Category Archives: Lightning

Lightning and storms

Storm Chase and Hailstones 28th and 29th October 2016

Published by:

Storm Chase and Hailstones 28th October 2016

After procrastinating as to whether to take the day off and chase, the gamble was taken. It was the day before the main event situation. With cold air aloft (-16C at 500hPa level), hailstorms were likely wherever storms could produce strong updrafts.

Unfortunately, things did not clearly go to plan. Yes storms were anticipated in the Northern Tablelands. However, the North West Slopes and Plains was covered in slow moving mid-level cloud. Only a narrow window of opportunity existed as it cleared.

Just under two hours to get to Coonabarabran, it seemed any promising storms we had targeted had matured and weakened. The only option a right moving storm to the south near and north of Mendooran. Positive move! Storm became strong to severe  in the area as we neared. Multicellular in nature, the new core developed to its south and this passed over us on the road.

Hail covers the road

Hailstones fell in abundance virtually covering  the road. Although most hailstones were of the order of 1.5cm, some seemed to edge to 2cm. Outflow produced a consolidated base to the southeast - the development of a new cell was in place. Zigzagging our way to the south east via Dunedoo, we edged the core and spectacular structures. The storm though was on a downward trend over the next hour. More cells to the south near Bathurst teased an opportunity but also decayed with the lack of heating.

Hailstorms and Structure 29th October 2016

Models indicated a very complex situation and both the GFS and Access-R models seemed to deviate somewhat. It took a couple of hours to analyse the situation and possible scenario that may unfold. Target Lithgow.

After a call from Colin, Rodney and I checked radar and realised storms had already developed - south of Jenolan. Bound for Lithgow, more updrafts developed on the northern flank. On arrival, another weak cell developed near Oberon. The main Jenolan cell rumbled but the activity decreased. It seemed to have crossed the boundary.

The Oberon Cell bound for Lithgow

The Oberon cell intensified indicated by updraft and lightning activity. The south side looked ordinary so we repositioned to its north side. What a sight! Magnificent scenery and a separated base from the hail shafts. Rodney could not hold back his excitement! A bolt pierced down the right side! Inflow flowed into the base. The hail fell in bursts so it was time to reposition.

At the foothill of Hassans Walls, an inflow band connected to the menacing turbulent base. The hail core was inviting. Passing through the Hartley valley was blinding. Hail and torrents of rainfall caused severe run-off. Heading to Lithgow over the range though was astonishing!

First, copious amounts of hailstones fell building on the bonnet, the paddocks and the road! Then further up the road - nothing followed by brief burst of hailstones! Over the range though to Lithgow and it was bone dry! Not a hint of rain let alone hail! A menacing green core above the mountain edge!

Radar showed the core was still to hit the Bells Line of Road - our next target! Looking left I commented to Rodney "There is our next storm !" The storm near Bathurst showed interesting structure - the obvious choice once this cell ventured into the Wollemi National Park. No man's land!

The storm had intensified clearly on radar and had developed an ominous flanking line! Just short of Bell, the hail hit in torrents. Hail to 2.5cm fell for at least 10 minutes. Any calliper hail measurement had to wait until the rain stopped.

Tired and hungry, it was time to head to Lithgow. Unfortunately, just to our east, a car pile up. Emergency vehicles pointed to an accident (a car had rolled over). After a brief stop at Macdonalds, it was back northwest enroute to Cullen Bullen.

The storm near Bathurst looked ordinary with outflow from the core and scud under the base. Suddenly though, a core had developed to its east. Northeasterly inflow had freshened. The base organised rapidly and our repositioning placed us under the developing green base. The hail core further south indicated pea sized hailstones but it seems the main core had just moved east. No man's land once more!

Rodney suggested to head to Pearsans Lookout. Although a few kilometres away, it provided a spectacular view for time-lapse. Further time-lapse opportunities of the back updraft and base presented themselves near Kandos and Rhylstone. Sunset silhouetted on the updraft a spectacular end to a satisfying day!

Tornadoes and Supercells Storm Chase 2016

Published by:

Storm Chase 2016 Tornado Alley

 

After 3 years, another opportunity for storm chasing 2016. The following Youtube videos and extensive selection of the most important images from this year's two week chases are included. This includes timelapse videos of rotating storms and spectacular lightning - some of my best lightning shots!

