Thunder Downunder 2005 - Eight Days and near 5000 miles.

A nice eight day chase tour this year in Australia. Took us from the wheat fields of central New South Wales at 34'S to the Sugar Cane Fields of tropical Queensland at 21'S.

We scored some supercells ( for a change ) and large 5-8cm ( 2-3in ) hail at 21'S in the tropics! No tornadoes, but then again this is Australia. Any storm is worth chasing to me.

The several pages of reports a lots of pictures can are located from

Some samples:
Supercell near West Wyalong on Day 1



An LP looking storm in the tropics at 21'S Mackay, Queensland, forms on a trough dryline. 9-10C (50F ) DP's jump to 22-24C ( 72-74F ) dewpoints in a few miles. The anvil from this storm stretched a couple of hundred miles into the Coral Sea ( sat pic on chase page ). The storm was amazing in its height, at tke rear of the storm what would be respectable congestus towers in my area were simply dwarfed, Hail streaks could seen falling from anvil.


One of the many storms we could not reach due to no road options.


Michael Thompson
Wow. Wonderful pictures. I enjoyed looking through all of them. The cloud to air lightning photo at night was especially neat. Nice job.
Thanks Howie,

What I noticed about the tropics in regard to lightning was the number of bolts that would land say in a paddock many miles from the storm. On almost every day we saw two to three bolts from even small cells come out the back of the storm at anvil height and strike a dry paddock well behind the rear of the storm.

In my area ( 34'S ) you would hardly ever see that.

Perhaps it may have been the type of system we were chasing and this behaviour was unusual even for there.
Great images, Michael! Congrats on them! Really a good looking s-cell! Its good to see non USA supercells, calms me down a bit, hehe.

Good luck with next catches! :wink:
Great imagery---thnaks for posting it.

And sign me up for a chase tour! I've been wanting to visit your country ever since serving in Viet Nam with RAAF intelligence officers and enjoying gatherings at the Australian Embassy in Saigon (complete with excellent steaks and those big cans of Resch's* Pilsener).

Dave Gallaher
Huntsville, AL

*Hope I remembered the correct spelling...