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Storm Chasing, Storm Stories & Storm Chasers

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Incredible staccato lightning
Tree-hit-by-lightning-200-metres-away-2nd-january-2015

Tree gets hit by lightning 2nd January 2015 with instant cannon lightning disturbing the usually rural region.

Extreme Storms - Storm and Storm Chasing

Storm Chasing, Tropical Cyclones and Tornadoes covers storm chasing, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, and extreme storm events from around the globe! Included are local chases and those from Tornado Alley, extreme storm events including tropical cyclones such as Tropical Cyclone Ita and Larry, violent tornadoes, devastating hailstorms, flash flood events and other discussion occurs here.

Tropical Cyclone Ita 11th April 2014

Tropical Cyclone Ita 11th April 2014

This website has been tailored to integrate with Facebook, Twitter and other social media which means you should be able to log in with Facebook on here. Storm chasing has been around since the 1970's and expanded rapidly with the introduction and success of the internet, the movie Twister in 1996 as well as several documentaries.

appin_lightning_crop |storm chasing

Lightning Bolt hits close by!! | storm chasing

Now there are literally thousands of storm chasers in the United States as well as other countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain several countries in Europe and South Africa. Unfortunately, the deaths of Storm Chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Karl Young during the El Reno tornado May 31st 2013 has changed the face of storm chasing and the way storm chasing should be approached.

Huge 10cm hailstone 10th December 2014

Huge 10cm hailstone spawned by a powerful supercell on the Putty Road north of Sydney 10th December 2014

Extreme chaser more often than most people encounter some seriously violent weather - this 10cm giant hailstone is one example of such extremes spawned by a powerful supercell 10th December 2014.

Rain Event Northern NSW 1st March 2014 | storm chasing

Rain Event Northern NSW 1st March 2014 | storm chasing

Cold winter period SE Australia June 20 to July 13 2016

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Himawarrisatellite9July

Coldoutbreaks

Himawarrisatellite9July

During the last 10 days of June and the first 9 days of July 2016, winter has taken hold across south east Australia. A succession of cold fronts has brought gales, rain, and snow to low levels across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

Now another system is bearing down across the south east for Sunday to Tuesday that is expected to bring low level snowfall possibly as low as 500 metres in elevation by Tuesday to the the higher elevations of Victoria. Forecasts of snow as low as 700 metres are being made for certain areas of New South Wales such as the higher areas of the South West Slopes and Central Tablelands during Tuesday.

Over the past few weeks, the ski resorts of South East Australia have enjoyed significant snow falls with snow depths now varying from 50 to 80 cm with Mt Buller having a maximum depth of 80 cm where snow making is occurring.

There have also been snow across the Central Tablelands and light falls into the Northern Tablelands to places such as Guyra.

During the period June 24 to June 27, a more significant cold outbreak occurred across the inland of the south east with maximum temperatures struggling to reach 10C across many centres such as:-

1 - Albury 26/6/16 - A minimum temperature of minus 1.3C and a maximum temperature of 7.5C.
2 - Bathurst 27/6/16 - A maximum temperature of 6.2C.
3 - Cooma - There were 3 days of in a row where the maximum daytime temperature failed to reach 9C.
4 - Oberon (24 to 29 June) The maximum temperature failed to reach 7C on 5 consecutive days with the coldest being 1.9C on June 25.
5 - Orange 25/6/16 - The maximum daytime temperature reached 3.1C.

Even in Western Sydney, there have been bursts of cold such as what occurred on June 27 where maximum temperatures struggled to reach 12C or 13C.

In Sydney (Observatory Hill) the maximum temperature reached just 11.7C on the 27/6/16. Such low maximum daily temperatures for Sydney City are rare.

As shown in the attached satellite photo of Southern Australia 9 July 2016, the next winter cold front will be significant as it crosses the southern part of the continent. It is projected to produce gales, cold weather thunderstorms, local hail and low level snowfall to a large region of the south during the early part of the new week.

Coastal New South Wales will be spared the worst of this system.

Certainly in Victoria, warnings are already issued for damaging winds of up to 90 km/h across elevated parts of the state (NE Victoria) as well as low level snow falls once the system passes through.

