Category Archives: Lightning

Lightning and storms

Storm events SE Australia 1 to 6 November 2015

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During the past 6 days, thunderstorms have occurred somewhere across SE Australia from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory to Queensland.

In addition to previous posts of 2 and 4 November regarding the weather event, further significant weather events have since unfolded. A feature of the storms is one of intense rainfall at times, localised flash flooding, severe weather alerts, hail events and damaging winds.

The series of storms have resulted in high rainfall totals for some areas while others missed out.

A thunderstorm just north of Melbourne during the afternoon of the 5/11/2015 triggered numerous concerns, weather warnings and reports of a funnel cloud. Upon investigation of the matter, it appears that there was no damage and it may have only been a funnel cloud.

There was a storm on Sunday afternoon that went through Nathalia (Northern Victoria) causing damage and it appears to be a tornado. This is in addition to the tornado documented at Monarto South Australia.

Late storms at Hay (South West New South Wales) on Wednesday 4/11/15 brought some significant rainfall being 85.8 mm including the following:-

8.30 pm - 3.2 mm.
11 pm - 16.6 mm.
11.30 pm - 34 mm.
12 midnight - 49.2 mm.
12.30 pm - 83.6 mm.
1 am - 85.4 mm.

Of this 49.6 mm fell between 11.30 pm and 12.30 pm making this a significant event. The final tally to 9 am 5/11/15 was 85.8 mm.

Other large rainfall totals from separate events include:-

New South Wales

Middle Creek (Northern inland New South Wales) - 112 mm.
Pilliga (North west New South Wales) - 80 mm.
Rowena (North west New South Wales) - 79 mm.

South Australia

Jamestown - 88 mm.
Tailem Bend - 71 mm.
Stockport and Tarlee - 70 mm.

Intense storms on Wednesday impacted eastern Australia but missed Adelaide.


Murrayville - 82 mm.

During the storms of Thursday afternoon, a weather station at Sunbury recorded a peak wind gust of 82 km/h at 1.56 pm and again at 2 pm during a storm. Rainfall recorded at the weather station is 24 mm including 5.2 mm in 3 minutes from 1.53 pm to 1.56 pm.

Sydney region

Wednesday night to Thursday morning, heavy rain was a feature around Warragamba Dam which saw 75 mm of rain and Kurrajong Heights which saw 66 mm of rain till 9 am 5/11/15.

The rainfall plots for Sydney for the 5/11/15 and 6/11/15 are attached showing rainfall totals. A feature of the plot for the 5/11/15 is the 51 mm at the Royal National Park while many central suburbs received light falls. Parts of the south, north east and outer west received heavier totals.

The rainfall plot for New South Wales for the 5/11/2015 is attached which shows the heavy falls over the north west inland and south west near Hay with many other centres receiving light totals.

Sydney storms 1 and 6 November

Storms occurred over Sydney during Sunday and Friday. An image of night time lightning is taken near Oakville (North west Sydney) late Sunday during a storm chase with Jimmy and Colin. We were taking night time photos of lightning flashes occurring from the cell to the north which produced some very bright lightning strikes. This was one of many storm cells to cross the Sydney region late afternoon and into the evening.

Further, during the storm chase near Maroota, we intercepted a storm that produced heavy rain and observed a close lightning strike while driving.

The images taken Friday 6/11/2015 is showing a storm to the south of Sydney. The storm produced a shelf cloud along the coast as it crossed the coastline. The images were taken from the Auburn City Council car park looking south just before 1 pm.

The weather system producing this is now clearing and storms are expected to clear much of the region. However, storms are forecast to continue into south east Queensland for Saturday afternoon.

Rain and storms SE Australia 31/10/15 to 2/11/2015

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For two days, rain and storm events have been a features across northern Victoria and large areas of New South Wales. Some of the individual storm events have been significant in terms of their impact and numerous severe weather alerts were issued.

The event overall produced beneficial rainfall although heavier falls are localised.

During Saturday, storm events were concentrated within northern Victoria and inland south west New South Wales. A squall line crossed inland southern New South Wales then weakened as it approached the coast. There were some late afternoon storm events mainly across the more sparsely settled regions of the Riverina which continued into the evening.

Rainfall to 9 am 1/1/2015 include:-

Upper Goobarragandra - 70 mm.
Long Plain - 63 mm.
Batlow - 62 mm.
Argalong - 57 mm.
Mt Ginnini - 52 mm.
Cassilis - 48 mm.
Trangie - 40 mm.
Merriwa - 39 mm.
Mundario - 38 mm.
Wagga Wagga - 27 mm to 29 mm.

Some of the centres or localities are close to the Snowy Mountains where the heaviest falls occurred.

There are media reports of a thunderstorm producing hail to 4 cm in size in the Victorian regional city of Bendigo and another hail event at Dunolly.

During Sunday, storm activity became far more widespread and storm events reached Sydney and the Central Coast. Heaviest rainfall from the storms to 9 am 2/11/1015 include:-

Long Plain - 77 mm.
Batlow - 63 mm.
Corin Dam (ACT) - 57 mm
Tooma Dam - 55 mm.
Cabramurra - 49 mm.

Some of the more significant weather events include:-

Hay - During a storm event, a wind gust of 117 km/h was recorded at the weather station at 2.29 to 2.33 pm.

Shepparton - A peak wind gust of 89 km/h was recorded at 3 pm and again at 3.03 pm from a passing storm at the local weather station.

Yarrawonga - In addition to 23 mm of rain falling, a wind gust of 72 km/h was recorded at 3.25 pm and again at 3.30 pm.

Temora (Riverina) - Which has been experiencing extended dry periods received 20.4 mm and 33.4 mm respectively.

Wagga Wagga - At least 56 mm of rain fell across the two days easing the big dry developing across that region.

Strathmerton (Victoria) - A significant storm impacted the Victorian town causing damage although it is not clear whether it was a tornado or simply damaging winds from a passing thunderstorm as information is sketchy. There are images of damaged homes following the event.

Wisemans Ferry (North of Sydney) - A passing storm at 2 am 2/11/2015 saw the rainfall increase dramatically from 1.8 mm to 12.4 mm within 30 minutes.

Penrith - Late storms on Sunday including another storm event early Monday morning resulted in 24.6 mm of rain falling.

The photos attached are from one such storm that occurred near Mangrove Mountain north of Wisemans Ferry (New South Wales). This was a very lightning active storm in which many cloud to ground lightning strikes were observed , filmed and photographed. This was a storm that Jimmy, Colin and myself intercepted during a storm chase between Sydney and Newcastle during Sunday afternoon. The images demonstrate one of many storms that impacted the state during the event.

Multiple Vortex Tornado - Nathalia, VICTORIA. 01/11/2015


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.