Perryton Tornado becomes a wedge tornado quickly from a cone tornado.

Perryton Tornado becomes a wedge tornado quickly from a cone tornado.

Funnel cloud possible tornado inside the inflow notch of now HP supercell

Funnel cloud possible tornado inside the inflow notch of now HP supercell

Simultaneous tornado near Perryton tornado

Simultaneous tornado near Perryton tornado


With a period of significant high CAPE and south west flow predicted, it set the scene for chaseable supercells and tornadoes. The following are a gallery of the storms and tornadoes from the 2016 storm chasing in Tornado Alley - namely, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. This was the first storm chase. After a frustrating storm chase with merging supercells, increased moisture and an outflow boundary, the Perryton, Texas storm finally comes tornado warned. Turn onto the road west and there it was! Cone tornado. Too dark for immediate shots and I finally was able to get footage and shots on tripod. It wedges out and then surprise another circulation produces a separate simultaneous tornado. After examining the inflow notch a couple of times a third funnel cloud and possible tornado occurs.

Sunset and sculptured supercell

Sunset and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Lightning and sculptured supercell

Day 2 Turkey Supercell

Day 2 and after a brief supercell near Clarendon, Texas. Perhaps a little risky but I ventured further south for tail end charlie. Unfortunately, there were several supercells spawning near Plainview. The waiting game began. Radar then suggested nice structure it seemed to my east. But where was this storm - there were so many storms. I realised it was the on producing lightning just to my east. This became the Turkey supercell! It produced a likely wall cloud but the updraft and the storm structure improved to a beautiful sculptured LP supercell! Sunset illuminating the updraft and vault clearly defined! With lightning threatening to singe the earth, I took note that the base had begun to show a bowl lowering. This storm eventually became tornado warned after dark and produced a cone shaped tornado and wedge tornado soon after (chasers suggesting the same damage path).

""</a

""</p

Day 3 Dodge City Supercell and Tornadoes

Wall cloud and Tornadoes as the Storm Intensified

Wall cloud and Tornadoes as the Storm Intensified

The Dodge City tornadic event stunned me: despite the favourable tornadic conditions for strong to violent tornadoes, I did not anticipate such a prolific event. But when two mesocyclones developed side by side I thought a cyclic event was in order. 20160524jd088 The way the first tornado roped out and reformed just as quick and became strong to violent is something I had not witnessed prior. Multiple tornadoes at once was simply insane. A flood of tornadoes - one set 3 at a time and another 3 twins! Intense vorticies formed under the front mesocyclone dancing around each other.20160524jd098 20160524jd101

 

 

 

Travelling through Dodge City with sirens blazing and tornado on the west side of town made for some intense chasing - street by street! Out of the other side and again another tornado spins to the earth and takes out a house (unfortunately a negative part of the event). The power flash followed by debris spinning around the vortex certainly demonstrated the power of what seemed such a small tornado.20160524jd108 20160524jd110

 

 

Finally one more tornado seemed to developed further north and the storm had run its course! Some counts suggest based on the true definition of tornadoes that 8 to 10 tornadoes had been spawned from this event!

Incredible supercell structure

Incredible supercell structure

Incredible supercell structure and developing tornado

Incredible supercell structure and developing tornado

Incredible supercell structure and tornado

Incredible supercell structure and tornado

Strong tornado west of Dodge City

Strong tornado west of Dodge City as the storm moves north

20160524jd188

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

New strong tornado north of Dodge City

Storm Videos from the various chases





Spectacular lightning from storm 30 January 2016

Published by:

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h22m59s25

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h28m39s137

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h29m03s142

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h31m29s96

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h32m05s98

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h41m43s154

vlcsnap-2016-02-05-20h45m45s195

The images attached to the post are taken using my video camera. Late evening 30 January, a thunderstorm tracking south east across eastern Sydney produced a wonderful display of lightning. This was the storm that produced two cloud to clear air lightning strikes as I was driving towards Blacktown from Penrith.

Shortly after sunset, a number of cloud to ground strikes were observed and filmed from Blacktown looking east. This was the last storm of the day to affect the Sydney region and was the last storm that I captured for the day as part of my return trip and storm chase from Albury.

Several lightning flashes were emanating from the cloud updraft tower which was readily visible when not obscured by cloud. As evening rolled on this storm became less active.

s2Member®