Storm Australian Severe Weather Forum

Severe Weather Discussion => Tropical Cyclones, Typhoons and Hurricanes Worldwide => Topic started by: Mike on 14 August 2007, 08:38:47 AM

Title: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 August 2007, 08:38:47 AM
Some aspects re our impending wet season look very favorable this time around.  The Madden-Jullian Oscillation is creeping closer by the week in it's higher numbered stages and already its affects are being felt with increasing humidity and shower probability along the coast.

With El Nino behind us and the nuetral phase I'm looking forward to the return of La Nina which, from what the models suggest, will bring us an early wet season.  Given that that increases the potential for storm initiation earlier also.  Last season was not too shabby with October, January, February, March being the best months for storms, notably February as that month I chased 4 out of 7 days each week which was pretty incredible.

The transitional weather is already happening this month the closer it gets to September, humidity has risen and the sun really has some bight to it compared to the dry - you can tell when things start changing because even my garden and the landscrape seem to be getting greener without me watering anything - that's a good sign of changes in the weather!

I've inlcuded a link which I found http://tsr.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/ which is updated each month, this one is for August as far as tropical cyclone likelihood is concerned for us and across Australia.  It has some positive figures for this season, one I hope will continue.

Will update this thread as models change and the silly season really kicks in :)

Mike




Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 27 September 2007, 09:38:05 AM
Some decent activity on radar this afternoon SE of Darwin - have you spotted anything Mike ?   Nothing on the weatherzone lightning tracker though it is a bit dodgy for the NT.

MB

Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 September 2007, 11:25:03 AM
Heavy showers today 27th Sept.  Sounding for today showed very nice speed and directional shear in the low to mids from 6-35kts.  Had two large cells to the NW early afternoon and one cell dumped a nice amount of heavy showers on us in the city, but more recently around 4pm there are two cells moving across my home which is about 22km SE from Darwin City.

 Had reports of thunder (but am not a silver member of WZ yet so could not check the tracker for anything) and it is flogging down there.  Radar images show one particularly large cell - I went outside work to have a view and it had nice height, I suspect this one may have taken advantage of the shear profiles if they were still present, to at least give it some updraught kick and taking advantage of the high CAPE. 

Most of this stuff is due to a trough within the NT although its expected to weaken by the weekend :(  It's the first precip of any note and instability for an obviously starved storm chaser, so i'm taking advantage of anything i can get at the moment until the decent stuff arrives later down the track!

Radar image of the cell over my home in Palmerston. 

Mike
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 September 2007, 01:38:14 PM
The city got 18mm which was nice to see.  Snapped some shots on the way home of two nice 'loosely termed' storms.  With the backlit sunlight it was too nice to let go.  i must remember to clean my lens also - there's a conspicuous dot on there....

Mike

Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 29 September 2007, 03:29:15 AM
Someone up here got a photo of a small funnel from a large CU.  I'm trying to get the larger version so i can check it out to make sure it's not scud, but given the shear yesterday as I mentioned I would not be surprised if it was one - but will have to see the photo first to confirm...I will post it if it checks out.

Mike

edited 1Oct'07  - this just in on the ABC this morning...kinda exciting to say the least!

The Bureau of Meteorology says if Australia experiences a La Nina effect it is more likely that cyclones will hit Darwin.

The bureau's senior meteorologist for severe weather, Todd Smith, says Australia has experienced El Nino conditions for the last couple of years.

But he says there are indications it could change to a La Nina effect, which would bring an earlier start to the wet season and more cyclones in the Arafura Sea.

"In those La Nina years on average we tend to see more cyclones than normal and more activity out to that north-west, which is a bit of a risk for Darwin," he said.

"So I guess people should use that as a heads up to get their cyclone kits together early."

Mr Smith says a La Nina effect is looking more likely.

"We start to see an increasing chance of an early monsoon onset, an increasing chance of getting a cyclone as early as late November, early December," he said.

"Also with the La Nina we would tend to see more tropical cyclones than average throughout the season, so we may actually see three or four possibly during this season in the northern region."
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 05 October 2007, 02:06:11 PM
Hector storm arose for the first time heralding the start of storms to come.  Large radar signature and produced two CGs for the effort.  Did not sustain much oomph but continued to grow albeit a weak anvil.  Produced a secondary tower during this phase later on.  Photos below taken from the office window.

Mike
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 October 2007, 05:05:22 AM
Couple of nice cells around Darwin last night 6 Oct.  Image of the cells near Darwin which I snapped on the way to work at 5:30p which ended up being lightning active during 7pm-9pm. Plenty of CGs and CC stuff.

Mike
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 October 2007, 08:35:11 PM
Strewth, I feel like a loner on this thread!

Finally captured some pulse jobs near Darwin this evening 12 Oct.
Three storms but one well sustained structure and showed slow movement for a fair while.  Lightning active for around 35 mintues and produced everything from cloud to air, CC and many CG's - most of which i missed due to trying to work out someone else's camera!  There were some lengthy bolts from the cap to the ocean outward and two twin CGs down the tower face Can't complain - the sunset was so photogenic for these shots!   

Only the arvo storm forecast tonight Sat 13th and then we have some unwelcome drier air from that high in the bight and even the CAP for today terrible on the sounding - will have to wait a tad longer for more regular storms it seems!

Mike
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 14 October 2007, 02:57:18 AM
Beautiful pictures of the storm Mike - I hope that cures your storm deprivation for a little while.

Sunset coloured lightning are always my favourite - good stuff.

MB
Title: Re: Top End wet season 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 October 2007, 04:13:07 PM
After the bureau changed their forecast which was depressing to say the least, but they did forecast an evening storm which certainly proved right.  Daytime heating contributed to getting rid of the cap during the day and a large line of storms came through my district at around 8pm 13 Oct.  The daughter alerted me to the radar image and gleefully let me know whilst at the location that I missed a beaut staccato to my left...:(  ( I hate light poles but I was under cover!)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 26 October 2007, 12:15:54 PM
Greetings all  - must be the only one from the NT on this forum!

Anyway, huge storm about 80km to the SW of Darwin this afternoon 25thOct.  Small cells sneakily converged into one large group of cells that produced some excellent number of strikes and hefty rain.  Got some photos of its structure from the harbour for you to peruse - anyone would think it's the dry season here considering the dismal storm activity of late...:(

The photos are over an hour period which was very surprising the storm lastedt that long - average low level winds kept the updraughts up and winds through the mids and aloft were only light.  The CIN for the day was nice and low - around 17c - so there was no trouble with parcels rising.  Temp and dew points were terrible in the city - 33.2 / 13-11 !, but where this storm was it was around 34.4 / 23.2 - goes to show how much the atmosphere can be ever changing and suit convection in the most unlikely of places.

The weekend looks the same for these types of storms in the same area - might have to go for a drive depending on the satpics/sounding during the day....hopefully I'll be able to post some nice CG/storm photos as the start of the season has been dismal!!

Included the latest satpic - nice overshooting top and there's storms backbuilding behind it at the mom.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 26 October 2007, 01:13:21 PM
Very nice, thanks for posting Mike !   That cell looks like it has punched up very high ... 50,000 feet or more ?  Checking the sounding shows barely anything to stop storms reaching some amazing heights.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 26 October 2007, 01:43:10 PM
It was certainly long lived.  It was on the radar for a very long time building.  I knew straight away viewing it from the office window that it was not going to be inhibited by any capping - there was no inversions on the sounding for the morning and replotting the numbers for that area the instability went berko.  As from the photos, it showed classic strong pulse maturity - the anvil was smooth and crisp and still had plenty of undraught strength afterward - at night it would have been a gem to photograph.

Unfortunately Darwin is sitting in an exhaust outflow from PNG and a series of H's to the NW of Darwin, this is just blocking any moisture to initiate instability. Wind profiles did show as this storm was building NE/NW and E winds converging into the very region where the storm was maturing. This no doubt had some positive influence to spark the TS.

Forecasts were for afternoon storms this weekend in Darwin, but as always it's changed to showers.  The MJO is in its 1-2 stage and we really need it to speed up towards 4-5 stages but its not expected to arrive till November where things will definitely fire up.  All the weather obs are against us for any storms in Darwin itself and the inland ones such as todays will be the only thing of note for the next few days at least.

Depressing isn't it....!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 October 2007, 10:48:28 AM
Finally the BoM got it wrong for a change!  Viewing the sounding this morning it just had all the right ingredients.  Storms started initiating around lunchtime so I headed out to get some quick snaps and then attempt some daytime lightning shots - I don't know how you guys do it but I managed to miss all of the strikes and there were many. :(.  Using the remote and on sports mode with 4 shots per second I still blew it!

Radar image has many cells popping up regularly and the storm that passed over my district dropped many CGs.  I'm fairly confident of the storms persisting into the evening, at least I'm getting the nighttime shots....

Here's some photos of the storm over my district.  Small wedging at the leading edge from inflow of warmer air, I could feel the wind being drawn into it while taking the shots.  At least I can happily say my storm observation techniques have proved fruitful over the dry season!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 28 October 2007, 12:57:22 PM
Mike,

Those updrafts are quite substantial and spectacular. Looks like the season is under way for you guys.

Enjoy and keep us up to date!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 October 2007, 01:10:57 PM
This second storm produced so much variation of lightning i did not know where to point the camera - single, pulse, double pulse, staccato  lightning - it had the lot.  I even snapped of four frames whilst one pulsed 3 times in front of me and it did not show up on the camera! 

There's currently another large system moving in behind the one just passed - it's large and I'll be heading out yet again.

Here's some pics from the second system.  Roll cloud in one of them and the updraughts were strong, the amount of wind coming behind me was very strong.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 29 October 2007, 08:59:58 PM
High CAPE environments produced a textbook tropical electrical storm display over the harbour this evening, you guessed it I was working and could only diminish into depression.  I was out earlier watching it work up but had to return to work.  20 minutes later three large cells - possibly multicell by the structures - no anvils - but stationary cells just going nuts with intracloud lightning.  A decent week for storms this week from what BoM say.  Got some neat photos of Hector in full bloom before heading out to work.  You'll note there's no specks on these shots this time fellas.....:P

Mucked around with the F-stop and ISO settings for those that gave me tips, I've managed to work it all out - will get plenty of ops to test it all soon enough one fears....


Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: David C on 30 October 2007, 05:39:03 AM
Excellent pics Mike!

It's good to have you up there as our eye on the sky. So what's the current weather pattern like up there for severe local storms? Darwin is regarded as one of the lightning 'capitals' of the world (well, Americans insist parts of Florida hold that title, even though it is indisputably somewhere in equatorial Africa),  -- I want to see some bolts mate, do you have a camcorder?
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 October 2007, 09:33:19 AM
Yes, I'm under pressure from all quarters to get a cam corder - down the track!

We've got a nice low pressure ridge below us and a low associated with it which is moving ever so slightly northward which is why our soundings have been showing good numbers of late.   Email from a contact at BoM told me that another line of multicells will form this evening east of Darwin around 5-6pm and probably get active at nightfall.  I'm heading down the Arnhem Highway towards Humpty Doo which is about 20 mins from my place to set up and beat of the mutant mosquitos that frequent that area, but it's nice and open and more importantly rural, so it's dark!

Forecasts are for storms all week while this ridge hangs around and with the NW moisture now feeding in it will help significantly.  Normally we only average 4 storm days for October total, but it's proving better.  La Nina no doubt has an effect.  The MJO is entering it's 4-5 phase which is exactly where we want it.  SST's are way up and there's been no worrying about CAPE or LI numbers, winds have been favourable also.  we've had two near severe storms over the last two days inland, but they tend to die off when entering Darwin's hostile ennvironment with the sea breezes, it's fairly typical of storms not to pass the 22km 'killing field' zone this time of year and head for Darwin City.

I promise I'll get some CGs this week but you'll have to wait for the 'film at 11' footage for now!!  I'll speak to the Minister of Finance about it..(wife).

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 02 November 2007, 03:13:22 PM
! November 1 and offically cyclone season starts.

First actual 'knock-off' storms reach the outskirts of Darwin this afternoon.  A couple of large cells flanged a few bolts out in the process with a large amount of rain dumped on the northern suburbs in the process.

Have not even looked at the sounding at all today to see what the recipe was, but from what came in there was no inversion and no dreaded 'killing field' zone that Darwin seems to push out towards the rural area that keeps storms away.

Here's a few pics from the top level at work, thanks to the help of security letting me out there!

Some nice structure with outflow laminations and definite bear's cage blackness!

Mike

(still waiting for something to chase at night - it's been disastrous come 6pm - it all has dissipated!)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 02 November 2007, 03:45:12 PM
Swap you two pulse storms for one supercell and it's a deal...
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 03 November 2007, 02:19:01 PM
2 November 2007

A trough line is wobbling around the place over the Top End with a low pressure area expected to sit over the top of us on Sunday/Monday which may produce an increase of storms.  We've another lot of storms come through the CBD but still for me they're coming too early in the day - I much prefer them around 6pm so I can get the CGs (yes, i'm hopeless thus far at daytime attempts!)

Here's a nice cell that came through Darwin again today.  I certainly liked watching the scud whirling around inside the rain shaft area.

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 November 2007, 04:47:42 AM
3 November 2007

Stormchasing 101.

Wife wakes you up at 5am as she ready's for work and says 'There's lightning out there'.  The slumbering storm chaser rises from the humidity laden house and chaser peers out into the blackness - yep there's flashes!  Jumping in the car and zipping around the corner, tripod in hand to check it out and observe - (most important) - Police patrol car pulls up and asks 'Ya okay mate?' - 'Yep, just checking for lightning matey'.

Anyway, drive back home as it's only sheet lightning and jump on the BoM radar to see what's up - a line of two storm cells moving along the coast east west of Darwin, so my daughter is woken by my excitement and we take the missus to work and head out to the cliffs.  A couple of positive strikes and four cells maturing side by side.

Now you'd expect flangs all over the place, but no, only saw three and the caps were lightning active.  So i set up the camera and wait and wait and oh well wait!

Retrieved some storms shots herewith at about 6:30am before I gave up and headed back home.  I'm pleased to say that it was an educational experience and chased in the right direction after my observations.....:)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 November 2007, 08:36:25 AM
3 November 2007

Third time out today with the daughter to 'get' some CGs.  Sadly to say most of the storms are carrying copuious amounts of wet stuff but not much lightning activity. I suspect that the air is too cool with all these cells around and cloud cover to built any height in the towers to get the mixing going to produce anything of note.  I've given up on the lightning tracker - I can hear rumbles but don't see the strikes.  There's more energy in a 12v battery at the moment lightning wise.....included the sounding for this morning which proved juicy, but replotting the numbers after the second wave of storms things have settled down a tad with an inversion building.  Things are mighty humid as you would expect after the showers and I'm confident of the sun breaking through to get rid of it and heat things up again.

Captured some more gust fronts - seems they all look the same - but I hope the members are liking the photos, they do make for some nice shots.  Forecast is simply 'storms' so by all intents and purposes there should be some flangs to take photos of tonight.  Let's hope!

Ed - replotting the sounding with the temps rising and the sun out got rid of the inversion quick smart, a bit mush in the mids and no wind to initiate anything severe pulse wise and probably the odd CG around tonight but there's more sunshine and clear skies at the moment which should help things along later on...

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 04 November 2007, 01:32:29 PM
Mike certainly becoming very active stormwise up there - it seems a better start than previous seasons huh?

There was a decent shelf cloud over the small highrise - I assume it is Darin's skyline?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 November 2007, 08:59:36 PM
Yep Jimmy, better start than last year for sure.  La Nina def taking effect on everything.  The experts predict the monsoon will be early - probably late November, added to that cyclones usually come that early from what BoM tells us here also.  If you're referring to the first photo in the previous thread, nuh, that's not Darwin. it's actually the petroleum tank storage area where the fuel is delivered and trucked out.  This used to be smack bang in the middle of town believe it or not!

 It's about 20km to the east of Darwin and it's where i frequent to get photos due to good vantage points of the bigger storms that flow from the south-east to the NW. I have a photo which I'll post of Darwin today covered in rain - 55mm we got in town in half an hour.

We usually only average 4 storm days for October - but November sees them pick up considerably.  Average rainfall for Darwin in October is about 72mm - November is around 155-260mm - we're already half way to that!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 05 November 2007, 09:02:43 PM
5 November 2007

Sometimes it's either plain stupidity in decision making or it's de je vu.

For the second Sunday in three weeks I said 'yes' to going to work with my night job seeing as most of the cells were heading east and burnt out by tea time.  Guess what?  As was the exact, precise, same scenario as the last Sunday I went to work at approximately 8:45pm a line of multicells moved within 10kms of Darwin.  Guess where your's truly was?!  I went out chasing during tea break and observed the sparodic flashes - the exact same time i went back to work at 8:20 the storms became more active and by 9pm the place was going off its nut with lightning - once again - CGs, CCs, crawlers.  This same scenario happened to me before!

