Category Archives: Frost

Frost – ice crystals forming near the ground when the temperature of the air or the surface falls below freezing

Effects of Storms

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Effects of Storms

Effects of Storms can be anything from the change in temperature to the damage in some cases - extreme destruction. Storms can impact people and property in many ways. Generally, the more severe the storms, the more the impact.

The media often report on stories such a Tropical Cyclone Yasi and Debbie and the impact of other storms such as trees through houses. Of course, a lot depends on the climate of the region.
In Europe and the North America, the effect of storms and weather can be from snow or ice! Snow can cause major disruptions to transports including roads and airport due to accidents or closures. Electricity supply failures can also occur

Approaching storms can also raise dust reducing visibility and eroding good top soil from agricultrual land.
Furthermore, Australia is a country prone to major bushfires which can destroy property, cause loss of livestock and also take lives..

Australia is a land of extremes and with droughts comes the floods. Major losses occur to property in terms of insurance values and loss of items runs into the tens of millions. This flood in Lismore certainly illustrates the impacts on the local community. Roads were also damaged in more recent floods: the dangers are certainly evident!

Some of the most intense efects of storms damage images come from tornadoes. Tornadoes can cause vehicles and even house to be relocated with even whole communities being destroyed. Greensburg suffered from its fate on the evening of the 4th May 2007. A 2.7km wide major tornado made a direct hit on the country township obliterating anything in its path!

Strong cold front, rain, snow Southern NSW, NE Victoria August 12 – 15

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Winter for 2015 has been colder than that observed in recent years and some significant cold weather including snow fall has been documented over a wide area.

During the period 11 to the 15 August, one particular cold front passing through southern New South Wales and North East Victoria was experienced. As a result, a range of weather was documented including the passage of a rain band with the cold front, cold maximum daytime temperatures, passing showers, fog, fog stratus and snow. This was achieved by:-

1 - Staying three nights at Albury to wait out the cold front, experience the rain band, the passage of clearing showers and cold maximum daytime temperatures.

2 - Staying two nights at Corryong to experience fog conditions then the snow fields on the western flanks of the Snowy Mountains.

An entire cycle from a high pressure cell to a new high pressure cell occurred during the 5 day period.

The area has experienced a cold winter with occasional snow falls down to quite low levels. Morning frost has been common and there have been numerous days where maximum temperatures have failed to reach 10C.

On Wednesday 12 August, the cold front approached from the west that brought a rain band. However rainfall was not heavy as evident of 5.4 mm in the rain gauge at Albury Airport. However it was the maximum daytime temperatures that were noteworthy which continued the cold winter weather. Heavy cloud, mainly nimbostratus variety ensured that the maximum temperature did not exceed 9C in low lying areas.

Snow was forecast down to approximately 1,000 metres and I attempted a snow chase, first at Stanley where Mt Stanley rises 1,067 metres in elevation but I could not reach above approximately 800 metres due to very bad roads. I turned and left to go to Tawonga Gap (895 metres). I drove past Mt Buffalo (Image 1) which was shrouded in nimbostratus cloud and rain with snow falling across the top.

After I reached Tawonga Gap at 895 metres, I proceeded along a track (walking) which took me higher to between 1,000 and 1,050 metres but could go no higher. I did not encounter snow but instead encountered bone chilling cold wet conditions. The temperature could have been as low as 3C given the elevation difference and temperature difference that was occurring between valleys and higher areas. I could not reach the snowline but I noticed that the rain was very cold. I found myself walking in a cold fog (Actually the lower ramparts of nimbo stratus cloud). Images 2 and 3 shows the conditions that I encountered in my attempt to walk up to the snowline. If the path had gone higher, I would most likely have reached the lower snowline.

At the time, an emergency on nearby Mt Bogong was being played where a skier had become injured during a snow trek but a snow storm was hampering efforts to effect a rescue. Low cloud grounded the helicopters.

On Thursday 13 August in the wake of the cold front, passing showers and a cold south west wind certainly made for a winters day. I set myself up on the summit of Huon Hill overlooking Albury Wodonga and watched passing showers make their way across the region (Image 4). Maximum temperatures struggled to reach 12C although a biting wind chill made that feel much colder. At sundown, I watched dense cloud build over Mt Baranduda to create a stormy outlook although it was just a shower building in cold air (Image 5).

