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Tornadoes and Supercells Storm Chase 2016

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Lightning and sculptured supercell

Storm Chase 2016 Tornado Alley

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!

Storm Videos from the various chases





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

Day 2 Turkey Supercell

Day 2 and after a brief supercell near Clarendon, Texas. Perhaps a little risky but I ventured further south for tail end charlie. Unfortunately, there were several supercells spawning near Plainview. The waiting game began. Radar then suggested nice structure it seemed to my east. But where was this storm - there were so many storms. 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. This storm eventually became tornado warned after dark and produced a cone shaped tornado and wedge tornado soon after (chasers suggesting the same damage path).

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Day 3 Dodge City Supercell and Tornadoes

Wall cloud and Tornadoes as the Storm Intensified

Wall cloud and Tornadoes as the Storm Intensified

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 The 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! Out of 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 as the storm moves north

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

Significant weather event Southern Australia 28 to 30 September 2016

Published by:

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adelaiderain

sarainfall1week

murraydarlingrain

tasmaniarain

nswrivers28sep

seaustraliaweather

During the period 28 to 30 September 2016, a significant weather event unfolded across southern Australia that resulted in numerous weather phenomena occurring including thunderstorms, hail events, possible tornadoes, heavy rain, wind and flooding.

South Australia was by far the worst hit state with thunderstorms causing significant and widespread power outages across most of the state. It appears that two tornadoes may have occurred although the location has not been identified.

Up to 22 electricity towers and three high voltage power lines were brought down and an inter connector to the Victoria power grid was shut down. A multiple loss of 275,000 volt power lines during significant storm activity is the cause of the widespread state wide power outages. Power was restored to most of the state Thursday morning.

A significant thunderstorm passed over the town of Clare north of Adelaide that dropped 34.6 mm of rain with most of that falling between 3.45 pm and 4.30 pm on the afternoon of the 28 September. The storm dropped 18.6 mm of rain between 3.47 pm and 4 pm which is more than 1 mm per minute.

Storm damage occurred at Melrose in the Flinders Ranges, Blyth and Clare and the towns of Blyth and Cleve were affected by significant hailstorms.

Thunderstorms passing over the Adelaide Hills during Wednesday afternoon dropped 25 to 35 mm of rain. By 9 am 29/9/2016, rainfall totals across the Adelaide Hills ranged from 30 to 79 mm with the highest totals around Mt Lofty.

The town of Clare had 53.8 mm of rain till 9 am 29/9/2016 followed by a further 32.8 mm to 9 am 30/9/16 for a total of 86.6 mm.

Strong wind gusts also featured and a peak wind gust of 91 km/h was observed at the Snowtown weather station at 3 pm on the 29/9/16 and a gust to 89 km/h occurred at Port Augusta at 12 noon (29/9/16).

A small number of rivers or localities are in flood and major flooding is occurring at South Para Reservoir while moderate flooding is occurring at Heaslip Road.

The storms and rain has caused havoc in the Barossa Valley with flooding occurring in low lying areas

The weather system moved across much of New South Wales and Victoria but the dramatic events that occurred in portions of South Australia did not occur. Reasonable rainfall totals were observed across the highlands of North East Victoria and southern New South Wales but significant downpours did not occur. For the week ending 1/10/16, the whole of North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales had received between 50 mm and 100 mm of rain but this was spread across 7 days. This was enough to cause renewed rises in local rivers and streams and minor flood warnings exists for the Kiewa River.

There were renewed snowfalls across the higher peaks of south east Australia and the Mt Hotham weather station recorded a peak wind gust of 144 km/h. A weather station at Falls Creek registered peak wind gusts to 107 km/between 2.15 am and 3 am on the 29/9/2016. Such winds were limited to alpine regions only.

As the system passed over, a numbered of centres experienced peak wind gusts of 80 km/h or greater including Ballarat (Victoria) and Broken Hill (Western New South Wales).

Across the farming belt of of New South Wales, rainfall was not heavy but it was persistent. There was enough rain to aggravate a significant flooding situation on the Lachlan River. At the present time, a major flood peak is passing along the Lachlan River between Euabalong to the west and Forbes to the east. That is a separate event in itself but it is causing significant disruption to communities in affected areas as it slowly passes downstream. Further rainfall across the region only aggravates the flooding situation.

Much of Tasmania was impacted by moderate to heavy rain on Friday morning. For the week ending 1/10/2016, parts of north west Tasmania had received in excess of 200 mm of rain while 50 to 100 mm fell around Hobart.

The satellite photo of southern Australia from NASA Worldview (AQUA) with overlays acquired 1/10/16 is showing an interesting cloud feature swirling around the southern part of the country. The low was centred over north west Victoria. Tasmania is being affected by heavy rain while a surge of cold air and low cloud surges north into South Australia.

CREDITS

Bureau of Meteorology - (Data from various weather stations) acquired 1/10/16.
Bureau of Meteorology - “Water and the Land” for rainfall plots.
NASA WORLDVIEW - Satellite photo of southern Australia for the 29/9/2016.