Now I was thinking....I'm never saying yes to another Sunday shift.  This is the second time I've missed photographing such magnificent electrical storm displays in three weeks.

There's constant flashes as I type but I'm not chasing - i'm to depressed!

Included a nice shot of 4 cells NE of Darwin on the way to work all by themselves...

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 November 2007, 12:34:09 PM
November 6 2007
Excellent line of storms converged on Darwin's northern coastal areas around 9;15am and gradually moved into the city.    Have got some nice cloud structure photos from across the bay overlooking the casino and to the NE as one particular cell formed a shelf and wedge base as it closed in on land.  I did not capture the gust front or rain shaft as it hit landfall, but it looked much better coming from out to see into Darwin anyway. 

Will upload the photos tonight - more like around 1am by the looks of things as I'm working tonight with my second job again...:( and have included today's sounding for those who would like to view it.

These were the rain rates as at 2pm Darwin time for the northern suburbs and the city central only got about 5mm.!~!

Nightcliff Pool 49mm
Marrara 25mm
Stokes Hill 7.8mm
Charles Point 24mm
Darwin Airport 11.2mm
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: David C on 07 November 2007, 01:19:30 PM
Keep it coming Mike, enjoying your posts and photos. Also good for us 'southerners' to learn about conditions up there and in helping us figure out when to go and what to expect when we get up there in the future.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 November 2007, 09:36:49 PM
7 November 2007
Photos as promised.  The large bubbly cell over the buildings is actually on the eastern coastal region (ten minute drive) but they were that big they dwarfed parliament house in the foreground!  The other shots are from a vantage point I located that overlooks that very eastern coastal area and the casino at Mindil Beach.  These cells combined to give us some drenching.  Some roadways were flooded during the downpour.  These photos show great growth of the storm and smaller immature towers bubbling away surrounding the main billowing tower - top stuff!

There were reports from BoM of a couple of severe storms in the 'further' rural area with winds of 87mph and 75mph respectively with assocaited heavy rain.

A slight lull in the rain for a couple of days as the low moves westerly, but the trough is hanging over us so the storms will be here and there.  I've got no night work the next two nights, hoping to get something...anything!

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 08 November 2007, 08:16:30 AM
There is no doubt that heights attained in Darwin are immense - very tall towers due to the height of the tropopause.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 November 2007, 12:06:24 PM
Perhaps those in the know could tell me where i find the tropopause level on the skew-t's I'm posting - have not got the TP indices on them ?  Yes, JD the cells yesterday attained some nice height very early on.  From what I could view they just went up and up and really had some gusto to them watching the caps constantly changing shape and exerting pileus as they did.  I watched them for about half an hour before taking the shots and there was no inhibition to them rising to whatever level they wanted.  The morning was pretty humid and the temps were around 27C at the time (9am), there was no wind to speak of at least at ground level and several cells grouped together on many occasions.

Some nice storms rolling through this afternoon.  Have posted the 00Z sounding which was pretty yuk, but replotting the temp at 29.7 and dew points at 22.4 at 4:30pm Darwin time things went from yuk to yow!  Posted current radar image of the things popping up and the nice cell over Darwin.

Several CGs banging around the city and there's plenty of new cells forming coming in from the east.  Maybe, just maybe they'll keep coming in around dusk so I can get out there into the thick of things and be able to add some lightning shots.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 November 2007, 02:25:51 PM
The skies are black as pitch as far as you can see to the east and south to us at the moment.  There has been plenty of lightning on the tracker but i'm yet to see any flangs.  I'm heading out in about half an hour to set up at my usual haunts as these roll in.  From the radar image posted you can see a fair amount of activity heading my way - Palmerston - but i usually set up to the south west of my home where there's 180 degree views as these roll through.

I'm confident of some lightning as even though there's a vast coverage of shower activity, I did notice a fair amount of cells peeking through the gaps in the main frontal regions.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 November 2007, 06:00:08 PM
8 November 2007

Observe and thou shalt receive!!!

Finally, finally a decent storm came close to the airport and I was ready for it!  Headed out to my favorite photo spot but the lightning was dying out with that particular storm, I noticed upper CC lightning gradually increasing behind me about 2 mins down the road so I packed up and dashed to a nice secluded spot (well most of it is..) and set up.

Did not have to wait long for some beautiful postive strikes that just blew me away - literally took my breath away. After the first 30 shots I moved just a bit further up undercover and got the CGs under the base of the cloud.  I think the airport got flanged to death this night!

I was especially humbled to the fact that I read the storms right and was in the prime position because I was alone for over 2 hours!

Enjoy people -  I have split the posts to save on upload size as I'm working on the compression thing...here's a collection of the 40 odd i took - I'm still buzzing with adrenalin!!!!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 November 2007, 06:02:30 PM
8 November 2007
Here's a couple more from the second location just up the road a tad...

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 09 November 2007, 01:57:52 AM
Good stuff, glad you were able to get out and capture those lightning bolts Mike !   It is very rewarding after waiting a long time for a great storm.

With the Skew-ts - the tropopause appears to be at 16500 metres on the soundings you attached - where the temp trace shows warming at the top of the diagram.
MB
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 09 November 2007, 11:24:04 AM
Mike,

Certainly some awe-inspuring lightning strikes. Staccato behaviour indicates the bolts seemed to not pulse so much - was this the case? Well you don't want them to pulse as they create a very bright channel destroying the explosure of the rest fo the lightning bolt.

Good stuff!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 November 2007, 12:21:02 PM
Indeed Jimmy.  Even under the base the strikes were branching.  Did not see any single smooth strikes at all during the time i was shooting.  Would that have anything to do with the conditions? - It was highly charged for at least an hour, it died off somewhat when i was waiting for strikes every 40seconds or so - it was time to pack when this was happening. 

(My wife quipped after seeing the photos that now that i know what I'm doing, that every strike will be calssified as my best from now on - hinting that the one on the wall will be replaced with one of those from last night!  Maybe not replaced but certainly another A1 size goes up!)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 November 2007, 01:34:34 PM
November 8 2007

Monster storm rolled past Darwin this afternoon.  Radar images showed one very large cell converging onto the NW side of the city, but it actually split in two from what i was seeing.  The NW side of the storm continued with the steering,  but i noticed a strengthening part on the NE side moving away from the centre of the cell.  We had an extreme amount of CG singles, doubles and from about 3pm to now it has subsided - certainly a very good storm with lots of punch.  Anvil crawler i saw looked more like staggered horizontal CG's and not the spider type we're used to - this thing had thick channels!

Captured my very first ever daytime CGs also through the office window.  You'll forgive the quality but i was using sports mode on the camera and rattled of shots as i saw the lightning, managed to capture some of it, it was difficult enough trying to keep up with the CGs.

Not a bad days activity at least!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 11 November 2007, 11:48:34 AM
Just some details from BoM re that storm that hit Darwin on November 8 from which those daytime strike photos came from..the lightning detector accounted for 1909+ strikes, they said it is likely that there was a great deal more but the detector could not keep up with the number of them.

 The storm had stalled during the maturing stage as it reached the city and was not affected by the steering winds, seems it had 'a mind of its own' and actually strengthened as it sat idle the bureau remarked.  From what I was observing as it growled in, it certainly had plenty of kick.  There were three or four cells of differing maturity converging from the N/NE into it along a flanking line and the main tower on the NW side was just huge.  Even with a massive anvil outspreak and anvil wash, the storm was still producing CG lightning two hours afterwards!

Sat pics only showed the anvil wash at the time they were taken, but there's no doubting a pronounced updraught strength that allowed it to pump out the lightning so long after it looked like it was spent. I'm thinking that perhaps being situated between two land masses and stationary over the warm ocean this may have allowed it to use the available warm/moist air for fuel - whatever cooler air from the precip there was it was probably being recycled or exhausted around the splay zone and then back into the storm.

Mike



Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 12 November 2007, 11:25:56 AM
'wow' factor sounding today with replotting the current temp and dew points.  Surely this has to carry on into the latter evening!  Thunderstorms around my area at the moment with lightning fairly regularly.  Radar shows a line of storms heading in the right direction on a NW track, the storms in front weakened off but are gathering again behind.

Will post some photos later, want to observe what's going on for a spell before heading out.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 12 November 2007, 01:12:31 PM
November 11 2007
Headed out and got some fabulous shots of cloud structure and turbulance within the updraught.  Lightning was sparodic and a couple of close ones convinced me to get back into the car!

Here's some photos of the group of cells that is moving past at the moment.  A fair bit of precip with it, so unfortunately hampened things.  This will put a stall on any storms moving in later perhaps, but we'll see...

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 November 2007, 02:52:25 PM

12 November 2007This is what some of the locals thought of as entertainment.  Big storm rolls through Darwin with Cgs every 15 seconds, hey lets stand out in the open and watch it!

Yours truly sat in the car in disbelief taking the photo!!! Added a couple of others as it rumbled past.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 13 November 2007, 03:15:10 PM
Mike,

Some very strong storms of note over the past couple of days.

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=526.0;attach=1714;image

This one in particular shows some quite strong updrafts. Any reason why we are not seeing the rest of the storm though? It seems you were not able to venture in the most ideal location - buildings in the way?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 November 2007, 03:57:12 PM
Hi Jimmy.  The storm was about 60km to the south of Darwin and it had gone through its most intense stage by the time this pic was taken late in the afternoon.  A couple of chasers reported hail and strong winds with tree damage and were questioning why BoM did not give a SSW warning.  From what I was told today by BoM on that storm it was probably a little overrated by the chasers out there - they did not consider it worthy of any sustained severity, but having said that the photo was taken around the corner from my home on the way out.  Most of the photos in the post are of the same cell as it was weakening through the stages.

I have a satpic image of a massive cell with overshooting top which was about 180km southeast today - saw it on radar and it was a giant.  Some chasers here calling it a supercell(?), but I'm not commenting on it - it would be very rare for it to have been considering there's no tropical disturbances around - perhaps you can give me some heads up from what you see in the satpic?

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 14 November 2007, 03:36:22 AM
What time was that storm?. The Vis satpic reveals light windshear in the upper levels with the circular anvil and the ripples indicating a number of updraft pulses. Certainly the last pulse has overshot compared to the earlier height of the storm. The morning Darwin sounding (http://soundings.bsch.au.com/skew-t.html?source=wyoming&lat=-12.4239&lon=130.8925&gribdate=&month=11&day=12&year=2007&hour=00) had some decent E to ESE winds between 850 and 600 hPa, and a good moisture profile, which would help with a storm becoming severe, though a supercell does not appear too likely unless some other factors came into play later in the day.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 November 2007, 04:43:39 AM
I think it was around 4:15pm - can confirm but I'm sure I saw that cell around that time on the radar loops.

Nabbed this shot of a pulsing Cg (in fact 6 separate strikes in a matter of 40 seconds) check out the guys outside in the open watching the lightning....fools!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 November 2007, 05:28:44 AM
Michael, satpic image was 08:30UTC.  To be honest I had not been looking too much at any of the obs (except sounding) wind profiles, GFS or anything yesterday so I can't give too much detail.  I shall ask greg at the BoM here to see if he has any details...
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Shaun Galman on 14 November 2007, 08:25:12 AM
G'day Mike,
Great to see you getting some decent CG action up there and giving you a good chance to put that new camera to use! Once you have those manual settings under control you wont turn back!

It's always frustrating to see ordinary people standing out in a highly active storm, particularly the relatively storm-inexperienced? I guess I have been that "person standing out in the severe storm" now and again but when things heat up or get too close for comfort I know when to jump in the car or just vacate the area! These people put their lives at risk and ours also! Knowing CPR is a must, just in case these people get hit (worse case scenario) but then you could greatly put your own life at risk (while the storm is still active) if you have to help them in any way! I have told people to move on a couple times now, due to the lightning danger. (one middle aged couple stopped beside me last year, threw a blanket down and sat there watching very close CG on an exposed high ridge with no trees!) It does get my blood boiling now and again but I think if you explain the immediate danger to them (and putting you at risk also) they will listen and oblige you most of the time :)

Nice to see great cell structure from up north!
Take care and keep up the great work!
Shauno 
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 November 2007, 08:47:29 AM
Indeed the storms in the last couple of days have been strong.  It's not often they reach Darwin coming from inland so often as the sea breeze just knocks them for six.  This particular storm with the locals in it produced a huge number of hits - just went off.  I missed some spectacular triple strikes at that very point while getting ready to shoot and they were closer than this one i captured - only got it due to it pulsing three or four times.

Yeah and I find my fingers are quicker than my brain when i see them pulse - rattle the shots off and you're bound to capture them - will try the F18-22 area in Tv later this arvo...

Sounding shows lots of shear in the lower sections and nice numbers again.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 18 November 2007, 10:54:11 AM
Saturday 17 Nov.

  Wide set of storms passing my home at the moment (3:15pm) - some CGs but nothing of note.  What I did like was watching the gust front and surrounding cloud form - it's nice just to sit and watch how it all unfolds on occasions rather than trying to capture some elusive lightning.

Here's some photos.  The storm actually attempted to shelf somewhat in the latter photos, the condensation cloud was being drawn up and in front of the leading edge and seemed to stall once it reached that point - almost roll cloud in appearance.  Quite a wide outflow on this storm as it would not fit all in the range of my lens!  Included the lastest radar image for your pleasure...:)

The most promising thing is that these storms made it to the city which indicates the dreaded seabreeze is not interfereing with their movement.

Close flang as I'm editing this....nice to hear the windows rattle!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 18 November 2007, 12:08:32 PM

17 November 2007
I must confess that this storm has moved very slowly over my area and is creating a lot of lightning - mostly intracloud as I've been standing in the driveway watching for over an hour and watching the flashes and crawlers - this is the best medication for stress in the world!  Just constant rumbles and booms every two seconds and really in reality it's just so relaxing to listen to!

I may be mad but it's stuff like this that makes you realise why you do all the work and storm chase, you don't have to be in the thick of it to appreciate it - just to listen really does have a calming affect!

The only time i heard so much thunder was way back in 2002 when Darwin was hit with a big storm on new years eve and on the phone to my mum she constently commented on what all the noise was - i said it was thunder 22km away non stop for over an hour!!!

Ahh you gotta love what we do when you just sit back and listen...

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 19 November 2007, 08:18:25 AM
Hi guys,  I have posted this photo compressed - I hope it works.  MB has been hounding me to finally do something about it!  I've found a free JPEG compression link which i have used.  If the photo is what you expected MB can you let me know?

Here goes....it worked a treat.  File size was around 287kb originally - after compression it was 49.6kb.  (I'm off the hook by looks of it Michael.?)

Extensive storm activity here at the moment, radar is just covered and it's flogging down at the moment.  My daughter and i went chasing but the storm with us now overcome us as we left too late - could be an interesting day once this mess clears up.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Carlos E on 19 November 2007, 10:00:36 AM
Heh, this topic makes me want to move to Darwin.

Those are some incredible pictures!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 19 November 2007, 11:48:18 AM
Hi Carlos, yes certainly makes the wait after 5 months of dry weather!  Storms are great during the day as it cools things off.  The only problem we have with multiple storms in the area is that there's so much 'storm wash' with it which hampers things.  Isolated showers in most parts makes it difficult with so much cloud cover and chasing the right ones even gets you trapped in encircling storms.

It's a shame that most of these storms don't come during the night as they'd make for spectacular lightning shots as the one i posted.  The storms don't always reach Darwin believe it or not during the afternoons, onshore seabreezes really do hinder their movement.  Todays storms have had enough push with the wind to help them propograte on the coast once they've moved from inland also. 

The best storms are when they form just outside the 25km region and move in a NW/NE for the S or SE and have plenty of 'clean' air between them and the city.  Once they get past this area they fire up and are usually lightning active.  Today has almost been monsoonal in character, imbedded storms within lots of mush!  It's almost impossible to catch CGs unless they pulse and staccato lightning is common - which makes it harder during the day!

Cheers.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 20 November 2007, 01:56:46 AM
Yay !! - glad you have got the JPG compression under control Mike !!!!   and what a beautiful lightning photo to display as a test.    Look forward to seeing more pics like that over coming months.

MB




Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 20 November 2007, 06:29:06 AM
Indeed, indeed.  Now that I'll have some spare nights for the next three weeks or so I duly hope there's some active close storms around at night before my venture back to permanent arvo shifts. :)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 20 November 2007, 04:19:35 PM
17th November 2007

Hi All,

Thought that I would add this photo to the list - from Sat arvo @ 15:59 on the 17th Nov.

Cheers,
adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 20 November 2007, 06:20:19 PM
Ah Adrian, make yourself known if you're a fellow Territorian and welcome to the forum with your first post and photo!!!  What better way to get involved than to post a CG near Darwin!

