Supercell and severe storms in Sydney 10th February 2013 6


0210jd10Chased the supecell and storms with Colin Bryant and Corey, Jeff Brislane, HarleyPearman and Michael Keene. It started with false promises as cumulus and showers collapsed west of Penrith. One cell tried down south west of Warragamba but it collapsed. A cell took off after that in the same vicinity but feeling hungry myself, we headed to MacDonalds. It seemed the only show in time trying to anchor into the moisture were the cells down near Warragamba.

Jeff Brislane did suggest a nice spot to view these areas so we decided to head down there to investigate. Timing could not be more perfect! I would think that records were broken of people getting out of the car to photograph! The storm had separated from the rain and become organised rapidly whilst we had just arrived! The supercell probably was in a nice structure for about 20 minutes before it went linear. After being smashed by hail to golf ball size (hail easily measured to 3.5cm), we headed north.

The storms near Penrith split but also weakened given the pressure of other cells behind. So we headed with an intercept for Bilpin. Nearing Richmond, we decided to head for Kurrajong and alas, an awesome structure developed once more! This time no issues about perfect contrast!0210jd44 The arcus cloud was amazing and relatively close! Timelapse and photographs were gathered but this storm again rained and hailed itself out. Hailstones from this storm probably maximised about to 2cm.

23 thought on “Supercell and severe storms in Sydney 10th February 2013”
  1. Was a nice afternoon with our start at Greendale which gave us some nice developing structure with a nice burst of hail,then a dash to bilpin area to hunt down another cell,was a great arvo guys

  2. Wow, what a chase the 10th of February turned out to be.

    As Jimmy mentioned we all met up east of Richmond, and watched some crisp convection go up and collapse. The dewpoints on the Central Tablelands were a little concerning,and the lack of moisture was certainly evident in the very high bases. A cell finially got going to the south west near Warragamba, and put out an explosive updraft on the back end, but this cell collapsed as well and was elevated. I was getting edgy to head to the edge of the blue mountains, but instead we decided to kill some time at Maccas.

    40minutes later the call was made to head southwest of Penrith, as stronger cells started to develop east of Taralga and more around Cambelltown.. As we got closer to the action the southwestern horizon gradually darkened, however there we no visable features at this stage as the contrast was terrible… After some bad timing with traffic lights I had lost Jimmy and the others, however I caught back up to them at Greendale. Some very nice structure finially came into view from the murk as the storm rapidly organised on a boundary or triple point. Unfrortunately the great structure didnt last long, but long enough for awesome timelaspe! The contrast improved heaps as well towards the end which was awesome as well.. As Jimmy mentioned, the storm became linear, and the structure gradually collapsed, however there were still spectucular hail streaks which were quickly approaching. I do wonder how big the hail would’ve been a further 5-10kms to our west. Maybe a few bigger than golf ball! but we’ll never know… By the time the storm got to us, it had completely collapsed, but still packed a punch with a couple of golf ball stones in amongst the masses of 2-3cm stones.

    We looked for bigger stones, but couldn’t find any. Unfortunately this put us well out of position for the next storms, which developed very rapidly off the outflow boundary of the supercell. Whilst driving back through greendale, we witnessed a barrage of tall bolts pepper southern Penrith. These were clear airs off a possible rightmover. The behaviour was strange, as 6 whacked down in the space of 3 minutes, and then it went dead quiet again. We pushed through Penrith and Richmond which was very slow, the occasional bolt would pulse behind us from the now cluster of several storms.

    At North Richmond we finially caught sight of some nice structure again which definately had me fooled but a spectacular feature nevertheless!! I got 1.5cm stones from it but thats about it as the cell slowly weakened and headed into no mans land east of Colo ..

    Heres a couple of videos.

    Full timelapse of the supercell.

    Timelapse and some hail, the golf ball at the end was the one I picked up whilst the hail was still falling LOL

  3. I will post some photos as Jimmy and Michael have covered the storm chase well. As we were together most of the time, we all enjoyed the spectacle of the days storms generally at the same location.

    I used two cameras being my Nikon and my Canon and hence the photos are different.

    The first one shows the base of the cell at Greendale.

  4. One of my favourites. Watching the hail shafts fall to the west of us. I post an image of the hail shaft and the contrasts that were produced.

  5. While I moved the car to seek shelter, I did not go far. I still enjoyed the spectacle of the hail and had the same size hail that everyone else had. It certainly made a big noise and some stones were reasonable size. Following that, I quickly drove back to where we were and I sampled some hail fall. A picture of some hail in my hand. I was with Michael at this stage.

  6. Following this storm, I drove north towards Richmond with Michael following me. We eventually found Jimmy, Colin, Corey and Jeff at an open area between Richmond and North Richmond.

    Following that we went up to Kurmond or Kurrajong to enjoy the second major storm cell. This storm did produce another hail event although as Michael pointed out, the hail was smaller in the 1.5 cm range but maybe up to 2 cm in size but certainly no larger than that.

    This storm did produce a wonderful cloud formation, some green tinge and allot of rain. I looked on the Bureau of Meteorology website later on and discovered that 32 mm of rain had fallen in this area from this event.

    This storm went into a weakening phase thereafter and Colin, Michael and myself made our way back to Mc Donalds at Richmond where we met Jimmy and Jeff which concluded the chase.

    Thank you to everyone for making this an enjoyable chase.

  7. It was an excellent chase given most chases in recent times have been with one partner or alone. It was so difficult to navigate 4 hungry chasers! But we got it done – the smile on the faces after having accomplished the job was great to see. That is what chasing is about:) the funnel cloud also was the best I have seen in this country and is close to being half was to the ground! Imagine a low based storm.

    I will look at people’s time lapse and videos later and also post some myself in. The near future.



  8. Nice work everyone! This was a thoroughly enjoyable chase for both the storm and the chase company. I’m still struggling to edit and present anything with so much to do but here is a shot of the Warragamba supercell in it’s decaying phase. The lightning was just plain luck!

  9. Just saw the videos guys – some definite rotation but it is interesting how the outflow pushes the structure backwards and the outwards. You can just imagine that the updraft above it is still rotating. Love supercells as they are so complex and beautiful in nature. We some!

  10. Amazing photos, videos, and reports of this supercell!!! It was an absolute pleasure to chase with you guys! Its chases like these where I learn alot.

    Heres a video still of one of the hailstones I measured.

    This hailstone fell right at the beginning, when they were very isolated. It was sitting in the middle of the road. I couldn’t resist running out to get it, despite the risk of getting a golf ball on the head. I was out of the car for roughly 10seconds,yet I didn’t get hit by one stone! This one isn’t zeroed off properly and still sits just shy of 3.5cms, so its safe to say this one is giving 4cms a shake. I’m suprised I didn’t get any hail dents, how did you guys fare?

  11. Michael, I can assure anyone with evidence from Colin that hail dents were experienced by most if not all vehicles given golf ball sized hailstones. I know you car is a Ford falcon but I would check very carefully and you may find the odd extemely minor dents Michael.

  12. I will add two photos of lightning I managed to get from this event. The number is limited as many occurred elsewhere within the storm cell. At least I got two good ones.

  13. Michael, I think I got more new dents the day after this near Wellington and we had smaller hail on average but it was more wind driven. Plus the hail on the 11th broke one of my wiper blades.

  14. Note that the second storm in thus video was not a supercell and the structure shows no rotation despite the thoughts of others taking a look at the picture itself. The structure was most likely formed by local geographical effects and moisture reaching the base!

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