Typhoon Megi – Taiwan September 25 to 27 2016

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typhoonmegi

infraredmegi

enhancedinfraredmegi

The north west Pacific Ocean is the worlds most prolific region for tropical storms and certain regions are highly vulnerable to such storms. The country of Taiwan in particular is no stranger to such storms and barely 2 weeks after a Category 5 typhoon grazed the southern tip of the island and another Category 4 storm traversed along the east coast, another strong typhoon is looming for the island.

The named storm Megi transitioned from a tropical storm overnight into an impressive spiral shaped typhoon west of Guam and is now travelling towards the island. Landfall is expected in approximately 2 days.

Forecast models show a storm reaching Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson Scale just prior to landfall with winds of approximately 110 knots (Approximately 204 km/h) and higher gusts to 135 knots (Approximately 250 km/h).

The storm is supported by an ocean with temperatures of 30C although ocean temperatures adjacent to Taiwan have dropped to 28C which may have an impact on the intensity of the storm just before landfall.

Should the storm sustain its forecast track, this would make it the third typhoon within three weeks to affect the island in some way. It would strike the east coast with very heavy rain and winds and weaken as it traversed the mountainous island. The worst affected region would be the least populous east coast with the mountain barrier offering an effective barrier to the more densely populated west coast.

This storm clearly shows how vulnerable the island is to powerful tropical storms within the north west Pacific Ocean.

CREDITS

CIMSS – Forecast model for Typhoon Megi dated 26 September 2016.
CIRA - Enhanced Infra red image of Typhoon Megi dated 26 September 2016.

Super Typhoon Meranti strikes Taiwan 14 and 15 September 2016

Published by:

4281-1

radarmalakas

cimsspeakwinds

taiwanrain15september

closeupmeranti

terrameranti14sep

supertyphoonmeranti

cirameranti

merantneartaiwan

Typhoon Meranti was born as a tropical storm west of Guam and rapidly intensified into a significant typhoon. The storm exceeded initial forecasts and became a Category 5 super typhoon with peak winds at the core estimated at 160 knots (Upwards of 300 km/h winds).

The storm tracked north west towards Taiwan with the eye passing barely to the south of the island. Much of southern and eastern Taiwan was heavily impacted by the storm with significant property damage being reported as well as landslides and power outages. There is substantial damage to infrastructure including electricity networks.

This was a very damaging and a large typhoon that impacted three countries being the northern Philippines, Taiwan and south east China. The storm made final landfall near Xiamen in Fujian Province. It is known that there are 10 fatalities to date across Fujian and Zhejiang Provinces in south east China.

The storm has caused 1 known fatality across Taiwan with at least 44 injured. The storm has been more deadlier for China due to its impact on a region with a large population.

The impact of the typhoon across eastern and southern Taiwan is dramatic and rainfall totals reached more than 800 mm in places. This has occurred due to the storm colliding with a mountainous landmass. Orographic influences enhanced rainfall which can be seen on the attached rainfall plot of Taiwan.

Maximum rainfall figures from the event includes:-

859 mm at Xidawushan Station - Taiwu Township in Pingtung County.
802 mm at Xinwu-3 Station - Haiduan Township in Taitung County.
779 mm at Jinghenshan Station - Jin Feng Township in Taitung County.
720 mm at Tianxiang Station - Xiulin Township in Hualien County.

The storm has generated landslides, significant property damage and flooding.

It is interesting to note the incredible differences in rainfall across the island. Much of the west and north west was unscathed while the south east was deluged with rainfall.

The storm broke apart once it made landfall across south east China.

Based on CIMSS data, the storm sustained maximum peak winds of approximately 160 knots between the 12 and 14 September (Approximately 300 km/h). While media outlets suggest higher gusts, the best estimate of peak winds are provided in the plot below which suggests winds not exceeding 160 knots. With the eye of the storm over open waters, it makes it difficult to obtain accurate data on peak wind gusts at the time the storm reached peak intensity.

In addition to the above, a second powerful Typhoon is edging northwards just off the east coast of Taiwan which is named Typhoon Malakas. The storm is also giving the east coast of Taiwan a glancing blow although it appears the eye should pass along and off the coast and landfall is not expected. The storm has reached Category 4 on the Saffir Simpson Scale with peak winds to 115 knots (Approximately 213 km/h). This shows how prone Taiwan is to such powerful and often deadly storms.

An impressive radar image of the storm as well as its eye is attached to the post which shows how close the storm has come to the east coast of the country.

CREDITS

1 - Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan - Rainfall plots acquired 16 September 2016.
2 - CIMSS - Various images, forecast tracks and wind speed plots acquired September 14 to 17 2016.
3 - CIRA - False image of Super Typhoon Meranti acquired 13 September 2016.
4 - NASA Worldview with overlays - Satellite photo of Super Typhoon Meranti acquired 13 and 14 September 2016.

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