NSW & Victorian Storms 25/26-12-2011

Hi Everyone,

Photo courtesy Rosemarie Steiner

Amazing supercells today in and around Melbourne! There is some video surfacing showing cricket ball sized hailstones from Melbournes northern suburbs and there has been unconfirmed reports of a tondado touchdown near Baccus Marsh which seems to be likely considering the supercell had a strong and obvious hook echo.

Tomorrow bodes well for NSW which has been starved of serious storm action lately. I'll be out chasing and hopefully I can post some interesting storms tomorrow night.


25 thought on “NSW & Victorian Storms 25/26-12-2011”
  1. Hi,

    It seems the report of a tornado picture is here


    Someone suggested the tornado picture may have been from an ealier event?

    Edit- the picture may have been removed – it was tjhere earlier. Apparently Brad Hannon has reported a couple of tornadoes?


  2. The tornado on that link has been reported as a fake or from another date, though I have not seen the photo.  Yet to see any tornado photos from the event.

    Some damn big hailstones though !

    This was the tornado warning:


    For people in the Inner, Eastern, Northern, Western and parts of the South East,
    Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula, Outer East and Port Phillip Local Warning

    Issued at 5:19 pm Sunday, 25 December 2011.

    The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 5:10 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms
    were detected on weather radar near Bacchus Marsh, Greensborough, Hurstbridge,
    Lilydale, Yarra Glen and the area south of Bacchus Marsh. These thunderstorms
    are moving towards the east to southeast. Very dangerous thunderstorms are
    forecast to affect Deer Park, Healesville, Melton, St Albans, Sydenham and the
    area south of Melton by 5:40 pm and Craigieburn, Essendon, Footscray, Melbourne
    Airport, Preston and Sunbury by 6:10 pm.

    Other severe thunderstorms were located near the area north of Meredith and the
    area west of the Brisbane Ranges. They are forecast to affect Anakie East,
    Brisbane Ranges, Lara, the You Yangs, the area south of the Brisbane Ranges and
    the area west of Werribee by 5:40 pm and eastern parts of the Bellarine
    Peninsula, northern parts of the Bellarine Peninsula, Portarlington, waters off
    Portarlington, waters off St Leonards and the area east of Lara by 6:10 pm.

    Destructive winds, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding, large hailstones and
    tornadoes are likely.

    A tornado has been reported near Fiskville [15km west of Bacchus Marsh]
    associated with the thunderstorm currently south of Bacchus Marsh.
    Very large hail has been reported with thunderstorms this afternoon.

  3. I saw that footage too Jimmy, amazing large hail for  Melbourne! I don’t know about these two tornadoes reported, with the proliferation of smartphones with cameras there should at least be some footage already which leads me to believe that these will end up being “controversial” scud like tornadoes. I could be wrong but if I had footage it would be on the web by now which makes me cautious. I know there are reports of cars being upended but those storms no doubt produced very powerful RFD which could’ve exceeded 120km/h, again the lack of video or photos so far too me is reason for caution.


  4. Nice imagery from this event but the one posted above and a similar video shows the best structure in my opinion. Albeit, I think the structure was relatively briefly impressive. As to tornadoes, I am thinking more along the lines of the lack of evidence of a tornado being produced. There is a second video following the first which may show a wet clear slot cutting in. David C hit the nail on the head though – a sustained hook of up to an hour increases the likelihod of sufficient rotation leading to tornadogenesis. This was not evident on this day but I am open to anyone producing evidence of the two reported tornadoes. Australlians lacking experience in exposure to tornadoes though explains the numerous false reports.

    Check out this video showing numerous hailstones



    Nice event hough!


    Jimmy Deguara

  5. Hey guys.

    Indeed, the Melbourne event was extremely impressive, and hail of that size is significant no matter where in Australia.

