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Tornadoes and Supercells Storm Chase 2016

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Lightning and sculptured supercell

After 3 years, another opportunity for storm chasing 2016. The following Youtube videos and extensive selection of the most important images from this year's two week chases are included. This includes timelapse videos of rotating storms and spectacular lightning - some of my best lightning shots!




Perryton Tornado becomes a wedge tornado quickly from a cone tornado.

Perryton Tornado becomes a wedge tornado quickly from a cone tornado.

Funnel cloud possible tornado inside the inflow notch of now HP supercell

Funnel cloud possible tornado inside the inflow notch of now HP supercell

Simultaneous tornado near Perryton tornado

Simultaneous tornado near Perryton tornado

With a period of significant high CAPE and south west flow predicted, it set the scene for chaseable supercells and tornadoes. The following are a gallery of the storms and tornadoes from the 2016 storm chasing in Tornado Alley - namely, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. This was the first storm chase. After a frustrating storm chase with merging supercells, increased moisture and an outflow boundary, the Perryton, Texas storm finally comes tornado warned. Turn onto the road west and there it was! Cone tornado. Too dark for immediate shots and I finally was able to get footage and shots on tripod. It wedges out and then surprise another circulation produces a separate simultaneous tornado. After examining the inflow notch a couple of times a third funnel cloud and possible tornado occurs.

Sunset and sculptured supercell

Sunset and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

The next day, after a brief supercell near Clarendon, Texas, I ventured further south for tail end charlie. Unfortunately, there were several supercells spawning near Plainview. I simply decided to wait. Radar then suggested nice structure it seemed to my east. But where was this storm - there were so many storms. Finally I realised it was the on producing lightning just to my east. This became the Turkey supercell! It produced a likely wall cloud but the updraft and the storm structure improved to a beautiful sculptured LP supercell! Sunset illuminating the updraft and vault clearly defined! With lightning threatening to singe the earth, I took note that the base had begun to show a bowl lowering. The storm eventually became tornado warned after dark and produced a cone shaped tornado and wedge tornado soon after (chasers suggesting the same damage path).

Dodge City tornado

Dodge City tornado

Violent Dodge City tornado

Violent Dodge City tornado

The Dodge City tornadic event stunned me: despite the favourable tornadic conditions for strong to violent tornadoes, I did not anticipate such a prolific event. But when two mesocyclones developed side by side I thought a cyclic event was in order. 20160524jd088 20160524jd090The way the first tornado roped out and reformed just as quick and became strong to violent is something I had not witnessed prior. Multiple tornadoes at once was simply insane. A flood of tornadoes - one set 3 at a time and another 3 twins! Intense vorticies formed under the front mesocyclone dancing around each other.20160524jd098 20160524jd101

 

 

 

Travelling through Dodge City with sirens blazing and tornado on the west side of town made for some intense chasing - street by street! Finally out the other side and again another tornado spins to the earth and takes out a house (unfortunately a negative part of the event). The power flash followed by debris spinning around the vortex certainly demonstrated the power of what seemed such a small tornado.20160524jd108 20160524jd110

 

 

Finally one more tornado seemed to developed further north and the storm had run its course! Some counts suggest based on the true definition of tornadoes that 8 to 10 tornadoes had been spawned from this event!

Incredible supercell structure

Incredible supercell structure

Incredible supercell structure and developing tornado

Incredible supercell structure and developing tornado

Incredible supercell structure and tornado

Incredible supercell structure and tornado

Strong tornado west of Dodge City

Strong tornado west of Dodge City

20160524jd188

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

Hurricane Gaston forms outside the tropics 27 August 2016

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SatelliteGaston

GASTON

InfraredGaston

SatelliteGaston

There have been a number of hurricanes this season within the Atlantic Ocean but as usual, they have mainly affected oceanic regions within the tropics or regions adjacent to the tropics. So far this season and notwithstanding recent flooding events across Louisiana and southern United States, the United States has not been affected by such storms to any degree.

A tropical storm at latitude 30 degrees north and longitude 54.6 degrees east within the mid Atlantic Ocean has transitioned into a small hurricane. This is unusual as the development has taken place well north of the Tropic of Cancer. What makes this storm even more unusual is its suggested forecast model for the next two days. The CIMSS forecast model suggests that the storm will remain at hurricane strength even at latitude 35 degrees north.

