Daily Archives: March 22, 2015

Supercell Outbreak NSW Northwest Slopes and Plains 21 March 2015

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Supercell Outbreak NSW Northwest Slopes and Plains 21 March 2015 31

It was awesome to have an impressive setup on the weekend for the NW Slopes district of NSW. Michael Bath and Jason Paterson head inland initially targetting the Warialda area. We arrive just in time as congestus begins...

Between Inverell and Warialda at 1.30pm

The first storms have developed with splitting supercells the order of the day. Suprisingly both left and right movers remain powerful and long lasting. The following pics are of the first storm and the left mover.

Green tinge in the powerful updrafts.



We let this cell go knowing Jimmy and Colin were onto it.


The chase continued back to Warialda then 20km to the northwest to pursue this next supercell. This storm was a right split from initial development halfway between Moree and Boggabilla.



Some nice structure including inflow features for a while



Outflow boundaries pushed up a lot of completeing storms shortly after this. We had to punch through torrential rain and very hard 2cm hail to get west for new development south of Moree.


Probably the biggest storm complex of the day had now developed - again from a split, the right mover went on to drop giant hail in Narrabri while this HP beast edged towards Moree. The first pics are from approx 40km east of Moree looking SW. The inflow winds were impressive here.





Time to dash further west around the core....




Once in Moree outflow boundaries caused cells to go up everywhere. The winds were powerful with some damage well outside the storm core - gusts to 95km/h at Moree Airport and the storm missed! There was plenty of dust and tumbleweeds too!


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The edge of the supercell is now just to our east but also competing with other new storms.


After battling some cluttered storm activity and dust we decided to keep heading NNE up to Boggabilla to try and intercept the storms again east of there. A small storm pops up ahead of us during the drive.

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The earlier supercell had died but a new storm tracked straight at us - topping off the day with an epic lightning show. The inflow winds into this cells were ferocious at times and only collapsed as the precip hit.

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Last one from inside the car as the bolts got too close for comfort!


Then began the 4.5 hour drive back home....

Michael, also enjoying his 48th birthday !
This is the impressive Moree sounding for the pre-storm environment


Tropical Cyclone Nathan redevelops a third time 22 March 2015

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Tropical Cyclone Nathan redevelops a third time 22 March 2015 2

Tropical Cyclone Nathan is one unusual cyclone. After crossing the Queensland coast Friday morning and breaking apart into a tropical depression over Cape York Peninsular, the storm continued to track west over land and entered the Gulf of Carpentaria during Saturday. The storm redeveloped and intensified again into a weak tropical cyclone.

This tropical cyclone has now had three lives. The storm crossed the Northern Territory Coast near Nhulunbuy and has brought wind gusts to 95 km/h.

The local weather station recorded gales of between 93 km/h and 95 km/h from 9.30 am to 11.30 am 22/3/2015.

The storm is now partially over land and partially over water traversing west along the Northern territory coast. It is not a strong tropical cyclone but it is bringing with it thunderstorm activity.

The weather station at Nhulunbuy recorded a low pressure of 995.1 hectopascals at 10 am. Rainfall has not been heavy at this weather station being 20.2 mm from 9 am to the present time.

The weakened storm is now impacting Elcho Island where its local weather station is recording wind gusts to 80 km/h.

The attached radar image shows the shape of this storm as it passes west along the Northern Territory coastline.

Major Supercell Outbreak North West Slopes and Plains 21st March 2015

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Major Supercell Outbreak North West Slopes and Plains 21st March 2015 20

Another article of the insane lightning Extreme Lightning Bolts from 21st March 2015

Probably the best supercell outbreak of the past several years hit northern NSW with large to giant hail together with several storm splits observed. Lightning from these storms were frequent with pulsating bolts. There are reports of roofs being annihilated from the force of the winds and giant hailstones! Colin and I made a marathon journey to Tamworth over night to be in position. It was nervous wait but the first storms developed right near Warialda.






The first supercell developed and split east of Warialda with large damaging hail to at least 5cm. In some cases pure hail fell in drifts on the road Ashford. The updrafts simply exploded and sometimes exhibited corkscrew structures!

We measured hailstones to 4cm from the developing hailstorm but larger hailstones must have fell from this supercell simply based on the atmospheric profile and structure of the supercell. We even got hailstones to golf ball sized in the inflow region! The hailstones bounced sometimes across the road and collected in drifts.0321jd031

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Once we exited the furious hail bombard,we were treated to extreme lightning bolts that it was merely unsafe to be out of the vehicle! nevertheless, we captured a few pictures from this major rippled base! The lightning occasional was unpredictable with bolts coming from in front and behind us!
0321jd063 0321jd056 0321jd062Eventually we proceeded to a road turn off and were unable to venture up north and headed northeast just prior to the microburst hitting - critical timing! Then we headed into trees - how frustrating. A beast following and no opportunities for a shot let along time lapse! Finally a break presents and the green base is present!

0321jd066Finally at Ashford and WOW! Spectacular is all we could say. We were shaking at the sight of this incredible beast - green base and scud curtains!

And the huge size of the base! Spectacular!

After an incredible and dangerous lightning barrage, we left this storm and made our way to another storm to the southwest nearer Moree. After heading for Inverell, it was a mission to get west as quickly as possible. And when the structure became clear! Wow! It was a consolidated shelf structure. The mesocyclone was pretty large. Lightning descended in front of the structures! Even the mammatus was spectacular!

Microbursts developed and descended to the ground with incredible intensity.0321jd0830321jd1050321jd117

We found the first available viewing point - stopped and photographed and filmed. And the lightning once again just was ridiculously frequent! Insanity!

Video to come! I have to say thanks to Colin for driving and company - I am still recovering from lack of sleep and excitement! So have finally gotten down to earth!0321jd133



Supercell Structure and Lightning 21st March 2015

Supercell Structure and Lightning 21st March 2015

Major leaf defoliation S of Narrabri

Major leaf defoliation S of Narrabri