We all look forward to more posts from you and regular photos perhaps  - nice capture of the smooth CG also.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 21 November 2007, 04:24:19 PM
Hi Mike - yep fellow Territorian moved back about 2 years ago.  Haven't done much Storm photography as that shot of the CG (posted) would be my second only ever.

Have done a fair bit of other photography and hope to become a regular contributor on the photo side.... unfortunately don't know a lot about severe weather so will leave that for others at this stage.

Thanks for the warm welcome !!! I have enjoyed reading your posts and looking at your photos.

Cheers,
Adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 21 November 2007, 09:02:49 PM
Tuesday November 20

Worked tonight but there was an active group of storms to the SE of Darwin across the harbour - not being one to miss an photo op I dashed out at tea time (an hour later from initially spotting the CGs) and set up at the wharf area for a spell.  There were two storms with lots of CC stuff but flanged a few long bolts from the dome to earth - captured a few and due to the distance they looked quite nice with the orange tinge.  Frankly, it was close enough to get shots so why waste the evening because i'm working!  One in particular was quite nice, top to bottom and double CG at the base.  Thankfully I'm not working till Saturday night so it will give me a chance to get some juicy stuff again one hopes.

Just some details of the conditions..CAPE has been around high 3k and LI's of -5, the storms that came to darwin did not last too long, but i have noticed at night there's a lot to the se/e.  Temps have been around 32.5 and DPs of 22-24.3 most of the day.  The storms at late evening seem to be very lightning active for at least 2 hours or so.  Not being able to view radar or anything whilst at work they converge in the same area all the time each night.  There's flashes i can see even now with storms to the east (at 1:39am!) so it gives me some confidence of chasing in the wee hours of the morning if they are coming with in driving distance not too far from home.

The storms of the past week were due to TC Guba's flow of storms to us with the tail of the trough line, but with 700hp winds of 25kts this seems to have an affect on storms reaching the city.  850hp winds are favoured up here and so long as there is good steering strength it amounts to the storms pushing through....

Here's some of them....

Onya Adrian - ask anything you like we're all here to assist you.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 23 November 2007, 02:14:41 PM
November 22 2007

Replotted sounding and LI's at an incredible -6.9 - CAPE at 3500+, although not relying solely on the numbers the storms propogating to the SE are huge and there's a line forming in from the SE toward Darwin.

 Camera is primed and so am I!  Hopefully film at 11!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 23 November 2007, 03:21:37 PM
Mike,

They certainly look intense based on the radar image supplied. An organised line by the looks. With that sort of CAPE, I would say there could be some strong lightning bolt activity.

Enjoy.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 23 November 2007, 06:09:26 PM
22 Nov 2007

This storm front started to become active about 15 mins before last light and lasted to about 21:30 ... absolutely fantastic

The lighting was pretty much perfect for capturing some CG's.  Will leave others to critique the weather patterns but thought that I would post some pics.... enjoy.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 November 2007, 04:57:30 AM
Hi all.

Can only voice Adrian's comments and in fact my photos which i'll post later on are the same, just from a different location!!  Was a nice treat for a change and from what the satpics and radar showed just before tea time there were several storms organised around the traps.

Just a tip Adrian re your photo files - any chance that you could compress the files as their sizes take up a lot of usage to load up on the forum.  I'm guilty as hell for doing it in the past, but if you go online you'll find free JPEG compression stuff which compresses your photos without degrading the image.  They load faster, they look great as you can have it thumbnail size but when anyone looks at them they are full size.  800 x 600 size is ideal for most people to view.  You'll find that your file size can be reduced by more than half - for example some of your shots are 140kb say, when compressed they'll be in the range of 40kb without any degrading.

If you compress them it's far more user friendly for you and the forum's server to handle!  If you don't know how to do it that's fine, most of the links i've fou8nd when i typed in 'JPEG compression' online has all the instructions - it's easy and takes a couple of mins.  You'll find the uploading of files is super quick !

Mike



Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 24 November 2007, 08:22:18 AM
Hi Mike,

No problems with compressing them, I actually shoot in RAW so the initial file is about 8-9Mb and then I compress it to JPG.

But it is on high quality so will be able to drop that down, to make the files approx 40K.

Look forward to your photos as it was a great night to be out.

Cheers,
Adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 November 2007, 09:38:34 AM
Absolutely!  I have the images at work but they're not compressed - actually they are small files and won't do them justice by posting them now, so i'll wait till later on when i get home.  Could not believe the amount of multiple CGs in that one area.  Have one shot with 4-5 full CGs in one spot and all in the same capture.  There was a lot of activity down behind me also (10-20km or so) but where i was all of the activity was to the southwestern areas.

The cloud structures were quite ominous when the lightning flashed through them to expose just how low the bases were.  I saw a massive inflow wedge under one of the storms but the lightning was all above and just sheet lightning.  Dew points were in the 24's and temp still around 31 and I did not head out until around 7ish. 

Jimmy, yes the storms definitely got organised early in the evening.  Once I saw that storm that Adrian took a photo of at sunset (above) and noticed the crisp anvil structure I actually took a photo of it also from my driveway and knew that this thing was going to be a great provider of lightning.  There was enough nice clean, clear blue sky between these cells so there was no moisture laden cool air to decrease their strength.  The wind picked up just before i headed out and about an hour and a half into taking photographs it was fairly strong coming from the outflow once the lightning was decreasing and the rain started to approach.

It was a great night out and I was actually exhausted after all the excitement - mentally drained I guess you could say!

Photos will be posted this arvo.....a couple of shots are a tad askew as my tripod legs were standing in beach sand and i was holding it still due to the wind, albeit i got the strikes which was more important!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 November 2007, 12:50:55 PM
Here's some of my pics from last night.  Same photos as Adrian but from a different area.  Forgive some of the slightly out of focus ones, as I mentioned the legs of the tripod were in the sand and i think by me moving the legs inadvertently bumped the lens as it was in manual focus DOH!

There were a variety of pulsing monsters - the one at the 45degree angle pulsed at least 5 times - just awesome.  My favorite is the one with the crawler - completely lit the darkness up around me.

Adrian, I've found that the East Arm boat ramp is a pearler for photos with a 180 degree view of anything on that side - generally where the big storms head if they don't come to town.  Take the insect spray and I'll see you there one night!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: orage on 24 November 2007, 02:05:24 PM
I absolutely love these photos. They have wonderful colours. I especially Mike's photos from the 20th of November. Will look forward to seeing some more fantastic photos on this forum!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 26 November 2007, 10:50:44 AM
Only a couple of storms about today.  Sounding fairly good but mushy in the middle zones.  There's an angry storm passing at the moment which I got some shots of, only a few rumbles to be heard and strong showers with it.  One nice CB over to the west with mamma under the forming anvil.  Always a good sign and it was in the same area as those CG shots the other night.  There's some hope of something tonight, but not too much faith just yet!

A couple of images to cure my appetite again...and I've added a map of Darwin to show those who have not visited where I generally chase.  There's not a lot of real large driving to do thankfully and most of my best photographs have come from the area just NW of my place.  Unless the storms are long the coast or moving in that way, I'll generally get ahead of them to set up.  I'd say 75% of the time I'm either NW, S or SE of my place.

Just thought you'd like to see where I go...:)
Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 27 November 2007, 02:04:06 PM
26 November 2007

Pretty dull here in the tropics at the moment!

Inland storm(s) is the norm, fairly large but within 80km of the seabreeze winds it's just a nonesense!  One large cell within a decent view about 30-40odd km away to the SW.  A lack of steering winds, decent shear and that seabreeze murdered it to vapour.

  Observed for over about 45 minutes with this storm and it had excellent potential - big tower, huge amount of convective CUs to the rear bubbling away.  Anvil was average though and whilst I could see the updraft trying, it had no push once it got to a certain height and range of me.

CAPE etc was very good, but lapse rates i think just weren't going to be assisted by that on its own.  Drier air right throughout the sounding with a nasty inversion at 900ish.  Watching the storm come around the western side of the harbour the anvil just pettered out, the CUs following it just spread out like pancakes and the leading group of feeding CUs to the front just separated once they hit cooler air.  Terribly frustrating even when observing!

Sometimes I wish we'd get some nice dryline storms again like we had a few weeks back.  Last week apparently BoM said we were heading for a very strong line of storms but ironically it was moving that fast that it brought hot easterly winds with it and they burnt themselves out! 

I had to be a forecaster up here - they get hammered by 'some' other chasers up here for not apparently being 'accurate' - easy for some to critique.....!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 27 November 2007, 02:35:29 PM
Boy has it been very active with varying structures over the past weeks! Thanks for showing us these - at least we get a chance to see what is going on and being covered well in that part of the world.

Your comment about 'dryline storms' - are you definitely sure about this? Dryline storms are often associated with the dynamics of sharp gradients in moisture particularly in Tornado Alley and places like Bangladesh/eastern India although some situations occur in Australia as well.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 27 November 2007, 03:53:35 PM
Hi Jimmy.  In reference to dryline storms - sorry about that - was thinking about something I read in the paper here last week when they came through and I'm sure it mentioned the words 'dry line' in the story about our weather - look, it may have been something else in reference to it and we'll just forget about that bit in my last post, it was something that was sticking in my mind when posting :)  Would be nice though!

Decided to head off to where the big storms are this week.  Using my travel voucher to spend three days up at the Coburg Peninsular at Peppers Free Spirit resort about 75km to the NE .  The fantastic thing is that Hector is only a stone's throw from there and I can guarantee some deep convective storm shots and the percentages for decent nighttime lightning is enhanced due to plenty of storms actually forming in that part of the NT that don't make it to Darwin.

Pretty enthused as you might expect - it's a fabulous part of the NT and hexy to stay there ($2000 for three nights!) but won't cost me a cent except for the coldies.....hoping to get there from Wednesday to Friday this week.  I don't have a laptop so I'll see if I can use one of their computers for access to met stuff or those observation techniques will come to the test if I can't!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Macca on 28 November 2007, 05:01:12 AM
Hi all,

Just a quick post. Holidaying in Darwin for a week or so. Arrived Saturday night. Saw a nice Cb on sunrise Sunday morning and then as we were heading out to the markets spotted a funnel under a TCu sitting off the coast. Tried to get to Nightcliff and saw a fully developed waterspout on the way. By the time we got there, the TCu had unloaded and precip either had hidden or destroyed the spout. (We didn't have our cameras with us anyway but still nice to see).

Played around at Berry Springs for a while before heading up to Howard Springs to check out the cells coming in from the east. Few nice gusts from these cells (which weren't very thundery). They put out an outflow boundary which then kicked off more storms just west of Channel Island. We watched these for a bit but they weren't doing much. Just as we were about to leave, once cell pushed out a burst of CG's which lasted about 10-15 mins. Some nice deep booms of thunder  .

Few photos from Sunday here...

http://macca.bsch.au.com/gallery2/v/Chase-Season-07-08/251107/


Yesterday, we went down to Litchfield for a few swims in different places. Got onto a storm down there which was pretty nice - it played in some very scenic locations.

http://macca.bsch.au.com/gallery2/v/Chase-Season-07-08/261107/

Macca
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 November 2007, 05:20:59 AM
Hi Macca, you've certainly been seeing the sights crammed into a few days!  A lot of storms form in those areas 'down the track' during the day, some particularly large of late.  Some very picturesque photos I must say.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 November 2007, 12:03:53 PM
27 November2007

Some decent convective stuff around this arvo, so much so that BoM issues a severe weather warning - now that is something - but alas, they cancelled it soon after posting the warning!  The storms just don't like coming to town on occasions and this is why I don't chase the big storms unless they come within 40km of town - it's just not worth the petrol!  The time you spend chasing out there to intercept them, they're blown out when you get there...makes for frustrating chasing on occasions.

Sometimes it's better to sit at home and watch the clouds come in, if they pass the 50km radar line there's some hope!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 28 November 2007, 02:59:58 PM
Mike,

Quote
Hi Jimmy.  In reference to dryline storms - sorry about that - was thinking about something I read in the paper here last week when they came through and I'm sure it mentioned the words 'dry line' in the story about our weather - look, it may have been something else in reference to it and we'll just forget about that bit in my last post, it was something that was sticking in my mind when posting :)  Would be nice though!

I think you may be referring to gulf lines. I confirmed this name offline with Macca who may want to elaborate on this. It has been a while since I have read the paper making reference to this storm complex type.

Oh and what is this? It seems Macca is up in the northwest and now Nick Moir is also treading up into that territory! Enjoy the storms during what seems to be an active season - has not been one for a while!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Thomas on 28 November 2007, 04:30:59 PM
I'm not sure if it is technical a dry line but certainly west of the coast line in NW Western Australia there is often a very sharp moisture gradient. Take Broome, it currently has a dew point of 25.6C while further inland at Fitzroy Crossing the dew point is -1.3C. The Broome sounding often has massive elevated mixed layers that cap down the moist boundary layer. It's not rare there to have 3000+ CAPE and no storms. Form my understanding I would call that a dryline. I'm not sure if that is a feature in NT storm setups or not though.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 29 November 2007, 04:58:33 AM

I will begin another section where the dryline can be discussed further in detail. The topic has been started here:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/forum/index.php?topic=641.msg5314

We will keep this thread realated to Darwin 2007/2008.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 01 December 2007, 10:18:50 PM
December 1 2007

Hi all.  Back from some R&R from the NT NE coast.  Nuff all storms at night - big one the first day i was there but more on that later....

Darwin: Line of multicells converged on the rural area around 6-9pm.  Again i was at dinner break from work but there was a supercharged lightning display - was actually a little boring (did i say that!) watching the clouds lit up light xmas trees continuously!  The storms were a little way from where i was at the wharf but managed some nice shots whilst i was there.  The occasional CG, one nice one which i captured - but one shot intrigues me.  You will see a photo of a vertical bolt at the top of the dome - have i captured a blue jet???  There would be no reason to suspect that I haven't considering the highly charged storms - maybe those in the know could comment on it.

Will post some pics from the trip soon - neat stuff actually!

Mike

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 03 December 2007, 08:25:42 AM
Not so much a chase report but some pics from my R&R trip away on the Cobourg Peninsular last week.

Photos i've posted show some CUs building on their way to the NE side of Darwin and the nice aircraft shots show the Tiwi Islands to the north of Darwin.  This is Hector convection country.  I was amazed to see how much cloud convection there is on these islands and with the Arafura sea surrounding it the ocean was cloudless!  No wonder hector storms reach massive sizes, there's just so much fuel for the storms to propogate there and the land mass is large enough to sustain daytime heating to assist it with the amount of moisture around from the sea.  There were some large CUs building in the centre of the islands and moving westward which is the norm..

There's three reasons you don't swim in the ocean surrounding the NT, (1) Crocs, (2) box jellyfish (3) and sharks!!! - this thing was only 10 metres off the beach where i was standing - yikes!


A storm rolled through the afternoon I got there and although it was rumbles galore i did not see any lightning per se, the rain certainly closed in quickly and the only lightning I did see was bright anvil crawlers - even during the day!

Only saw the top of Hector on the second day, the tower was just imense poking above the low level stuff and natural bushland restricted my views.

I noticed Darwin got a very large line of storms that evening - much to my disgust!  All in all a very relaxing time off and was not overly concerned whether it stormed or not!

Inland storms the forecast for today in Darwin.  westerlies are pushing anything away from darwin but the storms that have been forming inland have been monsters.  Will have to see what transpires later on to see if I'll head out.  Nick Moir arrives tonight and we'll probably team up and chase them during the week.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 03 December 2007, 10:42:47 AM
Hi Mike - RE: blue jet.   I was under the impression this was only something you could see above an anvil from a long distance away.   You will get little upward zits now and then at the top of strong updrafts. I agree the very straight nature of the one you photographed is interesting.

MB
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 03 December 2007, 10:58:44 AM
Yes hence my curiosity!  Perhaps it's just a strike between the cloud above and the dome - don't know - i was looking for the flare above it but is not visible...one for the 'dunno file'.

Stinking hot here. gusty winds and a couple of things building out afar - my beer is cold enough to keep me from wasting my time chasing right now, but later who knows!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 05 December 2007, 06:07:47 AM
December 4 2007

Lots of storm action this morning in the wee hours.  A squall line developed ove Katherine 290km to our south and overnight reached darwin producing some wonderful lightning in all areas.  Went out about 4:30am and managed a few, but not worthy of 'keepers' - so much CC lightning that it made the CG's just too bright.

Nick Moir and I have been chasing yesterday also down at Jabiru about 200km to the east - some pulsy stuff but died - so we classed that as a bust!  The westerlie winds in the mids were creating havoc with the storms, really killing them off.  Today is a lot better as they ease hence we'er heading down south to intercept the squall lines developing again. Last night it was a pearler there apparently.

