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Australian Severe Weather storms hailstorms and hailstones

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

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Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

During the afternoon of January 26 2020, my wife and I initiated a storm chase that took us from Blacktown to Colo Heights then back to Parramatta.

A number of small storm cells were observed across outer North West Sydney early to mid afternoon which warranted further investigation. These remained relatively small although as we drove north along Putty Road from Windsor, one cell began to dominate all the other cells. This was fortunate because this was the cell that we were targeting.

We drove directly underneath the cell and parked the car and waited for the rain which hit us. This cell produced a significant downpour and strong winds but no hail. Following its passage, we drove further north to a clearing to observe the cell. This storm cell produced a microburst further east prior to the storm going into decline.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

Another thunderstorm cell was observed to the west and while photos were taken it had a shorter life span and was not as strong as the first storm.

After speaking to Jimmy who identified new updraft towers to our south, we turned around and identified the clouds and the new updraft towers to consider. I knew that we could get this cell and decided to drive all the way to Parramatta from near Colo Heights.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

The storm intensified significantly as we drove further south east towards it. I was driving while my wife, Katya was taking the necessary photos. This storm produced a sizeable rain free base that was quite low and had interesting structure including strong updraft towers.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

I managed to keep abreast of this storm all the way into Parramatta along James Ruse Drive then able to find a suitable clearing off James Ruse Drive to enjoy the event.

This storm produced in the Parramatta area, significant and damaging winds, even a microburst and small hail up to approximately 1 cm in size and significant heavy rain. Small branches were snapped off trees by the combined force of the wind, hail and rain.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

Following this event, the storm went into sharp decline and 1 hour later there was little evidence of this this event other than remnant anvil cloud.

This marked the conclusion of a solid storm chase in which two strong storms were intercepted and a third cell being documented close to our position.

The images to support this post are taken by my wife Katya and myself as we took turns to take photos for the day.

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