    Okay, I have uploaded some video from Christmas day and Boxing day. (see below)


    The first storm in the video occured near Goulburn,and it mustv’e been on the sea breeze bounday. Weak shear meant it tracked up the ranges. Unfortunately I was chasing further west for much of the afternoon,and missed out on alot of this storm. It actually started just south of Braidwood,and continued to bulid towards Nerriga before dieing near Bungonia.It must be said, alot of this storms life occured over horrendous and almost impssible chase country. The next storm( my storm) developed on an outflow boundary,and tracked north through Goulburn and up to Taralga.  This storm put out some lovely cgs,some pulsing to 8times. Also a nice hail core evident,however it was mostly a rain/hail mass with no clear structure by the time I got within striking range of it. I followed the storm to Taralga encountering some flash flooding and hail to 1cm. After dark I got a nice display of staccato bolts and nice thunder!

    On the Boxing day, I waited patiently at Nowra hill for much of the day. The day was limited by thick cloudcover, however when a storm developed near Batemans Bay on the change I pouced and re position to Ulladulla.This storm produced one of the nicer gustfronts I have seen,and it was obvious the core was rather solid. This storm was coring black on the Terry Hills 256km radar( canberra radar was down) however i’m nowhere near convinced it was a supercell. Nice nevertheless.


  6. Hi Michael,

    You did well to intercept storms on boh days! Love the lightning! As to the shelf cloud and supercell status, not important – it is still spectacular and shows a consolidated and striated appearance!

    As to the Melbourne event – I iwsh I was there for the event but given I have come t visit my family in the Philippines, I had no chance! This was a locally enhanced event and you had to be in the right place at the right time to experience the best of the event. Usually Mr and Mrs pubic does that for us!

    The photograph above shows extremely impressive structure with a brief vault. As you suggest a hailstorm of this category smashing windows is definitely significant.


    Jimmy Deguara

  7. I lovethe gustfront at Uladulla Michael! One of the Sydney to Hobart skippers commented that this gust front was one of the best he had ever seen over water and it also caused his boats retirement after the wind broke some critical part of his boat, Very nice contrast. Have you ever travelled from Nowra to Braidwood? I’m wondering what that road is like.

  8. It looks as though Brad Hannon has intercepted a tornado which is being discussed on Facebook and also will be investigated thoroughly. If he gives permission, we will have the specific picture posted on here. He is a member of this website and may do so himself with a description.


    Jimmy Deguara

  9. Jimmy, can you post a link to this facebook page? I’ve looked on wz but can’t find any compelling images that i would say is a tornado. Actually the best structure image so far have been anonymous ones including that image you posted above.

  10. Hi Jeff,

    Brad has given permission to post the specific image(s)


    This one is of particular interest at this point. It seems there is a tornado directed between the trees. There seems to be a collar cloud and also in some of the storm’s history there is a clear slot. The clear slot seems to be evident in this image as well.

    Brad suggests this photo is looking south.


    Jimmy Deguara

  11. Guys.

    I have seen footage that clearly shows a wedge tornado! This seems really strange but here goes…

    I love storms + tornados and the show storm chasers.

    During Xmas I was thinking, man this storm could produce tornados today but I didn’t say anything to anyone.

    Two days later, my wife said, oh a friend of mine posted a video on her facebook that she thinks could be a tornado close to her house during x-mas day.

    I was like, “ok, lets see it…” thinking scudd or rotating wall cloud… Nah, a blatant 50mt to 100mt wedge. I felt sick to my stomach. This person is having difficulties uploading the video to youtube so I have offered to help. I will post a link here as soon as I can guys as once you see it, I hope you will see the wedge funnel. I reckon news agencies could use the footage and unfortunately it is only about 10 seconds long.

    Post soon.


  12. Okay Jimmy, I saw that image on wz but it wasn’t specifically tagged with “this is the tornado” which lead me to believe that it must have been another photo. It has terrible contrast! The highlights are completely blown out in nearly half of the image and I am thinking that they are unrecoverable since Brad hasn’t posted an image with the correct lighting which is a shame. It would show things much better with the correct lighting but that’s what happens sometimes when the contrast is extreme and you don’t expose correctly.