BoM says that tomorrow and thursday will be going off for squall lines here, with a trough line sitting through us and much more fuel in the next few days to spark them off fully.

Should be interesting to say the least.  Nick is a well experienced chaser, certainly has taught me so much in the two days with him.  Lots of stories of his trips to the US and in Oz with Jimmy et al - a few laughs were had - all positive of course!

Gotta go - chasing a wait'n!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 05 December 2007, 07:40:13 AM
Dec 4 2007

Have to concur with Mike, lots of CC's and the a few good CG's (will post some photo's tonight), however the CG's were very few and far between.  Hit the road at about 0430 as well and headed down to the wharf where upon the rain set in.  Bailed back to the house and managed to get 2 good CG's, before the storm moved out of range at about 0540.

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 05 December 2007, 12:30:25 PM
December 04 2007

Here are a few photo's from the thunder and lightning show that was put on in Darwin in the early hours of this morning.  Have also added the radar image, but unfortunately only took the snapshot after the storm passed town.  I think it was moving NW, as it pretty much bypassed the city.

Mike will have to catch up with you and have a beer at some stage.... possibly after the silly season ??


Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 05 December 2007, 06:33:36 PM
December 4 2007

Beaut pics there Adrian.  will def catch up with you for that brew.

Nick Moir was also out chasing at that time, he just about covered the whole of Darwin in two hours!  He captured some nice shots from all over the place - the guy is a machine!

Nick and I just returned from Katherine around 10pm today (Dec 4) after chasing over 800km.  We intercepted what could 'possibly' be a supercell - height of storm was over 23km, hail, microbursts, wind gusts of at least 90kmh, trees felled - the list goes on. We core punched twice and have some wonderful photos.  Will do a full report tomorrow with photos.  An outstanding experience in storm chasing, something i'll never forget!  The storm was just way to big to be a severe pulse - it lasted over 4 hours on its own!

Mike (red eye'd and pretty buggered!)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 December 2007, 05:03:06 AM
Storm chase report from December 4 2007

840km chase run: After Katherine’s two previous days of massive lightning and storms from the trough Nick Moir and I decided to go down for perhaps a third event.  All the numbers were huge, CAPE at over 4800, LI’s at -8+, humidity and temps were great 38c and 24 for DP’s.  Quite high but the humidity right through the morning ranged from 87% but slackened off to around 50% when we arrived, still quite good.  Upper temps were around -7C at 600 which was ideal for this storm to get going.  The storm that we encountered at a top reaching 23km and something about 50DZ which is attributable to hail or something..:)

The upper level cloud cover had finally burnt off and cumulous were slowly but surely converging into the area we were wanting. BoM was 60% confident of something happening, but not to the extent of the last few days previous.

Radar obs showed storms building to the SE but a convergence line was forming to the W/SW.  GIF wind profiles had convergence lines to the SE and also in that area.  We headed out to Tindal airport to get some clearer air for the obs and for cloud observation and it was not long before we decided that heading west toward Kununurra was the best option as the storms that were pulsing were tracking that way.  We calculated that the Victoria Highway was smack bang where we needed to be to intercept the cell.   We were about 140km from the actual system and could not determine what was happening as we could not see the cloud bases.  The closer we got we saw cells pulsing with pileus and still rising – a good sign – especially when they were at the front of the storm.  This showed us that the cell was healthy and with plenty of fuel gathering within.  We reached the storm and it was beautifully organized.  Lots of warm inflow.  We stopped at several places to get some structure shots and there were plenty of strong CGs.  We backtracked towards Katherine to get around to the inflow region as the location we were at was getting too much precip coming our way..

We found a great spot next to a large antenna tower and that’s when the beast exploded!  We were taking shots outside and the inflow was alternating with outflow – excellent mixing of both, warm air pushing behind us into the cloud and then cool outflow air facing us – quite odd!  We noticed the cloud and rain shaft turning a dark green which was awesome to view, so we decided to core punch the thing to see what was happening inside. Then the wind picked up as we approached and within a few minutes it was pelting down – the winds we estimated were at least 80-90kmh due to small branches being ripped off trees and flung across the road as we drove and lots of leaf litter making things difficult.  We had to slow down the driving speed as the water on the road was atrocious, no aquaplaning for me!.  Several older but large trees were felled along the way.  Hail fell as we pulled over to a side road to get some photos of strong CGs. The hail was minimum 1-1.5cm in diameter.  It was surely at least 2cm in the core on the other side.  Driving out of the core we encountered another outflow region with the same results.  Two separate microbursts with hail.

 Lightning had started a great scrub fire on the side of the road on the way back to Katherine and we got heaps of great shots of us both in the thick of the flames getting photos.  Added to that mammatus had formed above us which was a nice treat.  Nick is a pyromaniac and was just throwing himself into the flames, waiting for the wind to pick up from the outflow and whip up the flames, I got some great shots of him in the thick of things.

The storm lulled a little so we fuelled up back in Katherine and checked the obs again and decided to head north to intercept what we saw was a separate right mover detaching from the main system and heading for Pine Creek. 

Our timing was to get to the lookout and get some lightning.  We reached the lookout around 6:30pm and set up, the storm was still in the throws of weakening a little and there was only zits of lightning – no new pulse towers formed in the inflow and it must have got caught up in dry air as there was no more movement of the storm.  The anvil was fibrous on the eastern side, but on the western side it was a bit better structured and most of the lightning was on that side of the storm.

After about an hour of waiting we decided that was it and headed home.  On the way the cell fired up again and was throwing out some odd angled CGs.  We desperately tried to find an opening in the scrub to get some photos and found a side road and did a U-turn and faced the storm.  Not having anything to focus on was a real pain and just as soon as we set up the thing died – ironic to say the least.

No complaints from us as far as the chase went.  We got all the attributes of a very severe storm and personally finding hail that size in two separate areas of the storm was excellent.  I did not get any CGs unfortunately, in fact Nick only managed a couple – that’s how fast they were striking! 

I’ll have to down load a bunch of photos to the forum later on as all my storm shots are on his laptop as I wanted to make room on the card.  Will do that later on as we’re heading out again to chase down at Jabiru about 240km to the SE.  Goss from BoM is that around 1pm we should see some squall lines develop, they won't reach Darwin they say which will peeve a few chasers up here!

The photo's are worth the wait and Nick is pretty happy with what he's found thus far as far as tropical storms go, he was stunned to see how much CAPE and the like we have, he mentioned that with those numbers in NSW they'd get huge supercells.

Mike

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: nmoir on 06 December 2007, 11:49:53 AM
 The katherine chase was long , fun but frustrating as just as we positione ourselves to get a good look at the storm as it grew northwards it was murdered by dry north west inflow. but was surprised to get hail. no decent pix of any base when the storm was more singular and isolated because of TREES!!!!!!!!

any way heres a few pix

nick
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 December 2007, 12:02:03 PM
here's some photos to start with....one is of Nick in the thick of the fire.  will post some further stuff soon.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 December 2007, 12:10:36 PM
These are the satpics of the storm.  By looking at these and the data would it be a supercell?

Michael, are you able to dig up the radar loop of this storm that we got in Katherine?

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 07 December 2007, 03:12:43 AM
I've uploaded a Katherine radar loop for the event Mike and Nick chased on Tuesday:

Katherine radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2007/radar/20071204/katherine128.htm)

From that radar loop and the satpics I do not think it was a supercell.  Need some pics of the lower structure.

For anyone who wants to show a radar loop for the storms they are reporting on, just link to the loop from the Strikeone archives, and I'll turn it into a permanent loop when time permits. It helps if I do not have to work out what times and radar location you wish to use as an illustration from the written description - as often it is not clear - especially for areas I do not know well :)

So link to the loop of images from you select from here:

http://radar.strikeone.net.au/?fuseaction=loops.select&displayitem=1

regards, Michael
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 08 December 2007, 01:39:33 PM
07 December 2007

Small but concentrated Cell entered Darwin area at about 0250 this morning and moved north west around the back of the city before moving out of range at about 0330.  Caught these few CG's.

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 December 2007, 04:18:28 PM
Holy #[email protected]*!!, Adrian.  Gobsmacked by the power in those cow killers.

What location were you at if you don't mind passing that on....?

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 08 December 2007, 06:13:43 PM
Hi Mike,

Don't mind all.

But mate must confess ..... after driving around town during the first two storms (earlier this week), and getting very little reward for my effort I decided to stay at home and shoot these from my veranda!!! 

I am on the bay side of bayview blvd over looking tippery waters, not sure if any public areas provide the same view, as the mangroves get in the way.  The bayview lock has a small observation deck but I wouldn't feel comfitable taking photos from this; as it exposed and isolated and should things get a little ugly, you would have no where to go without doing a dash through open space with lots of light poles, and I have seen CG strikes fall very close to this area before - probably not helped by the fact that it is right next to the two tallest unit complexes in bayview.


p.s. Just did the final cut of the photos and had one other shot worth adding, so just updated my post.

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 December 2007, 05:15:34 AM
I know the spot - a tad exposed, but like most things in Darwin there's always stuff blocking the views!  I must have been asleep that morning as i've seen other shots of that storm pumping out big CG's.

7 December 2007

 Chased a couple of large cells out into the rural area last night - Nick Moir was on his way out there and I was to meet him at Annaburro as he was coming back from intercepting another large cell we had both observed earlier.  Nick must have seen that they were dying quickly with the use of his laptop and whilst afterburning out to the location Nick was nowhere to be found!  Lack of coverage is a terrible thing - even to forewarn me by mobile phone.

I set up anyway and the storm produced some flashes and one large bolt but i suspect used all its energy trying to maintain lift.  After about half an hour I packed up and lit both afterburners and headed home.  Did not see one flash at all from the two cells in the area from then on.

It's Nick's last day here today as he heads back to Sydney Sunday lunchtime.  It's been a wild and wooly chase week with him and no early nights.  I know Nick has had a ball and he's got just about everything he wanted to get - except maybe for a shelf cloud which he desperately wanted.  Microbursts, hail, , fires, 90kmh winds, big CG's, anvil crawlers, running into power lines - guess that would satisfy even a mediocre week's chasing.  A great experience and education.  My camera abilities have improved tenfold!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Richary on 10 December 2007, 02:31:27 PM
I see there is a server storm warning for Darwin issued recently, though the main band will pass south.

Interesting radar loop though, with the northern end of the band breaking away and heading faster than the rest with a cell appearing in front of the main band. It's moving pretty well too.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 10 December 2007, 04:38:33 PM
The line had disintegrated about 40km from Darwin.  I really had been doing other things and not weather orientated so perhaps my misfortune not to have gone after it in the rural areas further out - it had a nice layering of cloud under along it's leading edge as the leftovers came into the city, went for a quick drive about 4km to the NW and it only produced three CGs which really ended all the fun.  Suspicious atmospheric conditions as it moved quickly NE which stifled whatever was left of it.

Here's the link to view it all coming together.  Disgustingly diminishes when it reaches the outer Darwin area - just vanishes!  Once it loads up just click on the sweep button.

Darwin (Berrimah) radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2007/radar/20071209/berrimah128.htm)

Mike


Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Richary on 10 December 2007, 05:30:56 PM
Yes, that just died off and fell apart completely. One day I will get to Darwin for some storms, I was there a few years ago in October so a bit early in the season. But I could happily live with the ones you get there!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 10 December 2007, 05:41:02 PM
As Nick Moir found out - Darwin storms are tempermental buggers.  So much CAPE yet so little action in town.  As the previous chase reports atest!  When they form close to town and do get some structure and lift they really do push out some nasty lightning.  They're typical buildup period storms.  Jan, Feb and March are good months for regular storms if a monsoon trough lingers above us and there's no worries about sea breezes doing the wrong thing!
 
Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Macca on 11 December 2007, 06:52:05 PM
Hi all,

A few more photos from my recent trip to Darwin.

http://macca.bsch.au.com/gallery2/v/Chase-Season-07-08/301107/

http://macca.bsch.au.com/gallery2/v/Chase-Season-07-08/011207/

Macca
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 12 December 2007, 09:12:33 AM
10 December 2007

Not a lot around last night but some cells moving SE in the rural area.  Headed out to get some pics and found a nice spot albeit not in the crunch zone.  Limited time prevented me from going too far out but managed these shots.  You will notice a fire in the red portion of the photos; another storm chaser from Adelaide was at the same spot and he was also commenting on how many CGs actually struck in that area alone.  I don't know if it was the heat and smoke plume contributing to the electrical activity but I can confidently say that we saw over 12 CGs in that very spot localised within 15 -30 minutes alone.  It was unusual to see so many strikes directly around that area where the fire was...I would like to know if anyone else has seen this enhanced activity around fires when storms are about?

A couple of the shots are of an 8 minute exposure highlighting how many strikes were in that zone.  Pretty awesome strikes, most of which pulsed several times.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 December 2007, 06:05:02 PM
12 dec 2007

Chased with the GEO reporter to find her a storm tonight to cap of the interview from yesterday.  Found a wonderful storm to the SE of Darwin near Bynoe Harbour and trashing through mud, water and muck to get there was an added treat for the passenger!  We chased for about 45 minutes and found a great spot for her to view beautfiul long anvil crawlers, mammatus, CG's and CC stuff.  She absolutely loved it, here's a couple of snaps of tongiht's chase.  Has been a educational and sensational experience over the last two weeks.  Ya can't photograph what's not in Darwin!!!!

Mike

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 December 2007, 06:09:37 PM
A couple more shots of structure.  She especially liked the way the storm just grabbed you as we drove up to it on a straight road, she was loving the chase and with all the things a storm should give you - less hail - I could not have been more pleased with the results.  Thanks to Nick Moir for giving me a heads up on the likely area to chase as I was totally tied up with an induction for new job today and not having access to any weather obs for the day. 
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 16 December 2007, 07:07:33 AM
December 14 2007

Storm story:

A few shots pre flang beast that hit Darwin around 8pm last night.

Regrettebly we had dinner at work half an hour earlier than expected and it had a detrimental affect on my lightning shots!  I was held hostage inside the warehouse 20 metres from the actual NT News building whereby i was subjected to 3 direct hits on the warehouse roof by CGs which absolutely scared the be-jeezoos about of me.  Rating: EF5.

 I love close lightning but not when you're held captive unable to escape.  The actual press building got struck also as i viewed everything from the main ramp doorway.  Outstanding lightning display with me stuck in the warehouse and no camera naturally.  The experience was something to be felt - ionized air odours, buzzing through the air milliseconds before the flash and ear busting cracks of thunder.  Just great!

A line of storms had form off-shore and headed straight for the city.  The photos were taken from the SE and NW of Darwin.  When I did head out at tea time to locate a good storm, the one offshore showed massive potential.  Dark ominous towers rapidly pushing upward, several large CGs exiting the cap to the ocean on three occasions.  Convergence of at least three large towers that I saw that swirled into one large mass of angry conductive beasties.  Sure did not disappoint.  Likelihood of similar conditions today given what I have been seeing with the clouds this afternoon.  I'm guaranteed tea time at the normal period - at sunset - and politely told the printer last night that he had just cost me about a thousand bucks in photo sales given the action....:)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 16 December 2007, 07:23:15 AM
Mike,

A couple of powerful tropical storms as well as an interesting storm that looks like it split - what is going on there? Obviously not supercells but definitely and interesting separation:

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=526.0;attach=2035;image

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 16 December 2007, 08:01:06 PM
Certainly not an unusual occurance!  The cell the to left hand side was building above me when i took the photos. There was already an anvil from a previous storm overhead but the storm is out of view.  The storm to the right hand side was the one i was after.  It had a very strong updraught and pushed up at a great rate.  This one produced some big dome to ocean CGs and moved separately away from what looks like new convective cloud or inflow convection.  The cell on the right was the one that joined with the one out of view.  From what i saw it moved in the opposite direction to the one to the left.  There was a line of convection hugging the coast near Darwin at around 8pm and by nightfall they must have done something, i was working as i said and being dark, observation was nil for me - here's the radar animation from about 8pm to 2am Frid 15th Dec to Sat 0200am.

Darwin radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2007/radar/20071214/berrimah128.htm)


 There's a lot around Darwin as it looks like one large mass - but from what i saw there were three storms to my s/west, one to the northwest and another to the North. The other line in the animation came though the outskirts of Darwin from the in the early hours but much less severe - although some regular bolts were viewed.  I was glad to view it at any rate.

Mike

Maybe these pics may help also...
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 17 December 2007, 08:26:50 AM
Hi Mike,

Mate it looks like it has been a massive week and half ! unfortunately I was over on the east coast for work so missed it all :(

Do you know of any photos from the storm that went through on the 14th ??

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 17 December 2007, 09:21:20 AM
Hi Adrian - none that I've seen - there may be some about but have not seen too many.  Ive only got the ones in the previous post minus all that lightning!