On Friday 14 August, I drove to Corryong in the Upper Murray Valley along Route 542. Under cloudy skies, I noted much fog and fog stratus forming against the backdrop of the hillsides creating a classic cold winter backdrop. This lasted all day due to persistent alto stratus and stratus cloud cover. Image 6 shows the type of conditions experienced.

On Saturday 15 August, with the break up of the cloud cover under a new high pressure cell, I was fortunate enough to encounter the west side of the Snowy Mountains not often seen in winter (Image 7). Taken from Scammells Spur lookout on the Alpine Road between Khancoban and Tom Groggin Station, this is the incredible scene that greeted me. It was only the middle of July 2015, that concerns were being raised for a bad snow season. Numerous cold fronts providing snow has provided a spectacular scene. Deep snow now cover the Snowy Mountains following the change in weather fortunes. The official snow cover depth at Spencers Creek according to Snowy Hydro stands at 131.5 cm taken 12 August.

I drove to Dead Horse Gap where I finished my winter scene project whilst enjoying the snow cover. Interestingly, I could see no snow at the Thredbo township below me. After 2 hours, I drove back along the Alpine Way back to Scammells Spur lookout just as thick cloud began to obscure Mt Kosciusko and the Main Range ahead of the next cold front.

This completed the winter experience and one entire cycle through a cold front to a new high pressure cell. I returned back to Sydney during Sunday 16 August 2015.

Winter storm, cold and snow SE Australia July 10 to 14 2015

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Winter storm, cold and snow SE Australia




The attached satellite photo acquired from NASA of the Snowy Mountains and the high country of North east Victoria dated 8 July 2015 is showing little snow cover across elevated regions. Light snow fell on July 3 across the higher areas and there is an official cover of 8 cm at Spencers Creek (Snowy Hydro). The snow season has been described as poor due to lack of natural snow cover.

However, a very significant weather system according to various weather models is expected to pass over south east Australia commencing on Thursday and Friday with the main system and cold air coming through on Sunday and Monday. This system should it eventuate will result in some rainfall across the central and southern inland of New South Wales and much of Victoria especially the east and north east. The best falls for New South Wales are expected to occur over the central west slopes (The hillier regions) and the south west slopes (The hillier regions) with precipitation occurring as snow at higher levels. The attached model from the Water and Land (BOM 8/7/15) is the forecast rain covering the whole event. The model also suggests a distinct rain shadow along the coastal fringe.

Weather models point to a major surge of cold air from the south and south west as the system passes over. The models suggest that the air is so cold that there is the potential for snow to occur right along the ranges to low levels. So much so, forecasts are being made for some snow to fall at Lithgow, Oberon, Crookwell and Katoomba for Sunday and Monday.

Some suggested early forecast maximum temperatures for Sunday and Monday include:-

Katoomba - Sun - Max 6C. Mon - Max 7C.
Orange - Sun - Max 3C. Mon - Max 5C.
Lithgow - Sun Max 5C. Mon - Max 6C.
Goulburn - Sun Max 5C. Mon - Max 7C.
Cooma - Sun Max 6C. Mon - Max 8C.
Crookwell - Sun Max 4C. Mon - Max 5C.
Oberon - Sun - Max 3C. Mon - Max 4C.

Oberon sits at 1,177 metres above sea level and there are hills that are higher in elevation nearby. It would be reasonable to suggest that more snowfall would fall across the Oberon Plateau given its elevation.

Even Sydney will feel the cold outbreak where maximum daily temperatures are forecast to be within the range of 13C to 15C with cold south to south west winds prevailing.

The attached synoptic chart from the BSCH (GFS - acquired 8/7/15) suggests an intense low pressure cell off south east Australia (1 pm period Sunday afternoon) driving very cold south and south west winds over the whole of the south east. A temperature plot suggested for the same 1 pm period (BSCH) equally shows the cold temperatures.

This event should it eventuate would provide a significant boost to the snow cover for the ski resorts. However when conditions settle down, another bout of very cold overnight conditions are likely to occur across the south east as the next high pressure cell moves across.