Nice Lightning from weak high based storm (Video) - Aust

Mar 19, 2004
Mt Warrigal, NSW, Australia
It has been a rather poor season here in SE Australia south about 30'S. This weak storm on the 18th Februaury ended almost a month storm drought.

The storm had no severe features and very little structure, however provided quite a feast of strobing CG's.

3mb file

Here are some video stills




I know you guys will be getting far better than this stuff in a few weeks.
Very cool Mike. I really like the video and images. I can't wait until I can get out again and chase because the chasing bug has hit me hard.

Very nice pictures, both of you! Maybe someday I'll get the opportunity to chase in Australia. How is the terrain compared to the Plains?
Thanks for comments everyone!

Hi Dick,

Chasing in Australia has been discussed quite a few times here. Luckily both Jimmy and myself have a rather more down to earth and honest appreciation of the differences and challenges, then some of our contempories.

My advice for overseas folks over the last few years has not changed much. We simply do not get even a fraction of the supercells and tornadoes. Think of you worst mid west year and it will have 50 times more tornadoes and supercells.

That is not say we do not get supercells, just not as many and when we do they fail to produce tornadoes, except on rare occasions. Lightning and hail is one aspect we do seem to do well with, again not up with mid west frequency, but worth chasing if that is enough to keep you happy.

The terrain is rather challenging, our better storm frequencies occur on the tablelands and coasts where trees are everywhere. The road network is dreadful by US standards.

On the positive side, in locations like NE NSW you can spend the morning surfing or walking through an ancient rainforest, and chase a HP in the afternoon.
Hi Dick,

Maybe someday I'll get the opportunity to chase in Australia. How is the terrain compared to the Plains?

Yes a lot of chasers from the US have indicated such but I only know of one chaser that has come here. Michael Thomspon is correct in his assessment and I have suggested such in the past. Storms in this country are relatively high based compared to those occurring in the central states. We normally have a problem of drier air intruding during quite a few supercell or severe weather outbreaks.

Of course there is much to see in terms of a tourist destination. The main hurdle in my opinion is the length of the flight - Europe is closer. Coming to Australia based on the currency exchange rate is an advantage.

The terrain provides more of a challenge because we do have to take into account the road network or lac thereof. We do have a Great Dividing Range that stretches along the East Coast though the land quickly drops away to 100m in altitude and flat plains over the interior. Not as vast, open or elevated as the Great Plains. The central part of the country is desert and virtually uninhabited. Perhaps great for those seeking a vast region of emptiness - not good for chasing:)


Jimmy Deguara