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 17 December 2007, 09:37:29 AM
Some wonderful coverage in today's paper up here from the last two weeks re Geo Europe who I had the pleasure of taking the correspondent chasing .  She left for Sydney today and wished she could stay here longer!  I did mention the forum here as the main reason i decided to get into severe weather chasing but alas they edited this forum and my website....their reasoning was that I may get enough exposure from this anyway...I tried Jimmy!

You can see it's nice and cool here - not!  Stinking hot and 89% humidity and no breeze!

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2007/12/16/2867_ntnews.html

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 18 December 2007, 10:00:24 AM
Bureau advises a weak trough forming in the Arafura Sea mid week which will spark increasing storms.  Good news for us that like to get some photos of lightning over the ocean for a change.  There is a disturbance off to the far west but I'm not counting on that doing anything of late.  There's a bit of instability trough wise in the Gulf of late with increasing storms to our north.  Monsoon perhaps not too far away for us.   Today's radar is one of where do you want to chase today given the amount of maturing cells about the place and the DARMET GIF shows a whopping convergence!.  For me it will be at work at dinner time!  (MB could not compress these images - would not let me! :P)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 20 December 2007, 08:36:44 AM
Hi all.

Pronounced monsoon trough developing nicely to our north and is expected to reach us by the weekend.  BoM also indicated that a cyclone as early as xmas could be possible given the amount of activity in the area.  Have not seen any indicators of this yet although there is a system well to the north but they seem to be forewarning everyone and this is the first time i've seen them actually forecast something happening this early.  There is a 1007 low on top of us by Sunday and this may attach itself to the trough - a waiting game.

Storms are expected to increase dramatically in the next days as the trough moves down to us.  This is the time to get all those photographs as once the monsoon arrives it will be overcast and rainy with the odd thunder heard.  There has certainly been an increased cumulous field over Darwin of late and even today all looks positive.  The most active storms have been down the track about 100km at Adelaide River and Pine Creek at night.  I won't be able to chase there for evening shots as they develop due to comittments but there's no troubles with storms around the coastal areas of Darwin City.  The storms move in all directions with the advent of the monsoon trough approaching.  Usually they're predicable, but not so this week.  They'll tend to move wherever they like across the place.

A couple of pics from yesterday as I was mulling around the city.  Even with the anvil wash there is still enough 'clean' air for storms to reform as can be seen in the photos.  All the other factors such as CAPE, heating etc just don't factor into it as they're a 'given' with all the instability around!  Included the GIF wind convergence map which shows some nice developments around the Darwin area as confirmed by the 850 winds (possibly associated with the low pressure area developing) and the latest radar which shows cells coming in nicely and will build up better as the day goes on.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 20 December 2007, 01:24:52 PM
A group of storms around today - went after one closest to home but did not seem to want to do much!  Only put out 2 Cgs that i saw and just looked gnarly but not angry!  Quite a heavy rain curtain under it and I was hoping for something - only managed a few structure shots and a couple in particular really highlighted the high dew points at the time - around 24 - was nice to see inflow so close and low this time around.  Another photo shows the second group of storms off to the southeast heading away from me.

Was a bit disappointed not to get some lightning out of it - storms to front of this were pushing out some inside another rainshaft but you'd miss them if you weren't looking at that spot.  It had the look of piling up on itself once it moved past the city outskirts - structure wise it was nice looking but lacked a great deal of 'angry'. :)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 21 December 2007, 09:03:54 AM
Storms just about widespread around the traps today.  The monsoon trough is having an affect on many cells popping up.  Went out to the rural area and found this lovely storm rolling through at 1:40pm our time and following it into the 'burbs near where I live it produced some strong gusts with a microburst.  Sparodic CG stuff and missed a few between shots :( 

 METGIF wind flow chart for the technical minded...

Here's some pics of this arvo's storm...

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 December 2007, 08:33:34 AM
after work chase Saturday 22 Dec 2007

Nice gulf line moved across toward the NE side of Darwin in the early hours of this morning.  I finished work around 12:30am and headed out a few K's as the road permitted for me to get some shots of some regular lightning bolts.  Mosquitos finally convinced me to pack up after half an hour.  Got a few nice piccies albeit with what looks like a security barbed wire fence in the foreground which I could not detect due to it being pitch black and overcast!  'Ya can't photograph anything if there's nothing in town'  (eh Nick?!!!)

* BoM tipping a cyclone for NT for New Years eve.  Looking at the maps there is a monsoon with two embedded lows, one to the NNE and NW with another disturbance to the N.  The models show the one to the NE to be the dominant issue and by month's end it shows being 1000-995 and sitting off the WA coast at about lat 120E.  The increasing thunderstorms in that area of late are encouraging LLC (low level circulation).  Nothing expected in the next three days, but one to watch.  Monsoon should be with us by the middle of next week/weekend.  We're expecting a wet xmas.  If we do get a cyclone forming near us in the first week of the new year it will work out well for me as I have 5 days off to chase!!!

Mike

here's some photos - the storm is about 36-40km to the east of Darwin - i don't normally use my 300mm lens due to distance and clarity but could not resist the temptation to at least get something considering every other chaser was asleep in Darwin!  Roads permitting it would have made for some wonderful CGs, they were regular, two every 4 minutes!  Probably could have driven down the Gunn Point road to Gunn Point but the road is dirt and attrociously rough - and at that time of morning I was not risking breaking something on the chase mobile.  The line of storms were active for over three hours and the did not dissipate until another two hours after i decided to go to bed.  Not a bad effort and whilst it looked weakening at around 1:30am it fired up three separate cells on the leading edge at around 2:10am.  Its motion must have slowed considerably as radar images had it almost stationary once it made landfall near Cape Hotham.

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 24 December 2007, 09:48:35 AM
Hi Mike - are you sure about how far away it was - looks a fair bit more than 30-40ks given you were using a telephoto lens ?   
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 December 2007, 11:07:37 AM
Yep, Cape Hotham is appox 60km to the east of where i was.  I was originally using the standard 75mm just to get several bolts in one frame, but just switched to the 300 to get some closer shots as the only view I had was between two sets of tree lines. 

 I was about 15km from my home to the northeast in the storm's direction, so roughly about 41-45km from the storms.  I checked the radar when i got back and used their distance pointer from my place of chase to Cape Hotham.  It was no further than that,  I could make out the bolts quite easily, it's just that the observation points were limited.  They certainly lit up the clouds as they hit. 


Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 25 December 2007, 06:56:11 AM
Xmas Eve chase 24 dec 2007

Finishing work at around 11:30 last night (which is a miracle in itself) and had to drop a fellow worker off home which was annoying considering some storm activity was moving into town.  Reviewed the radar quickly at around midnight and there was some storms moving parallel to Darwin City on the ocean side.  I headed out as soon as I saw some flashes in the night sky.  Having a full moon really helped get a handle on what cloud structure was about and there were two large towers over the city viewed from my home.  Listening to the AM channel to hear the interference was such an eduation - might sound nerdy - but i can tell you that close strikes have a metallic scream on the radio whereby others have that low resonance buzz - was like music to my ears!

Initially going to the wrong vantage point I chastised myself and afterburned into town to my favorite coastal vantage point that overlooked the exact area the storm was firing up.  The cloud base was extremely low, so low that i could see the base hanging illumunated by the moonlight. I did not decide to stand outside the car this time as there were several large 'exiting' branches from above me which indicated things were just beginning.  I simply stuck the camera out the window and waited until a saw a CG.  Not long after one huge flang erupted behind me which convinced me to stick the camera on the dash and start shooting.  I moved the car three times to get the best view and there was this annoying street light which was lightning up the cloud bases around me.  As fate would have it after my cursing another CG hit close by and knocked out the street lights in the city!  Bonus!

Now in darkness with the moonlight hinting through the clouds I could locate the main cell and point!  It was a fabulous display of lightning.  Many close bolts and i think I must have been just to the right of the leading edge as the rainshaft was a fair way behind the main strikes i could see.  The close bolts were positive strikes as they had come from exactly the same location in the cloud as the first 'exiting' branch which did not make ground.

Here's a few photos.  The second pic is the exiting branching bolt which sparked the storm to get it's act together CG wise.  I got the settings right on the camera this time as usually my F stops are too low (5.6-6.3), this time I upped them to 8 and 9 so the CG's flash would not overexpose the strikes - finally I'm happy to get some nighttime bolts. :)))
Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 25 December 2007, 11:52:08 AM
24 Dec 2007

Great shots Mike......  I didn't manage to get one good shot as it blew through the city last night.  :(

However I did see the CG that hit the high voltage line on Tiger B. Drive that knocked out the power in town, it went straight down with a direct hit.  Could see the sparks from where I was which was about 700m away.  It tripped two of my house circuit breakers in the process.  Unfortunately had my camera pointed at the city so missed the opportunity to record it for every one else.  Had a few drinks last night so couldn't get out and chase...... so will use that as my poor excuse for not getting into town ;)

Anyway thanks for the images.

Merry Xmas to yourself and everyone else on the forum.

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 26 December 2007, 04:09:11 PM
Ditto, Adrian.  For others...the BoM had some stats in the paper today re this storm.  Interesting lightning stats. The bureau recorded 457 lightning strikes in one hour but they said that only one in seven actually hit the ground - mmm I saw a lot more than one in seven hit the ground in the half hour I was photographing! Even though they suggested that you can have more than one strike per second I suspect they were talking about pulsing CGs or many strikes grounding at the same time?

 The monsoon is expected by this coming Thursday.  Had a look at the models for new years day and there will be a tropical low off the WA coast at around 120-125E, a 1004 low just of Gove to the East of Darwin and another 1004 low off the QLD coast with the trough lying right across the top of WA, NT and QLD connecting these together. 

Radar images for today Dec 26th show a large flow of showers heading to Darwin this morning from the NE.  Storms will probably be imbedded in this muck and really makes things terrible for anything spectacular - even with lightning - the monsoon is welcome but grey skies and constant rain is a bit of a photography nightmare for choosing a subject to shoot! Included latest satpic showing what's hugging the coast today- messy but a few overshooting tops visible with the storms within...and is in fact an area of weak circulation mentioned in the cyclone thread and by the JTWC.  This is in all likelihood the low that will form in the area NE of Gove on new years day.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 29 December 2007, 07:57:44 PM
A couple of flashes of lightning with embedded storms in all the muck overhead.  Constant light rain for hours on end and no 'real' monsoonal downpours to be noteworthy.  Whilst Melanie sucks all the life out of our monsoonal flow we'll be sitting in pea soup for a while yet.  It's not all bad, as if this happens we'll get daytime sunshine between cells and allow them to fire up given the instability.  On the negative side, no tropical depression type storms of oomph to chase or watch.  Until that happens most of my posts may be in the Melanie thread!  How sad!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 December 2007, 08:10:26 AM
The best way to find out what's happening re our weather at the moment is to view this link each day at 11am http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDD20510.txt  It is the flood threat advice that the BoM issue each time the monsoon is here.  The daily forecasts don't say too much, but these advices give a great indication of where our lows are, what they are doing, what the monsoon is doing and what's expected in the days coming.  It's generally what I use to monitor tropical lows and then use the satpics, radar and GFS data to guesstimate what may happen down the track.

Camera has been quiet of late with all this shower activity....:(

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Carlos E on 30 December 2007, 12:55:02 PM
NT has issued a Severe Weather Warning (don't think I've seen NT issue that in a while) for the Tropical Low. Heavy downpours.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 December 2007, 07:28:05 PM
Several rural areas have already received over 100mm for the day ending around 11:30pm Sat 29th Dec.

Some suburbs have received in excess of 75mm in the last couple of hours also.  Rainfall experts at the BoM are forecasting around 195mm for Darwin alone this coming friday in the new year - perhaps they might want to increase that slightly given this evening's downpours - just relentless rain with gusty periods.  Even though I dislike rain for the storm shots, this stuff really is nice to sit outside and soak up (pardon the pun).  Had some storm activity around the harbour this evening, but constant rain and thick, low cloud cover only showed the flash and not the strikes.  Disappointing but expected.  we were around 180mm odd below average for December - well you can forget that after tonight's efforts - it just went over!

There's no let up at the moment either, radar, satpics all show slow moving rain bands.  Possibly connected to the deepening low to our SE over Jabiru, which is only about 300km from us. 

 Current warning herewith:
 Cape Fourcroy to Groote Eylandt
West to northwest winds 20/30 knots between Cape Fourcroy and Cape Wessel,
extending to Groote Eylandt during Sunday. Seas to 3.5 metres. Swell rising to 2
metres. Squalls to 50 knots with showers and storms.


These conditions are expected to persist for at least the next 48 hours and of course these figures can be up to 40% higher than issued!

 I'll be out tomorrow to get some photos of the flooded culverts and rivers and our 'surf's up' coastal shots.  Had a look at the coast during tea time and it's just a mess, dirty mushed ocean with white caps and small waves - we don't get 'waves' in Darwin so it's quite a sight!  The windsurfers will be jumping out of their skin!

Mike (soggy but happy)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Carlos E on 30 December 2007, 08:38:28 PM
Sounds interesting. I'm either moving to Cairns or Darwin soon, I'll probably pick Darwin though 'cause it has more storms. Although, anywhere on the planet has more storms than Adelaide. >_<

Look forward to the pics.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 31 December 2007, 07:36:07 AM
Sounding for these parts has some speed and weakish directional shear - eratic but is in the 1000 to 700mb range.  With some luck from Mother Nature she may give us some strong or gusty storms, WZ has severe possible at the moment in their convective outlook map.  Here's what the BoM have to say...

Locally destructive wind gusts to 120 km/h are possible with thunderstorms over
the northern Darwin-Daly district and eastern Top End this afternoon and
evening. Widespread damaging wind gusts up to 90 km/h, large waves and
abnormally high tides are expected along the north coast between Cape Don and
Nhulunbuy today and tomorrow morning. Heavy monsoonal rain currently falling
across the eastern Top End and northern Darwin-Daly district is expected to
cause significant stream rises with possible flooding of low-lying areas.

There's plenty of sunshine between the cells at the moment so this should assist in any storms that want to lift, although the winds may have them steering at an accelerated rate!


Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Carlos E on 31 December 2007, 08:39:49 AM
Yeah the radar has shown some pretty interesting looking cells developing.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 31 December 2007, 09:31:40 PM
Unfortunately they look great but with only strong showers and no lightning.  I would hasten to say that this is because they are low level topped rain bearing cloud units.  Here's a radar image of a wonderful line of rain bearing clouds with lightning passing the coast at the moment (1:54am).  New years day is forecast to be very gusty, very wet and wild.  Gusts to 120mh/h are tipped in areas within the rain bands that carry storms, but perhaps not in Darwin....but you never know!

Chase 31 December 4:00am

After viewing the posted radar image i thought I'd check the lightning tracker.  It was about 2am when i did so and the tracker did show some recent lightning activity in the trailing line of cells.  I waited about half an hour outside watching for any flashes.  There were some produced and were becoming more frequent.

 Bugger it, get the camera gear and go for it.  Nick Moir taught me an important thing.  If you take your chasing seriously, you'll get out there and get the shots that others' don't!  I have no reservations about leaving a note for the missus who gets up at 3am to go to work saying I'm out getting photos - she's used to it !

Checked out the Darwin foreshore first.  Definite regular lightning but hidden.  I decided to move further down the coast to Nightcliff which is about 10 mins from the city.  Luck has it that the jetty and carparks are locked till 4am!!!  Damn, okay I'll just park on the side of the road and walk to the lookout areas!

Managed a couple of keepers and missed a massive staccato as i was just about to open the shutter again - I did not want to overexpose the photos too long this time and paid the price it seems.  Nabbed the attached photo of some erratic lightning streamers that simply blew me away, I was so glad to get it in the frame.

The rain set in soon after and the lightning ended just as abruptly...I'm quite content with the one photo for the two hours out there knowing that I did the yards to capture it!

Mike

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 January 2008, 08:56:23 PM
Storm chase Jan04 2008 1am

Lots of embedded storms pushing out intermittent CGs around the place.  Zipped out for a chase as an overhead storm pushed some nice crawlers out, but the storms are moving so fast - around 22kts - they are shortlived and without the use of a mobile/laptop with internet (which is next on the list) it's a rabbit chasing its tail waiting for the next cell to roll through.  I've been relying on what's coming in from the same steering winds and using the radio static for a tracking device - which has worked thus far i must admit! 

The storms/showers are roughly 40km apart and form in a short line once they hit the coastal fringe of Darwin City from the NW moving SE and standing outside once home you can almost predict the squalls coming.  Still air, nothing then you can hear the rain coming like a freight train as the rain band draws closer pounding on every house's iron roofs, then nothing again as it passes and then starts all over again - quite freaky to listen to in the dead of night.  The odd CG that comes really is out of 'somewhere' and that's difficult to judge just where they will come from and from what storm that is within all this band of showers...frustrating to say the least.