The storm is expected to reach peak intensity within 2 days with forecast winds to reach 90 knots at the centre (Approximately 167 km/h) as a Category two system on the Saffir Simpson Scale. The storm is well supported by sea surface temperatures of 29C to 30c even this far north. Given the right environment, the storm is capable of being sustained. Waters of 28C are reaching as far north as 37 degrees north of the equator within the region.

This is only a small hurricane but there is clear convection occurring at or near to the core although an eye cannot be seen. The storm is expected to track north west then be steered more to the north east as a weakening hurricane as it approaches 37 degrees north.

The satellite photo of the storm from NASA Worldview shows the storm clearly with convection visible. The storm is expected to remain over open ocean during its life span as a hurricane and thus not affect a population centre.

CREDITS

CIMSS Forecast model of the storm acquired 27/8/2016.
NASA Worldview of the storm with overlays acquired 27/8/2016.

Two rain events Eastern Australia 22 to 25 August 2016

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Cloudmass

NEnswrainfallWed

Sydneyrainto9am

Cloudmass

As per the forecast models, two rain events unfolded across eastern and south eastern Australia during the period. The first event had its greatest impact upon the North East inland of New South Wales around the Tamworth and Narrabri regions.

In this regard, healthy rainfall of 26 to 35 mm fell across the agricultural region. The highest totals to 9 am 23/8/2016 were at:-

Narrabri - 39 mm.
Caroda and Palaroo - 37 mm.
Mulla Crossing (Near Tamworth) - 35 mm.

The second event of Wednesday was much stronger which included the development of a short lived east coast low. Much of coastal New South Wales was wet and moderate to even heavy falls occurred. For the 24 hours to 9 am 24/8/2016, the heaviest falls fell across the Richmond / Tweed region of the state where falls of 50 mm to 99 mm were common. The heaviest falls included:-

Palen Creek Alert - 108 mm.
Loadstone - 103 mm.
Dairy Flat - 90.
Mullumbimby - 78 mm.
Terania - 77 mm.

During Wednesday, substantial falls fell around the Sydney and Illawarra region although the coastal areas had the heavier falls than the inland regions. The heaviest falls fell around the central suburbs near Strathfield and Homebush Bay where 60 mm fell. The heaviest falls to 9 am 25/8/2016 included:-

Sydney Olympic Park - 62 mm.
Campsie - 60 mm.

A large region around Sydney Harbour had 50 to 60 mm and much of Sydney's west had 30 to 50 mm. Interestingly only 13 mm fell at Mona Vale being the lowest figure for the city.

Some flooding impacts occurred and there was one flood rescue in Scholfields (NW Sydney) and it appears a man was swept into Leycester Creek near Kyogle and not seen again during the event.

The satellite photo of eastern Australia for Wednesday (Himawarri) is showing an extensive cloud mass affecting mostly New South Wales and into southern Queensland. Very little affected Victoria. The cloud moved offshore rapidly which lead to rapid clearance of the system overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

CREDITS

Bureau of Meteorology for rainfall figures and satellite photo.

Rain events South East Australia August 22 to 25 2016

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Inlandcloud

NSWRainevent

Eastcoastlow

Inlandcloud

Weather models are presently suggesting a rain event to unfurl across a large portion of south east Australia over coming days.

When analysed, it appears that this will occur in two bursts with the first one passing across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland during Monday / Tuesday with the second one passing through New South Wales, Queensland and north east Victoria during Wednesday.

The second event appears to be more substantial in which an inland low will develop across Queensland and New South Wales then cross the coast near Sydney before tracking south east then moving away as an east coast low.

Combined, the two events are expected to deliver healthy rainfalls across North East New South Wales where 30 to 120 mm could potentially fall.

The development of an east coast low south of Sydney appears interesting as there is potential for falls upwards of 120 mm within an area from Wollongong to Ulludulla on the New South Wales south coast and Illawarra region.

Models are likely to vary again as the system develops but it is one system to watch with interest.

The attached satellite photo (Himawarri) and dated 21 August 2016 is showing the development of the cloud mass that forms the weather system to pass through south east Australia in coming days. A feature of this is that there were thunderstorm activity across the Alice Springs region Sunday morning. The cloud mass seen will build further as it tracks further east and influence the weather in coming days.

CREDITS

Bureau of Meteorology for satellite image and synoptic chart for 24 August 2016.
Weatherzone - Rainfall model for week 22 to 28 August 2016.

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