Category Archives: Effects of Storms

Effects of Storms can be anything from the change in temperature to the damage in some cases extreme destruction

North Indian Ocean – Tropical Cyclone Tauktae – 15 to 18 May 2021

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A look at the Worlds tropical cyclone tracks will reveal that the majority of all tropical storms form within certain ocean areas including the north west Pacific Ocean, an area of the west coast of Central America and Mexico, the tropical Atlantic Ocean north of the Equator including the Gulf of Mexico, the Western Pacific Ocean including areas within Australian waters and the tropical Indian Ocean within the southern hemisphere between Australia and Africa.

There is also another area where such storms can occur but are much less likely being the North Indian Ocean situated between India and the Arabian Peninsula. Occasionally a storm will form within this area and track towards the North West India / Southern coast of Pakistan but instances of such occurrence are relatively rare.

During the period 15 to the 18 May 2021 a significant tropical storm has formed within an area where tropical cyclones are generally rare. This storm was named Tropical Cyclone Tauktae which formed off the west coast of India then tracked northwards towards the north west coast of India and even threatened the south east coast of Pakistan. Landfall occurred between Porbandar and Mahuva (Gujarat State - India).

At peak intensity, this storm reached Category 4 on the Saffir Simpson Scale with peak wind gusts at the core of at least 115 knots (Approximately 213 km/h). This storm was supported by ocean waters within the range of 30 to 31C and atmospheric conditions were certainly favourable for supporting such a strong storm. Strong convection and thunderstorm cells were visible on satellite images especially to the south of the eye which supported the storm. This storm weakened just before commencing landfall over Gujarat State.

This storm has brought heavy rain especially around Saurashtra and numerous west coast localities were warned for heavy rain as the storm tracked northwards. Media reports suggests a significant impact onto the north west Indian coast with at least 26 fatalities mainly within coastal locations, flooding, heavy rain and intense wind gusts. It is believed that upwards of 200,000 residents were evacuated prior to the storm making landfall.

The images attached to this post are taken from Worldview and CIMSS. Information was also sought from the India Meteorological Department 17/5/2021 prior to the storm making landfall.

Isolated intense storm at Marsden Park (NSW) with flooding 23 January 2021

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Following a second day where temperatures soared to above 35C in Western Sydney including 38C at Penrith, an isolated afternoon thunderstorm developed over Penrith in Western Sydney and traversed east. The images of the cloud structure and its approach are taken west of Blacktown including its base.

I initiated a local storm chase but only had to travel 10 km to the north west to experience the core of the storm. This storm was intense proceeded with gale force winds then torrential rain but with no hail at my location.

I pulled off Richmond Road just west of Marsden Park at a suitable location to document the storms core. However, the core of the storm produced so much rain that there was local flooding along Richmond Road which impacted on traffic flows. The images provided are showing floodwaters from this storm and its impact on Richmond Road including floodwaters over the road and motorists having to slow down when driving through the flood waters.

Floodwaters were up to 20 to 30CM in places during the height of the storm.

There were also power outages from nearby lightning strikes and some tree branches were stripped from trees by the winds (downbursts or microbursts).

The images attached were taken between 5 pm and 6 pm 23/1/2021. This storm went into rapid decay over Marsden Park. The exact amount of rain that fell in the area is not known as no rain gauges exist although Shanes Park further west provides some clues to the intensity of the storm where 17 mm of rain fell.

Sydney severe storms December 20 2018

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.