To make matters worse the passenger side wiper blade decided it did not want to play anymore and actually broke in half during a flogging down during my chase towards what would have been a nice area - self preservation driving in blinding showers takes precedence!  The substation over at Channel Island roughly 8km from me got flanged which knocked out our area's street lights for about 10 minutes.  * I must remember to stop near that substation for some lightning shots, it regularly gets struck from what I've observed in the past....and again tonight.

As the low draws closer we'll get more lightning, this stuff always comes hand-in-hand with the lows and I'm determined to get some lightning photos before it goes east and away from us....

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 January 2008, 09:28:39 AM
Now this is a wild looking sounding for today.  I can't even remember the last time I saw the numbers for CAPE and LI that high...big dry slot at 500 is a worry!  Anyone like to comment on this sounding for clarity sake?  (Yeah I'm looking for answers the back door way...:))

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 09 January 2008, 10:03:39 AM
Mike,

There is more a worry of the capping inversion in the lower levels than the dry air slot in my opinion. It seems marginal whether the predicted temperature will be able to overcome the cap. Otherwise there is energy there aloft.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 January 2008, 10:13:26 AM
The temp is currently 32.3 and the DewPoint is 25.5.  Would the rise in temperature thus far weaken the cap due to heating since the sounding was taken as there's plenty of sun around?

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 09 January 2008, 10:49:41 AM
Well given the fact the sounding remains similar, one can assume with some form of trigger, storms could begin to form at that temperature. But if the temperatures in the boundary layer does increase overall, I still think it is a hard cap to break. There is also a mid level slight cap as well.

Anyway we shall see if storms do develop.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 January 2008, 10:51:27 AM
The proof is in the photos !  Thank you for that.  We shall see what eventuates.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Richary on 09 January 2008, 03:30:03 PM
With my somewhat limited experience, there doesn't seem to be much shear in that sounding though.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 January 2008, 09:41:25 PM
Well, Jimmy the storms came around 1:30am with a severe weather warning - mmm yeah I was waiting for it after work and then it got cancelled soon after.  I was waiting at a location as the inflow turned to outflow whilst i was waiting.  Plenty of lightning, albeit in the clouds and a few strikes but hidden by the rain.  I waited around an hour for this line to come along - purely on what the lightning was illuminating above and below i knew it was coming.  There was a little bit of shear in the mids on the sounding, but the westerlies were quite moderate during the night also.

Was quite a nice line, three separate towers i saw.  Once the line moved in closer the gust front really whipped up scud in one area and quite gusty - swore it looked like a water spout in the illumination of lightning - perhaps wishful thinking - but it was constant and did not break apart as scud does once it reaches the storm base....dunno.

Most of the CGs were totally covered in rain and sometimes you have to say enough is enough no matter how many flashes you see.  You just can't take photos with all that mess around.

Here's the radar image of it when i got home around 2am, plenty of rubbish left behind it - quite strange looking!....oh well, at least this chaser went out after it!

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 10 January 2008, 04:55:19 AM
Mike,

Really then what happened is the cap held off:)  A sounding can and does change during the evening and night hours which is the reason they are taken twice daily at least. If they formed over the ocean, then that itself would make the sounding different as well given the moist boundary layer.

Anyway, good to know you had some action!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 10 January 2008, 07:13:39 PM
10 January 2008

When the BoM say late storm I think they mean around 1am - because that's when ANOTHER severe storm warning was issued!

There was another front moving in from a little further east at this very moment, but it looked like breaking up and most of the lightning active storms are moving toward Jabiru.  I finished work at 11pm last night (miracle in itself) and I've not seen any hint of lightning even from where i live, normally I can see the flashes in the distance.

At around midnight things got a little interesting.

 Headed out after viewing the WZ lightning tracker - mmm seems this line was gathering some nasty traits severe wise.  I went to my favorite spot at East Arm about 6 km from my house and i was not disappointed.  Nice humid, calm conditions with the storm front  coming towards me.  gathered some lovely positive strikes right from the very tip of the domes to the ground - huge leaps as the storms built.  They were moving into clean air and no hint of anything I could see to stop them this time around.

This front moved through at around 1:15am with some gusts and light rain so I headed home to check the radar again.  What I found out just being 20 minutes at home was a wild set of cells converging once again in my area.  BoM had issued a Severe Storm Warning at 1:38am - this is more like it!

Lightning all of a sudden became very bright and close, so i headed out again to sit around the corner from my place where it's nice and open.  Within another 10 minutes the storms were going nuts.  Massive crawlers, big strong pulsing CGs all over the place.  I stayed inside the car to take the photos and the storm actually lasted until 3am until the activity died off some what, it was then I headed home for some sleep!

Here's a collection of photos, the closer strikes are obviously the second set of cells and radar loop from about 9pm to 3am - notice how there was nothing and then a mass of storms converging into Darwin!

---> radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2008/radar/20080109/berrimah128.htm)


Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Peter J on 13 January 2008, 04:34:56 PM
Mike,

I have been intrigued as to how late these storms have been firing up there in the north. Is that commonplace during Wet season, or are these storms becoming like the southern and eastern storms - freakingly unusual?

Big Pete
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 January 2008, 04:25:47 AM
Hi Pete.

Just before I answer the question i've just got to try my FTP stuff out that will put my photo here...It's really just a just for myself to make sure it's going to plan..

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/USERIMAGES/IMG_7875.jpg)

and just to test again the photos.....

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/USERIMAGES/IMG_7852.jpg)


Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 January 2008, 05:05:56 AM
Storms 13 January 2008

An extremely complex line of cells moved through Darwin and surrounds this morning at around 1am.  They had formed off the NW/NE coast between the Tiwi Islands and the mainland and moved in a slow and steady S/SW track.  I've seen the precursors of similar events before at this hour during the wet season and these sets of storms were highly active.  The lightning initially started out as high cloud sheet flashes but once the rain set it was full-on CG activity every 4 seconds.  Watching the radar at around 1:40am the cells were compacting into one large mass. WZ lightning tracker was all white with CGs over the entire portion of the city and suburbs.

I went out around 2:30am in the hope of getting some photographs, but it was particularly dangerous driving.  I only drove about 10km when the rain was literally sheeting across and absolutely pelting down for at least an hour and a half.  Most of the street lights, traffic lights etc were knocked out again.  BoM radar both at Berrimah and the airport were knocked out around 3am.

Driving through blinding rain, flooded roads, lightning constantly flashing continuously actually made things worse.  I ended up taking refuge of sorts undercover at a nearby service station just to get out of the CGs striking far too close to where I was originally positioned.  I decided that it was a lost cause trying to capture this stuff no matter how frequent they were, extremely low cloud bases, CGs totally rain wrapped and definately far too dangerous to be in the elements.  Even parked down at the coast when they were dying off I missed a huge combination crawler and CG as the sun was coming up - damn that rain!

Heading home was a nightmare in itself; most of the runoff areas were overflowing and the roads were carrying debris from the surround scub across certain parts of the road! Even the airport runoff areas showed vast amounts of leaf/branch litter flow paths across four lanes of highway!

The storms finally dissipated around 7:30-8:30am - almost eight hours of lightning and thunder and very heavy rain.  Whilst it's a nice thing to watch, it's not something I particularly like sitting in even in a car waiting for a photo opportunity!  Simply blinding lightning and you know they are close when there's no delay between flash and thunder and with the F-stops way up and short exposures I could not even make out the strikes - I could see the 'welding' flash but no definative bolts.

So no photos, but something to pass on at least....here's the radar imagery.

--- > Darwin radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2008/radar/20080112/berrimah128.htm)

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 January 2008, 05:26:30 AM
Hi Pete.

Your question is fairly common!  The weather here is about as predictable as what BoM give out as a forecast - some days they forecast 'inland storm' or this one, which is my favorite - 'storm about'.  I have no idea what that means as far as definitive storm activity.

Of late we have been receiving afternoon storms 'about' the place and the monsoon trough is having an affect still.  Although the trough is lying below us there is a very strong monsoonal flow from the NW into the Arafura Sea above us and into the Gulf of Carpentaria where a low is sitting inland at around 997hpa near Mornington Island.

If we receive no storms during the afternoon it's most often due to a strong cap and it's not until late evening when the nighttime heating weakens it; our CAPE and all those other numbers are really through the roof but nothing is there to kickstart the storms - until nighttime - then they really come in hard.

This pattern has been the same for the last four nights.  Although this afternoon there was some excellent convection in exactly the area these storms formed this morning.  Huge towers with pileus caps and lots of new brewing convection surrounding these towers. Even last night I went chasing right to the beach areas and it was like a sauna at 9pm - it was cooler inland!

But in essence what you are asking is a result of the monsoon.  During hot/humid non-monsoon days the Gulf lines from the east occasionally come through, but I would confidently say the NW flow assisted these sets of storms in their frequency.  During normal wet season periods storms simply go wham/bang and they're gone.  With fuel from the NW they come in and go nuts and just stay put and regenerate continuously - even surprises me watching them that they just don't die!

Hope this helps answer the question.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Peter J on 14 January 2008, 08:13:29 AM
Mike

Thanks for the info, definitely helpful. Also that bolt is a beauty! Missing a lot of those lightning stikes down here, the storm season here didnt do much late last year, but we are forcast to get some storms later this up coming week. Hope to get some bolts, but nothing is as good a shot as that!

Big Pete
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 January 2008, 09:32:49 AM
You'll find out soon enough from me when the dry season starts and no storms - I continually whine like an old woman in the forum threads :).  The pic is from a buildup season storm that displays the stuff that I like photographing!

Cheers

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Richary on 14 January 2008, 03:59:58 PM
Mike, they are both awesome photos even if not from last night's storms. One day I will catch something that good. I have something to aim for.

As for the rain, I see your point. Darwin rainfall gauge updated at 2:05am with 10.6mm of rain. Next update after lots of gaps was 9am with 242mm. So I guess it came down. That's an amazing amount of rainfall over a few hours.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 14 January 2008, 08:13:28 PM
This from the local paper and per the BoM today on those storms yesterday:

More than 242mm of rain was recorded at Darwin Airport - the second highest daily rainfall figure for January since 1946 when records were kept. The airport also measured 2034 lightning strikes in a 50km radius. Weather bureau senior forecaster Mark Kersemakers said the unusual storm developed over water west of Darwin before moving over the city.

"The storms that come off the water are not so electrical, but this one was actually a very intense storm. And it was very slow moving," he said.

At the height of the storm roads were flooded, cars stranded, power went off, the airport was shut for several hours and households were filled with water. The storm lashed Darwin yesterday between 2am and 6am. Many roads were cut by water including McMillan Rd, Rapid Creek Rd, Trower Rd, Dick Ward Drive, Bagot Rd and parts of Stuart Highway. Flooding of Rapid Creek caused some damage


The roads mentioned are notorious for flooding in heavy downpours.  A lot of roads in that area sit well below residential and industrial dwellings and it's actually within a mangrove area that encroaches into  particular suburbs with these connecting roads - some bright spark thought that up years ago!

* I've included some storm structure photos pre-monsoon.  It's probably handy to include these as a precursor to most of the nighttime lightning shots I've posted and gives a better indication of the look of the storms around the place during my chases.

This is a line of storms over to the NE of Darwin, plenty of energy rising here.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0018.jpg)

This one is only a few minutes after but you can see the tail at the top of the photo from another storm overhead - scud looks very funnel looking!

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0017.jpg)



Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 15 January 2008, 08:52:31 AM
A couple more pics of structure.  Photos taken around the harbour and off to the southeast.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_9887.jpg)

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0013.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 15 January 2008, 02:42:56 PM
Mike,

I must say this seems to be an organised line in a sense. I in particular liked the power of the mushroom cloud which indicates a strong updraft. That definitely gives some indication why there was severe weather experienced. Not a bad drop of precipitation.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 15 January 2008, 08:38:49 PM
Hi Jimmy, yes the storms do take on a line of severity!  Some days you can have very nice storms but not to much explosive mushroom heads, other days they all go nuts.  200mm is pretty hefty even for a group of storms, I would say that due to their slow movement - or lack of any movement - greatly enhanced the precip total and coming off the ocean may have increased the moisture being drawn in and up then dumped over Darwin.

I know you like structure photos and I have some more which I will post.  Cauliflowers galore.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 28 January 2008, 12:19:00 PM
27 Jan 2008

Early afternoon storm came through this arvo, not a huge amount of action but managed to get a few pics.

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 28 January 2008, 04:34:56 PM
Adrian,

That is a nice shelf cloud with some striations - and daytime bolts are not always as easy to achieve. More action than we have had in eastern Australia of late.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 28 January 2008, 06:05:47 PM
Jimmy - we certainly get more than our fair share !

Although it always seems more active when I am out of town :(

Cheers,
Adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 29 January 2008, 10:27:45 AM
28 Jan 2008

Another good day for some daylight CG shots, storm cell moved through the city pretty quick and I managed to capture a few shots before the rain set in. Great amounts of thunder, with some CG's a little close - decided to sit it out in the car.  Not sure what the thinking of the guy in boat was .... as most were coming in, but this chap decided he was going to continue out.

enjoy,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 29 January 2008, 09:00:41 PM
Much to the same as Adrian but from different areas. Snapped some irridesence from pileus the other day whilst visiting some NSW chasers here for a weekend.

Brilliant fire red sunset storm

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0714.jpg)

Falling precip from a weak cell

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0715.jpg)


full blown storm with pileus irridesence at the time - a first for me to see wonderful colours!

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0673.jpg)

storm over to the west yesterday

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0627.jpg)

And a shot of some multicells over my area last week as I snapped them from the city.  photo sort of does not do it justice, but the storms eventually came into the city with some massive bolts.  One work mate commented to me whilst on a break that he witnessed one strike exhibiting plasma breakup as it dissipated - they really shouldn't tell me those things when I can't photograph them.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0564.jpg)

The monsoon trough is above us at the moment, it is slowly strengthening and it will be about a fortnight until it comes again, all this storm activity is caused by a trough through WA and NT and the monsoon.  A lot of storms are down the track at Timber Creek - a bit far to drive for an hours lightning, but Katherine, Adelaide River and Victoria River Downs to our SE are having a field day with storms.  Will def take a drive down that way this weekend.  If the lightning won't come to me, i'll go to it.

My visiting NSW chasers from Woolongong were gobsmacked by the structure of some of the storms.   Hector really impressed with 3 large storms formed and were just huge.  If they were in NSW they said they'd swear they were supercells! 
Have attached three more pics - sorry to the mods for not linking them to the website for ease, but time running out and wanted to post them before i nodded off.

Mike





Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 30 January 2008, 02:26:12 AM
Mike,

That is a great example of irridesence and often depending on the position of the sun difficult to achieve. Looks as though the pattern has turned to near nocturnal coastal storms?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 January 2008, 09:25:15 AM
Nocturnal storms have been far inland and pretty short lived.  Storms about at the moment for the third day running (1:30pm) which last till around 4pm and then there's not much happening until things settle down and any cells inland are usually visible from the city. Unfortunately there's not a lot moving through the city areas at night.  Yesterday's skies were totally covered with spent anvil wash, visible anvils through gaps, wide explosive CB towers in most compass points - a mirror image of yesterday afternoon. 

As for the irredesence JD, sure was a treat to watch it.  If i'd been home I would have missed it and was just at the right place.  The pressure waves were actually layering and changing colour as we watched the cloud cap push it aloft.  I've never seen it in six years living here, not uncommon to get pileus, but to get it at the right angle with the sun, mmm special.

Plenty of CG activity this afternoon, some close flangs home here and tried to capture some of them but my daytime luck is really dismal at the best and very disheartening watching them and not able to photograph :(

Much the same for the weeks to follow - even a weak monsoon activates this type of storm frequency, it has begun its strengthening stage as I mentioned so they'll be even more prevelant - get's almost dreary and takes the excitement out of it!  (did I really say that?!)



Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 January 2008, 09:02:10 PM
29 January 2008

Major convection this afternoon.  Some of the best structured storms I've seen in a long time.  There were large cells side by side with billowing convection surround huge updraughts and anvils.  By nightfall they had gone, but a few cells inland close enough to the harbour spat out some big strikes and crawlers.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0790.jpg)

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0787.jpg)

and some lightning to top it all off!

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0804.jpg)

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0796.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 31 January 2008, 05:46:19 PM
29 Jan 2008

Mike,

Not sure if this kicked back around but got these shots early in the evening,  it was well and truly under way by the time I had settled at the wharf to take some shots at about 2130, and it kicked on till about 2200 from memory.  Lots of good crawlers and CG's have posted two of the better ones that I caught below.

