Category Archives: Australian Severe Weather

Australian Severe Weather storms hailstorms and hailstones

Storms and Supercell Outbreak SE Queensland 28th October 2015

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Lightning near Billa Billa Qld
Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Storms and Supercell Outbreak

With a potentially good set up, storms have lashed the southeast Queensland Darling Downs region with hail drifts reported and also numerous cells including supercells across the region. The first round of storms developed rapidly and moved northeast. Some extremely heavy rainfalls reported from this system as well.

More storms developed from southwest and headed towards the NSW border region. Another set of storm splits occurred near the border with NSW which seemed to favour more right movers in NSW. I approached a well structured storm at night time but the storm collapsed near Moree. It had released one last spectacular anvil crawler barrage prior to its demise!

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

The region received numerous lightning strikes. Some of the lightning strikes were clear air strikes where lightning descends from the side of the anvil and literally out of the main part of the storm.

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Although tornadoes were not out of the question, the main reasons for a low risk were the orientation of the cells to the northeast rather than southeast to east. To many storms took off as well and they became cluttered and therefore competing for moisture.

 

Hurricane Olaf and Patricia 22/10/2015

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Olafcloud1

Olafspiral

LocationofOlaf

HurricaneOlafWorldview

Patricia

While Typhoon Koppu was making landfall across Luzon Island and Typhoon Champi was approaching its maximum strength over the north west Pacific Ocan, another storm - Hurricane Olaf was taking shape south east of Hawaii.

The named storm "Hurricane Olaf" developed over open ocean and rapidly intensified into a Category 4 storm. The storm transitioned and reached Category 4 status at latitude 10 degrees north and 139.1 degrees west. The storm is expected to curve north west then north over coming days then decay harmlessly over open ocean.

Over the next few days, the storm will approach Hawaii but according to forecast models, should not directly threaten the islands.

The storm has a classic spiral shape with bands of storms and a small core with a central eye. At the time of writing, the storm has peaked in intensity and according to the CIMSS ADT Tropical Cyclone Intensity Estimate scale, peak wind gusts appears to have reached 133 knots or 246 km/h. This shows an intense storm at its peak strength.

A feature of the named storms in this part of the Pacific Ocean for 2015 is that several have formed within the area but fortunately none have directly threatened Hawaii or passed over the islands.

While the storm is crossing an isolated area of the Pacific Ocean, a new threat looms for parts of coastal Mexico. A named storm called Patricia while currently a disorganised cluster of thunderstorms is forecast to gather strength and develop into a Category 1 hurricane over the next 2 days and make landfall over coastal south west Mexico with projected peak wind gusts of 80 knots or 145 km/h. It is expected that this storm will have a short life span.

The Pacific Ocean north of the equator is still active this late into October although the focus will soon turn to the southern hemisphere closer to Australian waters. In this regard, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a lower than average tropical cyclone season across all of Australia's waters and jurisdiction. This is in stark contrast to the northern Pacific Ocean where a very active season has just occurred. It appears El Nino weather phenomena may influence the outcome for the Australian waters. On average, at least 11 named storms occur but for 2015/16 due to El Nino effects, the odds have shifted for a less active season. This does not mean that a named storm will not cross the Australian coast. At least one (Minimum of one) storm is still likely to cross the coast although more likely later on during the season. Hence the forecast for Australian waters are:-

Western - 7 storms on average (25% chance of reaching average).
North west region - 5 storms (15% chance of reaching average)
Eastern region - 4 storms (27% chance of reaching average).
Northern region - 3 storms(36% chance of reaching average).

CREDITS

1 - Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Tropical Cyclone season outlook) October 2015.
2 - CIMSS (Satellite data and forecasting for named storms Olaf and Patricia) acquired 20 to 22 October 2015.
3 - NASA (Worldview image of Hurricane Olaf) Acquired 21/10/15.

Tornado Outbreak NSW 29th September 1996

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Tornado Bearbung 29 september 1996

Tornado Outbreak NSW 29th September 1996

Tornado Bearbung 29 september 1996

Tornado Bearbung 29 september 1996

On this day 19 years ago, a significant upper trough with low level moisture set up the scene for a significant tornado outbreak with numerous storms developing across central and eastern NSW.

At the time, Michael Bath and I had been invited to visit the Kattron lightning system home base on the Central Coast. We watched as numerous lightning strikes were picked up as the storms developed rapidly across the region of the Central West, Noorth West Slopes and Plains and then Hunter region. There must have been at least several supercells on this day a few tornadoes were reported. One of these was at Bearbung near Gilgandra, another at Bundella and another at Elong Elong. All were probably rates in the F1 to F2 category. Low level shear and low LCLs was very ideal for tornadogensis.

Bundella Tornado

Bundella Tornado

Tornado Bearbung 29 september 1996

Tornado Bearbung 29 september 1996

Later that day, a supercell produced huge hailstones in Armidale smashing windows and causing damage into the millions of dollars!

More information at the following storm report pages of this incredible event!
Bearbung tornado report

Bundella tornado report

 

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