Victorian Severe Storms and Bellbridge Tornado

Heres a news article of the Tornado & Severe Storms that went through Bellbridge and SE Australia around midnight last night, same system that produced the Lightning Show in Batemans Bay that I posted about earlier...

http://www.news.com.au/national/it-was-a-bit-like-a-cyclone/story-e6frfkvr-1226191285403

Heres the Radar for Yesterday afternoon, through to Today, and you can also get the doppler wind on the same page, Bellbridge is just to the east of Albury for those who dont know:

See :

See : 128km Radar Loop for Yarrawonga, 00:00 09/11/2011 to 11:00 09/11/2011 UTC

There is apparently a video and pictures, but I havent found them yet...  The news article above does slightly irritate me (one of my pet hates is the 'mini-Tornado' and 'mini-cyclone' terms that the media use... Im sure most of you would understand why...)

Doppler

See : 128km Radar Loop for Yarrawonga, 00:00 09/11/2011 to 08:00 09/11/2011 UTC

- Cameron.

5 thoughts on “Victorian Severe Storms and Bellbridge Tornado

  1. hail

    Hi,

    Impressive damage from this specific event. (There is confusion of the timing being either 1am or 1pm period. It seems that 1pm seems more consistent in terms of most media articles and the video from the event).

    Was it a tornado? Unfortunately, as always, the structure of the lowerings and the dust seem to be inconsistent with that of a typical smooth tapered tornadic funnel. Furthermore, there is no evidence of violent rotation but more of an outward poush of debri in the video. In my opinion, it points more to a microburst – a very strong one in that. In 1998, a violent microburst near Grafton dumped a boat up to 1km away. The forward momentum of the fast moving storms would support strong microbursts.

    Included is an article showing the intense damage and also a video of the feature that caused the damage.

    http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/news/general/tornado-rips-apart-homes-lashes-villages/2351430.aspx

    Regards,
    Jimmy Deguara

  2. Paul Devine

    fromhttp://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/it-was-a-bit-like-a-cyclone/story-fn7x8me2-1226189622126Quote “Weather bureau spokeswoman Andrea Pearce said the bureau’s Doppler
    radar picked up a cyclone briefly travelling through the area. “The observation is really what we call a strong mesoscyclone which is what we’d get with a tornado,” she said. “Certainly the damage is what you’d expect to see with the passage of a tornado.” Wodonga SES communications officer Pam Henry said there were reports the
    tornado shot across Lake Hume before carving a narrow path through the
    small town.” End QuoteThe only point I can see on the radar is at 2:10UTC or 1:10pm local time where a meso appears to be present near Bellbridge, with Bellbridge just on the Nth edge, But the video seems to show more ragged lowerings and only broader scale posible rotation above the lake surface.  May be the event was more at around 2:00 UTC or 1:00pm local time where Belbridge is at the NE side of the storms FFOutflow and the narrow nature of the damage from a narrow burst swath with localised ground based spinup type rotation? Would be interesting to see a full survey of the tree damage. The tree damage appears to be stright line at first glance but a couple of shots looking more NE from the SW side of the damage seems to show trees fallen more Nthward? if it were Burst swath the edge damage should trend more to radiate more outward not inward?? Could the lowerings in the vid be RFD related if the vid was at 1:10pm and not 1pm local time?.Cheers Paul D

  3. hail

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for posting your points and the issues which are all valid in the argument. Obviously, as we all say I was not there so can only go by the concept of what we have seen in other tornadoes. Is your point that it may be a flanking line tornado? Or perhaps along the gust front of the rear flank downdraft?

    My point is, time and time again, we get videos and/or photographs of look-a-like tornadoes. But it seems always to be unusual. Why? When you get tornadoes – weak or strong, whether they are spawned from low topped supercells, cool season tornadoes, the dynamical structure of a tornado is not too dissimilar. You have sufficiently strong  rotation to stretch the vortex down to the ground. The Bombala tornado for instance, there is absolutely no doubt of a smooth funnel structure – the main issue that has to be dealt with was a touch down from the tornado. I would say that the funnel looked to be about 70% to the ground from the perspective of the Bombala videos. In this particular case and many others in this country, we are trying to make excuses of it being unusual etc. Was there mention of a sound like freight train?