Have been having a bit of camera trouble so probably won't be posting any shots for a week or so until I get it back...... hopefully fixed :)

catch you tomorrow.

cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 31 January 2008, 09:29:32 PM
Hi Adrian, yeah the storms were active well before my 7:30pm dinner break and saw plenty of CGs whilst quickly arriving at the Deckchair lawn area for some shots.  Lasted well past 8:30, but had to return to work - blast it!  I was thinking of the wharf but carparking a pain of late.

* The MJO is apparently having a nasty affect in the Indian Ocean storm wise - ie getting angry!  It's due to return to darwin two weeks into Feb. BoM aren't too worried about cyclones in Feb.  March is the worry period as stats show the cyclones are a commonality in March for the NT.  They have seen increasing storm activity of late in the Indian Ocean, moreso than last week.  This is a strong indication to them that the monsoon will be highly active come Feb for us.

I've never seen such large convective storms at one time around Darwin.  They are just massive, especially rural areas.  Hector was so expansive today that mammatus covered the city area!  I've got three days off come Friday and I'm definately going out rural to get these big storms.  From the photos i've posted on the structure, add the number of storms by say 10+ visible in a 360 radius and take your pick which way you want to drive.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 February 2008, 11:12:13 AM
 
Two large cells converged across my area about 50 minutes ago.  Gusty winds with heavy precip accompanied it.  Strong enough to knock the poor green tree frogs off the palms in my backyard.  My daughter and I counted around 16 CG strikes in our area alone - several of which were close enough to give that wonderful whip cracking sound when CG's are close and rattle the windows!.  A fair amount of rain came from this storm which lasted a good 45 minutes!  There were several cells further east lining up also in the rural area.  Had to chuckle a bit when the weather monitor said 'showers about' then 'thunder' and then 'sunshine' within 30 minutes even though it was flogging down!

The radar image below is current.  The large cell that came through has dissipated, but the second wave is coming by the looks o it.  Probably about 20 minutes away if it keeps coming.


Mike

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 February 2008, 07:16:05 AM
Monsoon No 2 update. Feb 6 2008

BoM advice is that whilst the monsoon is 'inactive' at the present time as from Friday things should really start to pick up.  Forecast models from Friday onwards show large increase in storm activity with a strong NW flow from Indonesia and abroad - (that's been the trend of late anyway!).  Storms have shifted erratically over the last three days steering initially from the East then NE and now they're coming in from the NW - a good indicator of moisture flows from the trough.

Excerpt from the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) homepage says this: 'The MJO is now located over western Indonesia - Phase 4.  The monsoon should be reactivated in the north in a few days by the passage of the MJO. The chance of a TC to the N- NW of Australia has increased.'

Of late the storms have been the deep convective type.  They are firing up as early as mid morning which is not the usual scenario in non-monsoon phases, so this is another positive reflection on the pattern changing once more.  Storms still aren't as frequent at night though, a lot of the late afternoon storm cloud is resisting moving away due to poor winds in the uppers and weak steering knots to clear the muck out.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0640.jpg)

I noticed on the charts a cyclone way out to the west of WA but another low closer to the WA coast.  Forecasts for Saturday have this low at cyclone pressure at 998 and moving with the monsoon flow pushing it further toward WA.  Might be one to watch.

Mike


Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Peter J on 07 February 2008, 02:36:09 PM
Mike

You know that I have been keeping up with the odd tid-bit of info re: NT and WA cyclones of late, as I do have a bit of an interest there. I also have heard reports that a monsoon/tropical low is forcast to deepen near WA's NW sometime over the weekend. The BoM had thought that a cyclone may develop sometime over the weekend, also weatherzone.com.au on their synoptic charts had the same prediction. Do you think there the climate is now right tp produce a fairly strong cyclone now, or will we have to wait until very late in the season to get one?

Big Pete
(p.s. great pics of the storms in Darwin - keep them coming!. Haven't seen good storms here down south for a while, but there is a possibility of some over the next couple of months here - as long as some good rains come too!)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 February 2008, 08:40:00 PM

Monsoon is set to arrive Saturday here with monsoonal showers forecast - yuk.  Blasted wet weather! 

Re cyclone:  It will really depend on what happens in the next three days.  Although the models show it forming but much is reliant on circulation and what environment it falls into.  Sea temps are well up - around 30C at last glance - which is just perfect for formation.  The wind profiles and continuing storm formation around the low will decide it.

I would not be surprised if it did form over the weekend. It's sitting in a nice fuel environment and as with most watching it, we'll have to keep an eye on the winds at all levels to see if there's decent convective bands forming and nothing to wreck its circulation in the coming days.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre have not issued a bulletin yet but their satpic image rate it as 'fair'.  The image does show some sprial banding flowing into it and the low has that look about it.

Strong cyclones?  That's the $64,000 question.  Even though Helen brushed us, another day or two in those hot waters west of us would have seen her grow quicker.  Once they get into that situation they intensify rapidly over a short period.  They may take a week to get organised, but once they find their niche environment they go ballistic.  From what I've seen up here anything is possible severity wise.

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 February 2008, 09:14:34 PM
Here's some photos from the other day with a nice bunch of mammatus over the city around 7:30pm after the late arvo storms. 

Lots of lightning activity tonight, Thurs 7th Feb with a line of storms in the rural area.  Only managed one pic as I could not be bothered aiming my 300mm to get something!  Working as you would expect as is the case when these things roll in :(   Storms moved near the city later on and saw several strong bolts close by which made it worse. 

 Best chances for decent lightning will be today (Friday 8th) and Saturday early - much depends on how frequent the showers will be.

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0829.jpg)

and more lumpy stuff - always like seeing this, especially when you know what it is!

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0828.jpg)

and my lone long shot of CGs.  Missed a fantastic bolt fest whilst refocussing, 6 strikes side by side and you think I did not curse just a little!

(http://www.mrsite.co.uk/usersitesv6/stormscapesdarwin.com/wwwroot/userimages/IMG_0859.jpg)

Here's the radar animation from about 7:30pm to about midnight.  Lots of activity moving in from the SE and right near the end of the loop there's a great line formed along the coast.  Saw a lot of lightning from work in this area, would have been a great photo op.

---> Darwin radar loop (http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/2008/radar/20080207/berrimah128.htm)

Mike


Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 February 2008, 02:43:13 AM
Greetings all.  Just a tad damp here in the tropics!

The monsoon is in full swing at the moment.  It arrived on Saturday 9 Feb but has been more active Monday and today.  The showers were fair over the weekend but of late heavy downpours every 20 mins or so is the norm.  Most areas are receiving around 10-40mm.  I know my area has had a fair cop of precip, especially at night!

 No thunderstorm activity during the first two days but this morning at around 4:30am two lines of storms came through.  A fair bit of lightning, and as it happens I went out for a look but no pics worth keeping due to CG flash reflection through the rain. (I hate that) 

 Originally BoM forecast for it to ease on Wednesday 13th, but the monsoon is still active and is set to be with us at least until Friday.   We have a low embedded in a trough near Timber Creek, way down the track, but it's not expected to do much.  The low may be enhancing the storm activity considering that we don't get all that much storm activity during the monsoon - normally just a bit of thunder but no visible lightning as opposed to this morning. 

There were two lows off WA initially and one was to move westward and take some of our monsoon rain with it, it's no longer there giving rise to our monsoon being active still.  The other low could be a fizzer going by what the JTWC says.

The JTWC has their forecast for cyclone formation as fair for the WA system, poor for the QLD system,  WA's has got semi-favorable environment but shear is hampering its formation at this time.  They don't hold much hope for the one off Queensland.  From what the WA BoM say and show their low will be a CAT2 cyclone by mid-week.

Rainfall stats as of 9am yesterday 12 Feb; Channel Island 86mm, Howard springs 81mm, Roseberry 80mm, Katherine 75.4mm, Darwin Airport 56mm and where i live - a whopping 142mm in the past three days!  No wonder my lawn is like a sponge.  All these areas are within 30km of the city except for Katherine which is 290km.

Here's some radar animation from this morning's storms.
 
http://radar.strikeone.net.au/?fuseaction=loops.main&radar=633&numberofImages=40&dateStart=1202733000&dateFinish=1202765400

Mike
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 28 February 2008, 06:57:33 AM
Hi all.

an update on what's been happening with our weather at the moment.  From the last post I mentioned the monsoon had arrived - well that same monsoon is still with us.  Low depression areas in the last week or two have invigorated the monsoon flow thus allowing it to maintain momentum.

Over the last two weeks we've seen three out of every 7 days with constant heavy showers and the remainder with sporadic shower activity.  Some days have caused flooding within the inner suburbs of Darwin with at least a metre of water over the highways in some areas!  Local falls have been around 20-50mm, but inland areas are benefiting with up to 100+mm.

Currently we have a low sitting just west of Katherine, which is about 100km from Darwin and has been stationary with some movement toward the N/NW.  It is intensifying gradually as it draws the monsoon into it.  The Victoria River Downs area to the NW of the NT is seeing a lot of rain and much heavier falls.  It is expected to do two things...either remain where it is or move NW into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf on Thursday where its formation to cyclone status is moderate or a 40% chance, but if it does the BoM only expect it to become a CAT1 system, but all things being equal that may change!  This is the same ocean body where TC Helen formed this year.

There have been no storms to speak of - so chasing of late is more favorable for reading our forum threads!  If the low does not form we can expect a break period back to build up conditions which will bring back the hot/humid days and of course thunderstorms. :)

Our next monsoon is due mid-March which is the danger period for us,statistically speaking for the most number of cyclones to form within our region and at least two are expected to make landfall if they do form.  Rainfall averages are above average by about 250mm for this month which is pretty neat, so well over 1200mm.  Dam levels are at 95% and rising.

Of note, flooding has already begun at a tourist area on the Adelaide River (croc jumping thing..) and the tourist building and car park are already underwater by a couple of metres (again).  This venue always floods and I'm heading out today to take a short drive to get some photos.  Why they don't move this structure from the side of the riverbank is beyond me...but flooding is only temporary to them one thinks!  Will post some photos on my return.  The actual Adelaide River is almost full and is lapping the bottom of the highway bridge - which is a fair distance in height!

water levels were a bit lower than I anticipated when arriving at the tourist location, although the river was very high at the banks.  I would expect that with any further downpours and coinciding with a high tide this will change dramatically.



Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 03 March 2008, 12:51:44 PM
Mike - nice photos of Adelaide river.... I was out that way about a week before, but didn't even think of having a look at the river height.

Did you manage to get any shots this afternoon of the storm that came through, I was on the other side of town and couldn't get back to the house in time - the structure looked massive !

On the upside the days are getting hotter so at least we might get some thunderstorm activity... for a few weeks anyway.

p.s found that cable release; and the wife is away this week, so do you want to catch up for a beer?

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 March 2008, 08:37:41 AM
Hi Adrian.  I was watching the thunderstorm form from about 2pm from home before work.  There was pileus cloud at every stage of the tower's growth, very strong updrafts  I did not go outside again until around 4pm on the way to work and went Phooar!  The structure was extremely wide!  I only managed a few shots ahead of the storm, it was racing along at a decent rate of knots.  Did not take long to overrun itself.  Storms out last night to the east and west but so much low cloud that the lightning was hidden behind a veil of haze.

The weather is perfect now for storms to form, plenty of clean, crisp air, heating and moisture now that the monsoon has finally weakened.

will PM ya..
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 March 2008, 07:53:53 AM

 March 4 2008


 Cumulus clouds were showing great vertical shear at around lunchtime and it only took another 90 minutes for them to take on CB structure!  Headed into town early before work to get some photos of the fronts and structure.  The monsoon trough converged with a high pressure system from NSW and directed storm growth along that boundary - about time I say.  The storms, i thought would die out by tea time which is the norm, but they continued right up until around midnight.  Most of the lightning was confined to the outskirts of the greater Darwin area and no lightning made it to town.  If I was not working I would have definitely chased rural or coastal as there were storms both along the eastern and western boundary.

 I would guess that the sea breeze kept them at arms length from the CBD.  There was extremely low level cloud under-riding the blanket, storms were dotted all around the place.  More of the same for the next day or two while the trough weakens but remains close enough to spark storms up.

A line had converged from about 50km's from the sou'east during the day and radar showed storms definitely converging there.  A large line moved in around 4pm and actually the outflow created new cells to the left at one point to form another set over the harbour (pic displayed).  Whilst watching and photographing, the outflow borne storms were moving north and meeting the airport storms from the NE.  Once they did that there was more lightning around me, but a minute or so apart.  The latter part of the evening saw a lot more activity over near my home looking from town and heading NE to the coast.

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1048.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1052.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_2789.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 March 2008, 06:47:52 AM
Wow factor for lightning last night 5 March.  As I previously posted the same scenario cooked up better this time around late in the afternoon, so by dinner time it was game on!  I cohersted the printer in charge to make sure we went to tea at the right time this time around !

Thunderstorms brewed adjacent to the wharf area.  Textbook structures.  Low flat bases, rain shafts, rainbows, big strong towers with crisp anvils - that's what I like to see as do most of you!  By 7pm the storm fronts were passing through with moderate gusts and rain, but fortunately by the time I went out the rain had stopped and the wind and nullified.  Most of the CGs were still shrouded by rain so i was not too fussed, but the crawler action was some of the best I've seen  There were three main anvils from the storms all close to each other in a 180 degree view, where to point was the problem!

I decided to focus on a more active anvil and for the next 30 minutes i was like a kid in a lolly factory.  Here's some of the shots captured.  One especially was great as it grounded with a CG at the same time - Overall a wonderful half hour's work!

An active low pressure system to the east of Darwin and moving westward over the coming week is the cause for firing up storms to the max at the moment. Significant moreso because it will add to the 680mm we've had for the month of February which is a record for us.  Here's the reason for all my excitement with the convergence area mmm well, smack bang over the city!

http://australianweathernews.com/charts/DARMET-0.GIF






Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 07 March 2008, 08:29:43 AM
Hi I'm new here.
I took some pictures before the lightning. It was about 6pm when I wanted to go to the beach (Casuarina, I stay at NFIH) to watch the sunset. I looked up and saw this big Cb's. So I hurried to beach and enjoyed the great view and took some pics I really like.
(I'm from Germany, studying Meteorologie in 5th year, and do a work experience at the Bureau of Meteorology at the moment)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/60.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/61.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/63.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/64.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/65.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/66.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/67.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/68.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/69.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/71.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/72.jpg)

(http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/73.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 07 March 2008, 10:31:53 AM
That is a great sequence of sunset and shelf cloud structure pictures. Great stuff and welcome to the forum.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 07 March 2008, 10:39:32 AM
Indeed, Jimmy you beat me to the welcome whilst I was typing it!  Wonderful structure and colours.  You would have had some excellent views from that area.

Storms are currently building at the moment.  A large group of cells off to the west and already there is a lot of low deep convection.  Several have already anvilled out.  I'm just watching a line to the sou'east of us at this time....it's looking good thus far.  Port Keats on the western NT coastal area (zillions of miles away) is getting smashed by lightning - WZ tracker a blob of white!

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Shaun Galman on 07 March 2008, 12:47:52 PM
Hi guys,

It's great to finally see some form of decent storm structure, the sunset really done the shelf wonders! Nice work cloudfairy, definitely nice to have you here :)

Those lightning photos from 5th March are stunners Mike, love the colouring! No such luck for us, it's been a bit dry lately to say the least! (got about 4mills of dust in the 'ol rain gauge lol)

Also, I haven't been on in a while due to a lack of weather and the result of organising the massive undertaking of selling-up & moving towns! We're possibly headed to the southern highlands otherwise second choice would be the upper hunter region. All in all a bit exciting and scary at the same time! The opal industry has pretty well collapsed & finished so the poor old Ridge has had it! Turns out a sad ending after 40yrs mining here for my family. It's on to greener pastures and the possibility of finally being able to photograph a supercell or two - so it's not all bad I guess? ;)

Cheers guys and take care!
Shauno 
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 07 March 2008, 12:57:02 PM
thanks guys!!!!!!!!!!! You make me blush.

I am off now to go to the beach and watch the squalline coming :)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 07 March 2008, 03:02:11 PM
6 March 08

Managed to get a few pic's, before being interrupted with work......

A real shame, as the light show was spectacular with a huge amount off CC and the odd CG.

A few photos, the first was about 1 hour before the main light show started.

p.s. Welcome to the forum cloudfairy, and thanks for the photos.


cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 07 March 2008, 05:51:38 PM
I like your lightning pic!!!! I really need a SLR!!! But they are so expensive :(

How does it work to post thumbnails with link to the big picture?

Till I've figured that out, here some from today.
The first one was this afternoon about 3pm? The storm went through and grew larger in the SW.
The others were this evening at Casurina beach. With the first, I don't know what these things are, but they look interesting.
As I looked at the radar before, it seemed to be a realy great  squalline, but it sprinkled out (I'm not sure if that is the right expression in english) till it arrives in Darwin.