  13. Hi Roberto,

    I’m excited to see this footage you are talking about! I’m not sure it could be a wedge though considering most tornados that get classified as a wedge are wider than they are high. In other words most wedges tend to be more than 500m wide and up to 3000m wide, but up close the base of a powerful tornado can appear wedge like to the observer.


  14. Hi Jeff.

    Thanks for the pointer on the terminology. Well, good news so far. I have the video but now I just need my wife’s friend to give me permission to upload it on youtube, tornadovideos.net and here. We will ask her today so hopefully tomorrow or the day after I will post it.

    So the location of the video footage is close to Diamond Creek, close to Greensborough. This is one of the locations hit by the tornado correct? I am trying to avoid people suggesting the video is a fake. It was taken by someone that was just there for X-mas and is possibly not too familiar with tornados. So there was no fake footage attempt here…




  15. Hi Roberto,

    Diamond Creek was definitely in the vicinity of a supercell on Christmas day. Check out this link and notice the severe cell from 18:00 GMT through to 18:30. For half an hour it definitely had the potential to produce a tornado going by the radar echo. Feel free to post a link whenever you get the chance.

    See : 64km Radar Loop for Melbourne, 00:00 25/12/2011 to 23:00 25/12/2011 UTC

    On another note, I’m not sure if anyone else noticed but I noticed on the day that lightning activity dropped off on both the cell near Bacchus Marsh and the cell near yan yean during the most severe radar returns. Both cells seemed to resume strong lightning activity again as they weakened. I wish I could look back at those wz maps but you can’t go back past 18hours.

    Regards Jeff.

  16. Roberto,

    Any word on this video on youtube – can you send me a private link to the video please until permission is granted?


  17. Hi guys.

    As mentioned, I have uploaded the video.

    What I clearly think, a very defined tornado in Melbourne.

    Please let me know your thoughts on this.



  18. Thanks Roberto for posting the long awaited video.

    In my opinion, I can’t see a tornado though it is a very nice wall cloud – which normally is the first stage in the development of a supercell tornado. Definitely not a wedge tornado – there is little rotating motion.

    Any time on the video so we can match with radar?


    Jimmy Deguara

  19. Gotta agree with Jimmy. Love the separation between the inflow and outflow showing good organisation and a nice wall cloud, but I can’t see a defined tornado in the footage.

    It seems that there is no evidence emerging of any tornadoes from this event and I’m starting to think that none ever will. Definitely there has been some very impressive supercells with very large hail but just because there were supercells doesn’t mean there were tornadoes. I have been witness to several very powerful supercells, some arguably more powerful and with larger hail than was evident in Melbourne and they produced no tornadoes. Size and appearance and even impressive radar returns don’t equate to tornadic supercells.


  20. Hi Jeff,

    Given there are no videos emerging and none from Brad, I am now tending away from any tornado occurrences. Take into account Dunoon, an obvious tornado, rapid rotation and funnel all the way to the ground. A little township of Dunoon is able to produce at least 4 videos of a tornado from different perspectives. Four years on, more technology, a tornado warning and a population of 4 million in Melbourne, a national highway, less trees and no tornado footage surfaces on Youtube?

    Please show us video or a major damage track if there was a stove pipe and I will be somewhat convinced.

    Feel free to express your thoughts about whether you thought there is/was a tornado. Certainly would like to see a healthy debate.


    Jimmy Deguara

  21. Please keep in mind though that without any photo or video of actual tornadoes from Christmas day or of damage paths that are likely tornadic in origin it is pointless discussing the pro’s/con’s of whether anyone saw or thought they saw a tornado. Those kinds of debates are better left at mutual disagreement. It’s way past that point in the debate now anyway and it’s time for hard visual evidence so if anyone has that please by all means post a link to it.

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