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Photographs mainly of clouds and storms on this website

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

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Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Friday 20 November 2020 turned out to be a day of two halves. The morning period was dominated by heat and sunshine and the day concluded with an outbreak of showers and storms for much of Western Sydney.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020
Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Prior to the storm events, the maximum temperature reached 39.9C in Penrith and 37.2C in Blacktown. Throughout the late afternoon period clouds developed and by 4 pm, the first storms were occurring.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

One isolated cell developed to the east of Blacktown and had an interesting base. A second cell developed to the west of Blacktown and had similiar characteristics of the first cell. The two cells eventually merged into one another.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

The core of the storm passed overhead where we live and produced a significant downburst / downdrafts of cool winds and intense rain but it did not last long. No hail was observed but it appears from reading news storeys that hail to 1 cm was observed at nearby Plumpton to the west.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Further storms continued to develop throughout the evening including two cells to the south east of Sydney and new cells forming to the west over Penrith at sunset.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

During the evening, my wife and I watched sporadic lightning from a storm passing overhead but it was in a weakening phase and this soon petered out to nothing. A cooler southerly wind change during the evening concluded the event.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Storms were hit and miss and featured short sharp bursts of rain and occasional strong wind and occasional small hail. They were short lived and as such, rainfall totals for the most part were not significant. The highest rainfall total was 20 mm at West Pennant Hills and lower total of 7 mm at Kings Langley and 6.6 mm at Penrith.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

The photos supporting this post were taken at Blacktown given that much of the activity occurred around Blacktown and nearby environs.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

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Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

During the afternoon of January 26 2020, my wife and I initiated a storm chase that took us from Blacktown to Colo Heights then back to Parramatta.

A number of small storm cells were observed across outer North West Sydney early to mid afternoon which warranted further investigation. These remained relatively small although as we drove north along Putty Road from Windsor, one cell began to dominate all the other cells. This was fortunate because this was the cell that we were targeting.

We drove directly underneath the cell and parked the car and waited for the rain which hit us. This cell produced a significant downpour and strong winds but no hail. Following its passage, we drove further north to a clearing to observe the cell. This storm cell produced a microburst further east prior to the storm going into decline.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

Another thunderstorm cell was observed to the west and while photos were taken it had a shorter life span and was not as strong as the first storm.

After speaking to Jimmy who identified new updraft towers to our south, we turned around and identified the clouds and the new updraft towers to consider. I knew that we could get this cell and decided to drive all the way to Parramatta from near Colo Heights.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

The storm intensified significantly as we drove further south east towards it. I was driving while my wife, Katya was taking the necessary photos. This storm produced a sizeable rain free base that was quite low and had interesting structure including strong updraft towers.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

I managed to keep abreast of this storm all the way into Parramatta along James Ruse Drive then able to find a suitable clearing off James Ruse Drive to enjoy the event.

This storm produced in the Parramatta area, significant and damaging winds, even a microburst and small hail up to approximately 1 cm in size and significant heavy rain. Small branches were snapped off trees by the combined force of the wind, hail and rain.

Severe storms and storm chase 26 January 2020

Following this event, the storm went into sharp decline and 1 hour later there was little evidence of this this event other than remnant anvil cloud.

This marked the conclusion of a solid storm chase in which two strong storms were intercepted and a third cell being documented close to our position.

The images to support this post are taken by my wife Katya and myself as we took turns to take photos for the day.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

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Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

The images provided in this post were taken around Auburn / Lidcombe and Berala on the afternoon of December 20 2018 during a prolific thunderstorm event that saw a number of significant storms impact areas of Sydney.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018
Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

A number of these storms were supercells and two of these storms impacted Auburn within a space of 2 hours.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

After I had finished work at around 4.30 pm, a thunderstorm passed over Auburn that produced small hail. Following the passage of this storm, a more significant cell was observed to track NE and had the characteristics of a classic supercell. This cell also passed over Auburn although the hail core passed just to the east of my location. My wife and I stood on the Auburn car park roof to watch this event and we could hear the distant roar of hail fall to our east. As it was, sporadic hail fell where we were.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

Following its passage, I drove to Lidcombe to a park where my wife and I were able to document hail 2 to 3 cm in size that had fallen within that area.

I was surprised to see another storm cell form to the south and a much more significant storm forming to the west. The storm cell to the west was moving at speed towards us so I decided to drive down to Berala to ensure that it passed over us.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

After parking the car, we had plenty of time to watch what it did. The core passed overhead where we were in Woodburn Road. Berala was hit hard which included two separate hail bursts and my wife and I were documenting hail up to 4 cm in size. Occasionally we heard the noise of large hailstones hitting the roofs of buildings which could suggest larger hailstones falling although sporadically. The largest hailstones that my wife and I could verify were around 4 cm in size. It was too dangerous to be walking the streets due to the amount of cloud to ground lightning that was occurring.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

As it was, the storm produced local flooding around Auburn and Berala.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

The storms that swept Sydney and other locales during this afternoon were the costliest thunderstorm event since April 14 1999. A review of the Insurance Council of Australia webpage has revealed that the damage from this storm event (Several storms included) tallied $1,038,704,566 as at February 14 2019 with significant losses occurring around Casuala, Oran Park, Liverpool, Mona Vale, Berowra and Gosford. Of the 3,600 calls for help, 1,100 were from the Liverpool area. There were 118,886 insurance claims including 26,322 household claims and 78,221 motor vehicle claims.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

This storm event easily surpassed the December 9 2007 event partly due to the number of storm cells that occurred and area affected and of course, it impacted Sydney during the late afternoon peak hour period.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018
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