[img width= height=]http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/75k.jpg[/img] (http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/75.jpg)

[img width= height=]http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/76k.jpg[/img] (http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/76.jpg)

[img width= height=]http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/78k.jpg[/img] (http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/78.jpg)

[img width= height=]http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/79k.jpg[/img] (http://www.drakenskepp.de/ext/79.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 08 March 2008, 05:16:53 AM
 Hi all.

Here's some photos from the two large storms that converged on Darwin yesterday as per the other posts above. 

This is the mid-arvo storm on the other side of the city prior to the evening sets. 

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_2795.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_2798.jpg)

This one was severe warned around 6:30pm as a squall line that came through the rural area.  It started to break up and weaken when it reached the 20km 'barrier' surrounding Darwin - totally useless!  I intended to chase it rural where it was flanging by the second - but had to be at the airport..

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_2809.jpg)

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 08 March 2008, 11:16:21 AM
Hi Cloudfairy,

Not sure what application you are using in your photography work flow - I either use Digital Photo Professional or PS - Bridge and just reduce the file size to 800 x 533, and drop the quality down to 7 and then upload and what you see is what you get.... no special tricks.

Best of luck with it,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 09 March 2008, 09:23:49 PM
Hi Adrian, I note you captured the same lightning also - has anyone noticed how the lower part of the streamer lightning looks ironically like the map of Australia, but with the NT, Cape York not complete!!!  I noticed it yesterday looking at it again - man, would have been a classic !
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 10 March 2008, 12:11:42 PM
Mike,

Hadn't noticed but you are right; don't forget tas.... otherwise someone will whinge ;)

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 13 March 2008, 04:57:27 AM
Did anyone of you catch the storm last night? Finally I tried to sleep and was too tired to get up and watch the lightning.


This weekend will be good for storms, I suppose. Just at the chart-discussion a moment ago they told us. So, I'm looking forward to it. Kakadu will be on easter, so I have plenty of time.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 13 March 2008, 10:25:55 AM
Mm well having to work until 12:30am was a pain.  Had glimpses of the lightning which was close, but the rain gauges went through the roof around the harbour area.   Here's the overnight rainfalls. 

Wagait Beach 191mm - across the harbour from the esplanade of Darwin City.
Channel Island 111mm - to the south of Darwin Harbour
Larrakeyah 72mm  - suburb within a whisker of Darwin city
Stokes Hill 52mm  - The wharf area where i was and got drenched at 1:30am trying to take photos!!!  My enthusiasm rapidly wained after that!
Nightcliff 73mm  - coastal 'burb of Darwin.

Sounding yesterday looked nice.  All nice numbers and during the arvo even saw plenty of stair-stepped thunderstorms around the coastal fringes thanks to the trough.  Lack of winds in the lower levels helped these storms stay put and release all this precip. Lightning was there, albeit in 2-5 minute intervals and mostly IC stuff with a number of close flangs grounded.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 13 March 2008, 01:43:24 PM

Nothing to report from my end..... got up and tried to get a few shots but very few CG's from the home vantage point and the low cloud meant that I couldn't get any IC either.  The thunder was spectacular, and it would have been a great light show had it not been for the low cloud. 

Kudo's to Mike for sticking it out in the rain!

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 16 March 2008, 09:43:40 AM
On Thursday evening I went with some friends to the Wharf for Fish&Chips.
It already was an absolut great day (I will make my degree desertation here in Darwin in Nov08 to April09).
As we got there I saw these amazing, fantastic, great beautiful clouds. And to top everything I managed to make some lightning pics......with my camera (Nikon Coolpix 4600)
That was the greatest day I had for a long time.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 16 March 2008, 11:38:56 AM
Nice Shots !

I flew in from Katherine so I had a birds eye view of the four storm cells that were sourounding Darwin on thursday.

Unfortunately I didn't land until 2000, headed off to wharf for some photos and managed to miss the whole thing.

Did anyone get any shots last night (Friday) as I was in town having dinner and saw a few massive CG's between the wharf and the mall ???

Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 16 March 2008, 12:31:29 PM
No, I'm afraid, I didn't took any photos. But I watched the lightning the whole night (2am-6am) laying at NFIH campus.
It last really long, I was surprised about that.



These ones are from yesterday, probably in the wrong topic, but I like especially the first pic.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 17 March 2008, 11:02:09 PM
Missed all the lightning ops due to work and could only view them :(.  Was not until 2am before i got out to get something at night, but the post-multicell set up was amazing!!

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1229.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1175.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1306.jpg)

deep convection!!!!

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1247.jpg)



Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Richary on 18 March 2008, 03:45:34 PM
Some nice pics Mike. From the look of it you sleep during the hot humid days and live at night!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 19 March 2008, 04:35:20 AM
Nice pics, mike!

Have you seen the wonderful lightning last night??? After I went home from the Pub I was overwhelmed and just couldn't go to bed.
There was lightning of a high frequency (for me, because I've never been here for the built up) and you could see them in a 180 degree field of view. (I hope you understand what I mean, I'm too tired for thinking in a foreign language)
Anyway it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't stop watching and tried to take some photos. I so wished that I would have the right camera for that. :(
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 19 March 2008, 09:15:20 PM
Storm chase 18 March 2008

Leaving work at around 12:45am I noticed some faint flashes within a cloud top about 40km to the east in the rural area.  I was thinking that yes, perhaps something is firing up!  I checked the satpics and radar when I got home and there was a nice cluster of storms maturing just south of Humpty Doo.  The lightning tracker showed 6 older strikes and one recent strike within a 30 minute time period.  Time to chase at last!!

I raced out to Humpty Doo where it was obvious driving there that this was going to be something huge.  Constant flashes inside the clouds, CG action to the rear of the storm.  After waiting a few minutes and trying to get some shots I realized that my fuel gauge said 'empty' - blast!  Angrily turning back toward the service station I realized I'd left my wallet home

Dashing home I observed through the moonlight a huge anvil that had spread out, it was massive!

After eventually getting fuel and returning back to the rural area, the rainshaft and downdraught area had caught me by surprise and the drive back there & home was atrocious.  Sheet rain and microbursts made driving to a speed of 60km/h.  I had to get to the side of the storm as it was obvious I could not outrun it.  I ended up parking just near my home just as the rain shifted and went around me and I was at the rear of the storm.  Powerful CG strikes were around me and captured some of them.  One particularly close one almost struck the car - it was pretty nasty! I estimated it to be less than 100m from the car - scared the bejeezoos out of me.  I had the F-stops way down (up) on the camera and it was still overexposing the photo - but you can make out the shaft and some branching....

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/closecall.JPG)

I finally arrived home at 5am after chasing this beast and it proved a challenge positioning myself  in a location that gave me the best chance of photos - so much rain and a lack of a decent road network always makes me angry and that proved frustrating!

Two other strikes in the vicinity.

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/strikeA.JPG)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/strikeB.JPG)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Peter J on 23 March 2008, 04:42:45 PM
Hi Mike,

Been observing as of 8pm tonight (you local time) (Sat 22nd March), there was a severe thunderstorm warning issued for the Darwin area. Did anything come from this? At least according to BoM observations, the local Darwin area did receive a healthy 20mm or so in 1hr from these storms.

Big Pete
(just keeping you on your toes whilst the weather down south is settled at the moment).
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 24 March 2008, 10:40:48 PM
Sorry for the delay...

re the SSW - I don't think much came of it from memory -these buggers always burn out when they come within the seabreeze from Darwin.  They are usually fast moving and end up creating an area of mush in front of them.  This would have been cool to chase near a place called Annabaroo which is about 40km from Humpty Doo - which is 40km from Darwin - it does not take long to get there, but from what I have seen the lightning goes nuts out there as the line moves in.  The lines tend to breed in that area many times and the bigger storms always are found in that area.
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 25 March 2008, 11:11:17 AM
Sat 22nd March 08

Hi Pete,

Am pretty sure this was the storm front that caused the Severe Weather Warning (shelf cloud pic) it pretty much dodged the city.

Had to be somewhere for dinner so missed any other photo ops, as there was quite a few CG and CC strikes. 



Cheers,
.adrian
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 26 March 2008, 08:32:40 AM
OMG this pic is great!!!!!!!!!! I can't stop looking at it. WOW
I saw this cloud some stages before I guess... when I got back from Nightcliff Pool. There was a great lightning in it.....I saw lightning like sparks on the shape of the cloud.....like a stun gun (I'm not sure if thats the right word)
I took some pics, but there were too many trees in the way :(
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 29 March 2008, 01:04:16 PM
Wednesday 27 March

Viewing some active storms from work at around 12:30am I decided to quickly head home to check the radar...what was coming was worth chasing after!!

Chased a huge line of storms in the wee hours of the morning at around 1-4am.  Headed out to intercept the line near Noonamah in the rural area.  I waited for about half an hour for the front to reach my location.  There was a moderate microburst but when it cleared there were dozens of CGs flanging around me!  Captured these shots as I got hammered.  The vibration of the thunder rattled the car windows and me inside which was just what I love when they strike close by!  One of the shots shows a bolt directly behind the pub which obliterated the shot and it's the second time in as many weeks the car has almost been directly struck - but it was so close I could hear the kak, kak, kak sound of static before it lit up!  The other shot shows twin CGs behind the pub which I managed to capture and a nice clean CGg out in the field across the road. I missed out on some awesome strikes - doubles included when i was moving the car to point towards the moving storm...man, some of them were just beautifully branched....I hate that!

The monsoon will probably not return.  It's getting late in the season and the conditions just aren't inducive of any more bursts.  We can expect the odd storm or shower about until seasons end...sadly all good things must come to an end once more.....:(  I had a ball out there on my own, I was wondering where all the other 'chasers' were in Darwin, I muttered quite happily during the storm that..'those that snooze, lose!'

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1721.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1720.jpg)

(http://www.stormscapesdarwin.com/userimages/IMG_1731.jpg)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 29 March 2008, 01:21:14 PM
Mike,

Quite an electrical display collection there. It seems like the lightning was coming from pretty high up in terms of depth - the storm was higher based I guess than the norm?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 30 March 2008, 01:36:01 PM
Hi there Jimmy.

I would say that the cloud bases were about average, I've since found out that there were two storms in near Jabiru that formed together and created a squall line of sorts and tracked westward.  The photos may not give an indication of the actual cloud base due to the light precip accompanying the strikes, but the base was not dragging on the ground so to speak and as mentioned, did not look like anything out of the norm for what I generally see.  I did see two decent towers imbedded in the line as sheet lightning lit the line up as it moved in and most of the lightning came from the one i saw to my left (where I originally sat in the car) hence my turning the car around and getting the flangs.

Currently there's storm activity now, usual moderate rain...constant rumbles abound but no CGs as yet.  These are slow moving storms and I'm having everything crossed that there's something maturing in the rural areas again.  Had to chuckle at the sounding this morning for Darwin...it was a mess data wise and graphically - the CAPE was indicated at over 10,000j/kg - no wonder there's storms at the moment!!!!!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 April 2008, 06:49:18 AM
last post for this storm season thread...

Hi all.  Well another season over for us up here.  As of Saturday the forecast is fine, dry.  We may see a goodbye storm late this evening they say, but I'm doubful!

As a short summary of the weather pattern we've experienced with La Nina i've mentioned previously that it was a bit off storm production wise.  Although I did manage to capture some of my best shots this time around, that was mainly due to the fact of me actually 'chasing' and not just driving to a location on a hope and prayer.  It certainly has paid off with doing some homework on the stats and obs before deciding to head out on that lonely jaunt down the highway at unGodly hours.

Between monsoon bursts the break periods seemed to be longer between any storms forming.  A lot of the storms we had were inland or rural with only a small percentage actually reaching Darwin.  We only had around 6-8 severe storm warnings for the whole season and only 4 of those lines came through Darwin, the rest all fizzled out very quickly at the 40km barrier to Darwin.

We're all hoping for a better season this year!  Even the armchair chasers tell me they were disappointed if that's any indication!  I've enjoyed the thread once again and the comments and the like have been very informative from all.






Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Michael Bath on 04 April 2008, 11:29:19 AM
Hey Mike - last post ???   Looks like you're getting the last storm now with some action within 50ks of Darwin. Certainly not dry on today's sounding.

MB
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 04 April 2008, 09:23:39 PM
The last post of someone who typed it before I went to work in the arvo - indeed they went off!  CAPE values were over 3500 in the afternoon and there were widespread storms throughout the Darwin area.  I don't know where that moisture came from as it was 'dry' all day until about 4pm and by nightfall the place went nuts.

Radar was showing storms developing out of nowhere.  I had phone contact with a fellow photographer who was in the thick of things as he was talking to me on the phone whilst at work - with me sulking of course.

I followed by nose for lightning during my half hour dinner break, as the western side had died off after two hours of lightning I did see some bright flashes to the NE - I drove to an area called Cullen Bay where all the rich folk reside and managed to get two last BIG CGs from one thunderstorm.  We all say when we take nice pics that this lightning shot is the best ever we've taken, but this one takes the cake for me...it's so beautiful and it flashed in an eye blink.  Sometimes the spur of the moment captures really do turn out sweet.  Sorry I did not link the photo, my website host is way too slow at the moment...

Storms are forecast again for today (friday ) and I've got two days off - time to get seriously involved in chasing while it lasts....
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 05 April 2008, 04:18:43 AM
OmG!!! I really shouldn't sleep at night.  ::)
I keep my fingers crossed for a storm tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cya
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Matt Pearce on 05 April 2008, 05:03:07 AM
Brilliant pics Mike! The transitional seasons certainly deliver when it comes to photogenic storms/lightning up there...
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 05 April 2008, 06:25:29 AM
Indeed, it certainly caught my attention in the afternoon considering the dry air we had during the morning...unpredicatable Darwin weather!  A weak monsoon trough lying off the coast is the culprit.  It has been there for weeks and done nothing, but it looks like the trough has entered the Arafura Sea above us and this has triggered the action.

 Was under the guise that perhaps this wet season may go out on a whimper and really i should know better because the season always starts and ends with a bang.  Gotta go with the nose and not the computer models......:)
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Peter J on 05 April 2008, 07:25:03 AM
I was going to say Mike, the storms are still showing up on television news reports, so I think it best to stick the head outside and look, rather than just relying on computer models and tv screens for weather. (like the chasers in Storm Chasers on Discovery channel - tornadoes were breaking out on the opposite side of the radar coz of a glitch in the radar). hehe

Big Pete
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 April 2008, 06:16:28 AM
Hi Pete, it's still important to check the obs even if they are not up-to-date from some othe source!  Experienced chasers are always telling us our eyes are the best tools and i do wear these eyes out!  It was just a dramatic change in air temps and humidity on that day.

We had a gusty storm yesterday (5 April) which was 'okay', nothing special.  Last night a couple of extremely fast moving storms which gave some lightning - the photo attached is the only worthwhile thing taking as it died out - but I chased at around 1am after watching the radar for half an hour at a set of cells which sparked my interest.  They were moving very fast from the east and showed signs of doing something.  Sure enough after about 40 mins and ducking outside to keep an eye on them, they fired up and there was thunder sounding close.  Followed the storms along the coast but CG activity was sparodic and not confined to one area.  I waited a little longer on the coast but something was holding them back.  Once they moved around 10km offshore they went balistic.  The rain rate went from light to heavy in a space of 20 minutes!  They then formed a line moving NW away from Darwin.  They must have encountered some drier air as they moved across inland but found that weak monsoonal moisture off the coast and said thank you!

Today is typically dry season - the high pressure isobars from down south have entered the Top End - some say about time!
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Adrian on 06 April 2008, 07:27:18 AM
Mike,

Great shots !!!!!

What time did you get the shots ??? (I missed it due work) and did you get anything last night ?

Cheers,
Adrain

Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: cloudfairy on 06 April 2008, 09:22:11 AM
As he said, the one posted above is from last night ;)

I won't give up. I still hope for a few storms left for me this season :)
It just had to be.

Attached is my only pic from last night :( pretty sad.
The second should be the storm coming from NE on my way to Beachfront.
The third is the fast storm at about 3.30pm yesterday that came from NE and missed northern suburbs. We just got a shower.
(I know it isn't for this thread, but I'm to lazy to write two posts ;) )
Title: Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
Post by: Mike on 06 April 2008, 10:50:58 AM
Cloudfairy, looks like you just missed out on the strike from that first pic. :( 

Adrian, hi and yeah Cloudfairy and I headed to the city to nab some pics but the storms were moving very fast, by the time we got there all we managed was that crawler shot.  It was the only shot of the night I got which is pretty pathetic!

Some here in the NT are grasping on conditions that we may get something later in the week, but from experience, once these highs from down south encroach it's just over people!  Let it go!  Might get the odd shower, but anything worth chasing....mmm....a waste of petrol unless it's a squall line!

and the only thing to photograph during the dry is....yeah boring aint it!