Late storms for Sydney 30/1/2016

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I was not in the Sydney basin to enjoy the afternoon storm events however, I made it into the Sydney basin being Camden late in the day or evening where I intercepted a storm near Campbelltown and another cell north of Camden.

The cell north of Camden was quite significant because a number of cloud to ground lightning strikes was observed. In addition to a small rain free base, the cell passed over me and produced small hail no larger than 1 cm in size or smaller. It did not last long but the rainfall was heavy. This was the first time I had seen hail since November 13 2015.

I noted when driving along the Northern Road there was much leaf litter from trees especially around Luddenham and there was much water on the ground. I knew something had occurred earlier in the day being either a hail event or strong winds or both.

I made my way to a small lookout at Mulgoa Rise Estate where I watched three storm cells develop and mature including a large cell to the east.

The cell to the east produced two cloud to clear air lightning strikes from its northern side as I was driving around Blacktown looking for a suitable vantage point to videotape the storm.

I filmed a small number of lightning flashes or strikes then returned home after a long day.

Late storms provided a wonderful array of colours across the evening sky as the sun set.

The images provided are taken near Camden to just south of Penrith.

Storms in the Sydney basin produced as much as 52 mm of rain at Baulkham Hills and 26 to 50 mm around Blacktown. It is interesting to note that the storms have capped off a wet month for all of Sydney including 315 mm of rain where I live at Blacktown. If the figures are tallied right across Sydney, it will be revealed that similar or higher totals are observed elsewhere.

Storms Southern Tablelands and Goulburn 30/1/2016

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This is an account of a thunderstorm that passed over Goulburn Saturday afternoon.

Following the storm near Conroys Gap, I eventually drove to a rural area near Gunning due to new thunderstorms developing further east. One particular cell was of interest towards Goulburn as shown in the first image. This was the best photo at the best viewing location due to trees. That cell later merged with other storms.

I drove towards Goulburn bypassing the town but on the north side of town, I identified a storm that was building to the north that appeared to be heading towards town. I detoured off the Hume Freeway at the northern entry point to town and went into Goulburn. From there I went up to the lookout overlooking town to watch a large and rather dark thunderstorm approach from the north. This cell only revealed itself once the initial anvil rain had passed over. Some cloud to ground lightning was observed and later recorded before it became too dangerous to be outside. I took shelter at the entrance to the War memorial.

Small storms were seen developing nearby but the main cell was set to pass over town.

This storm was very dark with constant thunder audible but less cloud to ground strikes than I would have expected.

This storm produced a significant deluge of rain as it passed over. While there was no hail where I was, it featured prolonged rainfall for at least 20 minutes. Storms around Goulburn dropped as much as 64 mm at Goulburn (Mt Grey) and 70 mm at nearby Bungonia up until 9 am 31/1/2016. The figures exceeds the highest tally for Sydney during the same period being 52 mm at Baulkham Hills.

The rain was so heavy that the town could not be seen from the Rocky Hill Lookout.

Following that event, the profile of the storm was photographed and I left and drove towards Marulan where fresh storms were developing.

After refuelling at Marulan, no less than 2 separate rainstorms were encountered and I later stopped in a rural area south of Berrima to photograph the cluster of cells to the south.

I became aware of a large anvil cloud to the north over the Sydney region with distant storms occurring but I did not give chase as I was too far away to intercept whatever was occurring. It was better that I stay on the Southern Tablelands and finish documenting the storms nearby rather than chase an event that was too far away to reach.

The images attached relate to the storms affecting Goulburn and Marulan on the Southern Tablelands.

Spectacular storm cells Conroys Gap to Yass NSW 30/1/2016

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The images of the thunderstorm near Conroys Gap (New South Wales) were taken during my return trip to Sydney from Albury.

I had expected some thunderstorm activity during my journey given the weather forecasts that were being made however I had no opportunity to undertake any detailed weather forecasts. I was relying on a basic weather map for Southern New South Wales prepared by the Border Mail (Albury / Wodonga's local daily newspaper) and I was amazed that it was reasonably accurate.

I left Lavington at 9.44 am and drove to a township called Jugiong approximately 220 km north east where I had lunch and watched a pre storm environment develop further to the east. Large cumulo congestus clouds were seen building between 12 noon and 1 pm and near 1 pm, I headed further east towards Conroys Gap. As I crested the gap on the Hume Freeway, I was greeted with the first storm as shown in the images.

Given the clear skies, this was a high contrast storm cell. There were no storms further west. This storm began a 7 to 8 hour long chase that stretched some 250 km along the freeway including numerous stops and a significant storm at Goulburn.

This storm was travelling south and I drove through short but heavy bursts of rain. One of the photos suggest hail falling but I did not encounter hail as I drove through it on my way towards Goulburn.

As a result of this storm, I took a number of detours to obtain as many images as I could. This storm went into an area of no roads because it crossed over the Brindabella ranges and Snowy Mountains further to the south.

This storm was a highlight due to the high contrast of colours that were produced as I closed in on the cell from the west.

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