read mirrored text. Its also far worse than driving on the other side of the road. Somebody has a website where they have an aussie supercell and a mirrored image of it right next to it. (was that posted here?) It makes sense after you see the mirrored image but I still cant make heads or tails of the original. I'd need to have the picture labels with cardinal directions and storm movement vectors. That LP is beautiful, by the way. The lack of haze and visibility down there is amazing.
 
Originally posted by Blake Allen
Do any of you Australian chasers ever come to the US to chase? If so, is it difficult to adjust to different orientations of the storms, or are you used to it from all the great plains tornado video that exists? Maybe its not as different in reality as it seems to me in a still photo.

Blake Allen

I beleive there are a few chasers in Australia who do head over. I had my first USA chase this year in May for a few weeks. No matter how many weeks preparation you do, the northern hemisphere dynamics still gives you a shock when you first arrive. After the first day or two the mindset normally kicks in and things become easier to view, although there were times out in Kansas where I had to stop and think about the dynamics and literally use my hands to get it right when in the heat of the chase !
 
Hi,

Yes James is correct there are a few chasers from Australia who venture to the US. David Croan and I have chased the US over the past 4 years. Check the website for some of our chase reports:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/stor...s/200105-03.htm

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/stor...s/200105-04.htm

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/stor...s/200105-05.htm

This year David summarised the events particularly this year on the other website:

http://www.thunderbolttours.com/

Anyway, back to the original question: when we went over in 2001, David and I read storm track articles and practiced the visualisation of how shear environments and chasing would be different than the US. But in the end, I just tried to visualise the dynamics required for storms to develop and the direction they would move. Of course the nerve racking experience did not stop there. Try driving on the incorrect side of the road and also having to contend with tornadoes in the US - something not used to over here down under. I think considering these factors, David and I do adjust quite well:) It almost seems like second nature.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
 
Originally posted by James Harris
This was indeed a very special and amazing outbreak for us over in Australia. As Jimmy and Michael have touched on already we just seem to lack the low level Jets that you guys get so often in the outbreaks across the plains.

December 6, 7 and 8 were indeed great chase days across inland NSW with some very nice Supercells with wallclouds nearly dragging across the ground. However it was the 13th of December that produced something extremely special that I will never forget. An Australian LP Supercell !!



[Broken External Image]:http://sydneystormchasers.com/temp/13dectemp1.jpg


A Full report with a ton of pictures from this day can be found at
http://www.sydneystormchasers.com/2004/dec13.htm

There is also video of the Supercell available via http://www.sydneystormchasers.com/temp/rotation1.wma . The footage has only been increased by 50% normal speed to make the file a little smaller. The rotation in this cell was amazing to watch , just a pity we didnt have that low level Jet to top things off !

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

James

Cool mothership James! The rotation is very impressive...It look likes a great sheared condition, looking the powerful positive buoancy of the rotating updraft and striatures.
 
Hi Melissa,

Victoria is an interesting state, meteoroligacaly speaking, as it has a huge variety of weather. Im sure there are a few Vics on this forum that will be able to answer your question even better but in the mean time you can check out the folloing web page which has hundreds of images from across Victoria and specifically Melbourne itself that may give you an idea of what it is like.

http://www.stormchasers.au.com/

From my time in Melbourne they often get "Coldies" during the winter months of May through to September which accompanies a very cold SW airstream. During the Spring and Summer months there are some good storms that develop down there. Those living in the states above Victoria (New South Wales & Quenslanders) tend to have a long running joke about Victorian weather.

One quote from Victorian Chasers sums it up ...... Victoria - Constant drizzle and the occasional tornado.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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