Latest Australian supercell pictures

Feb 27, 2004
Hi all,

The following photographs are from February of awesome LP supercell structure and then the

following day a mean HP supercell

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1st February 2005 LP supercell western Sydney

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2nd February 2005 HP Supercell western Sydney

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Jimmy Deguara
Jimmy, your pics of the Australian HP supe are magnificent! Which part of Australia were these taken in.....i.e. north, south, etc. etc. ?
And I've always heard that down under there are some nasty tornadic storms, and I've logged into some of the websites from chasers there off and on.
Three questions for you if you please:
How many tornadoes would you estimate occur in Australia annually?
Which area of Australia would you estimate that the majority of tornadic events occur?
Is there an area of Australia that is virtually uninhabited with poor road networks that might actually be a prolific tornado producing area?
For the last couple of decades I've actually fantasized about chasing Australia...and I've always had the aforementioned questions in my mind. I'm glad I've gotten the chance to pose them to someone who might know.
Thanks very much....Joel Ewing / Tucson, Az. annual "alley chase" this year runs from 5-25 / 6-14.
Awesome images Jimmy,

I am planning on coming down to Auz. Mid October to help out with a surfing contest. What is the weather like in NSW That time of year?

Hope all is well.

Did that LP produce any hail or Tors?

Hi Joel,

I will let Jimmy reply to your questions - he will give you straight forward and perhaps sobering honest answers.

Brian - it will depend on where in NSW the surfing contest is - the further north the better. I assume it will be in Sydney ? in which case you may need to have access to a car and be prepared to put down some serious miles.

Surfwise I know something about - although I do not get as much in the water these days, I did surf practically everyday from 18 to 35 years old. October is a hard month to predict for surf. Your main source of swell will be SE winds that occur as a new high passes from the southern ocean into the Tasman Sea. Once is does the winds swing NE. This cleans up the surf for places with a SE exposure. However there are three other factors that introduce two better and one worse condition - often the new high is proceeded by a latitudinal trough and winds swing NW/W for 12-24 hours - this is offshore - rarely is the surf large when this occurs, but it turns NE wind slop into workable fun tubes for a brief few hours. ( It also kills storms dead and fast ). The other is closed lows in the southern Tasman, these will be responsible for any swell over 6ft in October. If you do get a swell from a closed low it will be very organised ( unless the low is close ) and powerful, but may tend to closeout if the beach has no banks. Lastly October is still at risk of prolonged west wind periods, these occurr with highs that ridge further north then say 30'S. If this occurs you may get some small clean waves for a few hours before 2-3 days of lake like conditions. Water temperatures are in Sydney on average 2-5F degrees warmer than southern California for same season, in October they will only just be recovering from winter - 63-67F - so take a good wetsuit.

Glad you all enjoyed the pics. Sorry some where out of focus slightly but I had somehow mucked up the settings and not noticed. Both the HP supercell and LP supercell occurred in the western part of Sydney (population 4 million) which is on the east coast of Australia in the state of NSW.

How many tornadoes would you estimate occur in Australia annually?
Which area of Australia would you estimate that the majority of tornadic events occur?
Is there an area of Australia that is virtually uninhabited with poor road networks that might actually be a prolific tornado producing area?

In my opinion, eastern Australia around New South Wales northern Victoria and SE Queensland gets the most supercells and thence warm season tornadoes though there really is no pattern or season for tornadoes. We do not have a climatalogical setup that leads to favourable tornadic conditions. They are simply accidental though do occur with cut off low pressure conditions or short waves.

We don't really know how many tornadoes including cold season tornadoes would occur on average but what is reported is not that spectacular in number. Certainly even if we did know we are nowhere even remotely close to tornado accounted for in the US. Some chasers may want to use the 'excuse' of population density to cling onto some hope but it seems when the conditions do occur, somebody (farmer, motorist etc) reports something. Conditions in the most arid parts of the country is rarely ideal for tornadoes due to the drier air hotter air and thence dew point to temperature differences tha occur there make them rather high based. Towards the cost, most supercells where moisture conditions occur tend to be HP in nature and outflow dominant. We almost always lack in strong inflow. This season has been better from that perspective and I believe it has not been as good a this for many years!

The LP supercell did drop hailstones perhaps larger than 2" hail unconfirmed reports. No tornado though:) The updraft was rather powerful. The time lapse of this storm I recorded is quite spectacular. The timelapse of the HP supercell also shows good rotation and low level interaction.


Jimmy Deguara
Jimmy, thanks very much for the lengthy and thoughtful reply. I really have had those questions I posed for you in my mind for many years. I would LOVE to see Australia. I'll get there someday!
Joel Ewing

If you are ever in this part of the world, do contact me and we will meet with other Australian storm chasers. I am glad the response helped.


Jimmy Deguara
You sound like a stand-up guy, Jimmy. That would be cool as it gets. And btw....I just ordered and watched Greg Stumpf's latest chase DVD with a lot of your footage on it, and it ROCKS! Well done!
Are you gonna make it back to the states this season as well?
Hi Joel,

I will be heading back durng May and early June. Can't miss the Tornado Alley and its season for the world. It's a part of the challenge to intercept tornadoes and the spectacular supercells that can develop on the plains are simply awesome!

Yes that DVD lead to a great fund-raiser for a good cause thanks to the team that brought it all together!


Jimmy Deguara