The attached satellite images show the cloud mass ahead and with the next winter front as it passes across the south that will produce a cold outbreak in coming days.

Credits

1 - Bureau of Meteorology - Weather data and temperatures and satellite image of cloud mass.
2 - NASA (Worldview) - Image showing the winter cold front approaching Western Australia on 8 July 2016.

Hurricane Blas Eastern Pacific Ocean July 5 to 9 2016

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HurricaneBlas6J

HurricaneBlas6J

CloseupHurricaneBlas

HurricaneBlas1

While Typhoon Nepartak was gathering strength across the north western Pacific Ocean, another storm across the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean reached Category 4 on the Saffir Simpson Scale. The storm was named Hurricane Blas.

The storm is now going into decay.

Hurricane Blas developed over open ocean well to the west of Central America then travelled north west and is now in decay as it is encountering colder waters. The storm has not been documented in the media to any significant degree because it has not made landfall and unlikely to do.

At its peak strength, the storm sustained winds of 127 knots (Approximately 235 km/h) with peak gusts to 130 knots (Approximately 240 km/h) making it formidable in strength. On July 8, the storm is encountering oceans with a maximum temperature below 25 degrees at latitude 18.8 degrees north and 130.7 degrees east. The storm is unlikely to survive much longer given its environment.

Images of the storm at peak strength are attached which shows a classic galaxy like system and a well developed eye.

Another storm following in its wake is struggling to form but it has been named Tropical Storm Celia. The storm is taking time to form and should it transition to a hurricane then according to models, it is likely to be relatively weak and not exceeding Category 2 on the Saffir Simpson Scale. This is partly due to oceanic waters within the region being only 25 to 28C. The storm is unlikely to make landfall at the present stage.

Credits

1 - CIMSS Images of Hurricane Blas and forecast plot acquired 6 July 2016.

Super Typhoon Nepartak makes landfall Taiwan 8/7/2016

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4277-1

RadarNep8July

TaiwanRainfall

BuoyMeasurements

PeakwindsNepartak

AN Oceanic BUOY located approximately 170 km south east of Taitung City (Taiwan) appears to have recorded data from Super Typhoon Nepartak as the eye passed over and survived its onslaught.

The BUOY Number NTU2 operated by the Taiwan University Institute of Oceanography Sea Automatic Weather Observation has survived sustained winds of at least 150 miles per hour and a possible gust of 153 miles per hour (Approximately 246 km/h). The problem of this data is that the readings are off the charts as shown so it is difficult to verify the true peak gusts.

Data from CIMSS suggest peak wind gusts of 152 knots (Approximately 282 km/h) at peak intensity.

The instrument that captured the winds is still recording after its direct encounter with the eye.

The same instrument recorded a central pressure of 897 HPA.

Super Typhoon Nepartak made landfall across southern Taiwan at around 6.30 am as a Category 4 storm. It weakened slightly just prior to landfall but still packing powerful winds. Rainfall across south east Taiwan has been heavy with one centre recording over 500 mm of rain between midnight and 7.10 pm.

The radar image shows a weaker storm (Now a Category 2 on the Saffir Simpson Scale) but with a large precipitation shield. The precipitation shield will traverse south east China where flooding is likely.

Heaviest rainfall from 12 midnight to 7.10 pm include:-

Liu Shi Dan Shan - 524 mm.
Shang Li - 476 mm.
Shao Jia - 436 mm.
Dian Guang - 433 mm.
Yuli - 430 mm.
Shoa Ka - 425 mm.

Many other weather stations recorded 200 to 400 mm partly due to the mountainous terrain of the country enhancing rainfall.

A major damage clean up will be required in the weeks and months following the storm.

Given the storms of 2015 and now this one, it shows that Taiwan is no stranger to powerful typhoons. The latest storm takes the tally to 3 such storms since 2015.

CREDITS

1 - Central Weather Bureau for radar image and rainfall data 8/7/16.
2 - CIMSS Wind data for Nepartak.
3 - Taiwan University Institute of Oceanography Sea Automatic Weather Observation.

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