Storms widespread across eastern NSW 29th October 2013

eastern NSW storms lightning mapAn upper trough moving across NSW with a cold pool of air aloft led to the rapid development of widespread thunderstorm activity across eastern NSW today. Most of the intense activity seems to have been in the vicinity of Newcastle and the lower Mid-North Coast regions. Widespread storm activity also occurred in northeastern NSW and southeast Queensland with strong winds and hail the primary threats. Hail to the size of golf balls was observed in some locations of NSW with the more intense cells.

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  • Harley Pearman

    Thunderstorms were concentrated in areas north of Sydney and across NE New South Wales and they were fast moving.

    Between 1 pm and 1.30 pm, a cell began to approach Sydney from the NW but it passed to the north. I made an attempt to photograph it but unfortunately smoke haze from bush fires obscured its view and unfortunately I was unable to get any good view of it and no photos.

    The GPATs lightning tracker recorded 54,282 lightning flashes and strikes between 8 pm Monday evening to 8 pm Tuesday evening across New South Wales with the bulk of that occurring across the NE quadrant of the state north of Sydney to the Queensland State Border.

    Sporadic but high intensity rainfalls did occur from the bigger cells such as 62 mm at Bulahdelah and 68 mm at Crawford on the Lower North Coast. A concentration of falls between 19 mm and 45 mm occurred around Newcastle and the small town of Broke in the Hunter Valley had 42 mm. The Lower and Middle Hunter Valley and Central Coast received the better rainfalls.

    In Sydney, only Avalon recorded anything of significance with 14 mm and 7.8 mm at Hornsby. Some of the storms and rainfall appears to have fallen in some of the bush fire affected areas but other areas missed out. Generally little or no rainfall fell across Western Sydney.

    The wind change brought gales across Sydney and I had some trouble standing up in the wind when viewing the northern storm from the Auburn Council rooftop car park.

    I am also aware of hail events at Tamworth and Port Macquarie and I did see a picture of hail at least to golf ball size from one of the storm events in the news bulletins.

  • Harley, do you have the lightning map of this event?

    Jimmy

  • Harley Pearman

    I have resized the plot to make it smaller. It shows the majority of lightning flashes and strikes across the NE third of New South Wales.

  • The storms during this event yielded a lot of wind particularly further north. The event itself was quite unusual in terms of the setup. A developing low progressing east brought did create an environment for destabilisation on the Mid North Coast and also North West Slopes and Plains and the Hunter Valley. This is where some form of surface based convection was able to tap into the moisture prior to the SE change progressing up the coast. The models picked this change well. The eastern Hunter Valley and southern Mid North Coast was quite chaotic at times with multiple storm events racing through. Tamworth also was hit bygone of a line of desecrate cells likely higher based storms developing in the cold air later. I am not sure if anyone was following this event moving offshore as the low could easily be seen in the radar loops!

  • The lightning map from Harley’s post.

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