    In this case, we see nothing in the form of violent rotation and smooth funnel shapes. Believe me, when you see tornadoes even from some distance of even 5km, you can visually see the rotation or differential motion. I can’t see any eveidence of rotation.

    The Bureau suggests strong rotation on doppler radar. This does not necessarily provide absolute evidence of a tornado at ground level. It was brief strong rotation.

    In terms of your mention of outward damage and narrow paths, microbursts can cause localised damage as well as widespread damage. Both tornadoes and microbursts can snap trees. Microbursts with their differential vorticies on a localised scale can twist tree tops. There are similarities I guess in some of the damge from weaker tornadoes and microbursts. So this cannot be used as a single identifier.

    Was this a tornado? I just require a little more convincing personally.

    Regards,

    Jimmy Deguara

     

  4. David C

    Looking at the video provided, there is no way that’s a tornado IMO. There is no hint of rotation with what I assume is some water spray off the lake nor any at the cloud base. The storm base does looks a little too high, there looks to be some precip. to the right side at the end of the vid….bit hard to say given the poor quality.. I think it’s more likely a microburst if that vid is of the feature that did the damage. There looked to be lots of transient ‘couplets’ from Yarrawonga, however, nothing that I saw lasted any more than a single frame so I don’t take this to be reliable evidence of there being storm-scale rotation. What were the T/Td spreads during the pm at Albury?

  5. Paul D

    Couple of points of interest, from the video (in the article -http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/news/general/tornado-rips-apart-homes-lashes-villages/2351430.aspx ) The video was taken looking roughly West. At a point in time when the suspect feature has already demolished a narow swath of trees on the other side of the lake and is shown moving over the lake, towards the videoer and from the right to the left on the screen, in a direction of EastSouthEast app. It then continues in an ESE direction after the end of the video, passing roughly 200m to the south of where the footage was shot. The main storm is to the south not to the right or to the west. Winds shown at the videoers location seem to indicate a direction similar to the direction of the feature/storms track ie SE- ESE.There appears to be no easily discernable condensation funnel visible in the footage and any form of definition on what is going on is not helped by the low vid quality, but toward the end off the video the scud lowerings more infront, toward the videoer appear to be moving upward and to the right ie anticyclonicaly infront of a more stationary lowering toward the rear. At the start of the video when there is a short bit of better contrast there appears to be a more cilindrical area of water vapor mist “debris cloud” above the lake surface below the lowerings above.I guess my point here is with that is if there was or wasn’t a defined narrow funnel at the cloud base but a larger area of circulation on the ground say 50m -100m wide and a larger area of moving scud above, would one expect a defined funnel stretched all the way to the ground?. (My guess is no, but I don’t think we are looking at a typical funnel inducing tornado in this instance anyway). Shame the video didn’t go for another 20 sec or so, looking toward the lowerings at the end to give a better indication of whats happening.The photo of the damage to the A Frame house in the following article was taken looking roughly in the direction of the path of damage on the South side of town.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/it-was-a-bit-like-a-cyclone/story-e6freuzr-1226191285403On the storm itself (from what I can make out) it showed a clear sustained cyclonic rotation on doppler for at least 1hr30min from 0:50 app UTC.From the direction of narrow path of greater damage which is roughly the same direction as the storm track I think we can rule out a Forward flank microburst/burst swath as you are looking toward where the precip should be in the video and it is almost clear skies behind the feature. Same as a comma echo burst swath from the NE cnr of the FFD as the damage track appears to be in the wrong direction sustained ESE not NE?If this is not a clear wider scale traditional type tornado only 50-100m at surface, then maybe what we are seeing is an anti cyclonic RFD induced rotational spinup which then travels on the RFD gust front in the same direction as the storm or a or RFD burst swath? With an RFD Burst Swath I just can’t see it travelling 2km and doing substantial damage at both end’s of the track to a very narrow strip at both ends without something else in the mix influencing things?Hope that makes sense..Cheers Paul D

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