Author Topic: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011  (Read 7372 times)

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Offline Brad Hannon

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Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« on: 22 April 2011, 07:38:28 AM »
I observed a persistant and somewhat organised cell north of Melbourne late yesterday arvo with a consolidated base, multi-directional inflow bands in the low and mid levels, some mid-level striations and the occasional short lived horizontal funnel from the mid-levels, especially in the early stages of development.  Took some pics and posted a few here:

http://www.theaustralianweatherforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1171

Then this morning I was sent this link to images and report of a tornado near Ballarat:
 
http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/news/general/tornado-sweeps-across-ballarat/2140709.aspx

I note that some of the pics appear to have been photoshopped.

Brad.
hmmm June 2nd......

Offline Michael Thomas

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2011, 08:15:32 AM »
Hi Brad,

What makes you think these photos were photoshopped? Are you just talking about colour/contrast changes? They look pretty real to me but then I am no expert at photoshop.


Offline Brad Hannon

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #2 on: 22 April 2011, 10:34:24 AM »
Hi Michael, im not suggesting they arent real but can see obvious digital enhancement especially around the trees (looks like blending rather than just contrast) and there also appears to be some duplication in a few images too.  Just wanted to note it in case any smartalec out there decided to make an issue of it and thought I hadnt noticed.
hmmm June 2nd......

Offline Michael Thomas

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #3 on: 22 April 2011, 11:01:24 AM »
Hi Brad,

Cheers, I was just curious (not a smartalec :)). Not too tech savvy so I don't have a sharp eye for those things, though I do think I saw what you are refering to. It always pays to be cautious when reading news articles because they do sometimes get things wrong or use a bit of creative licence.

Offline Colin Maitland

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #4 on: 23 April 2011, 01:46:40 AM »
Found these 4 images of the Ballarat tornado on

 http://www.edenmagnet.com.au/multimedia/22751/231914/ballarats-mini-tornado.aspx

Just unfortunately the article is called "Ballarat's mini tornado."  DOH  ;D 

Col


Offline Michael Bath

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #5 on: 23 April 2011, 03:51:03 AM »
Nice looking funnel cloud. Almost looks like a second funnel on the left of the first photo

http://www.thecourier.com.au/multimedia/22744/ballarats-mini-tornado.aspx

I guess it may not have impacted the ground.

Interesting comments by the meteorologist in relation to the weather as it seems quite cool and only marginally unstable. He's probably been misquoted as it sounds like there's 'relatively warmer air' in the mid-upper atmosphere:

Quote

Brad, what did the temps get to - was it only about 14? Is it definitely the 20th as the article is dated 20th and says 'yesterday afternoon' ?
Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
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Offline Brad Hannon

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #6 on: 26 April 2011, 03:41:45 PM »
Hi Michael, you're right about the date confusion.  Not sure whether the Ballarat event was 20th or 19th.  I was told it was Wednesday 20th which correlated with my obs of weather in Melbourne and thought nothing more about it really, but it may well have been Tuesday.  Re temps, its been much warmer than 14C all week in Melbourne (23C on Tues and 18C on Wed) but Ballarat (21C Tues and 16C Wed) is usually cooler.
hmmm June 2nd......

Offline Jeff Brislane

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #7 on: 27 April 2011, 01:57:20 PM »
Nice funnel cloud, doesn't sound like anyone's convinced that it is a tornado though, except for the newspaper editor and Alex. Maybe a local can confirm any surface damage.

Offline Michael Thomas

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Re: Tornado near Ballarat - 20th April 2011
« Reply #8 on: 28 April 2011, 11:47:40 AM »
From the photos it does appear that the condensation funnel is not reaching the ground (at the time). Since the photos are taken from the top of a hill the funnel may look deceptively low. In any case, I think it's possible that some weak circulation reached the ground for a short period of time. Who knows? If it was the 20th, I do agree that the conditions did not appear favourable for tornadoes. When I first saw this thread I looked at the GFS winds/LI's and was suprised. I was expecting a strong shear/low CAPE environment. As can be seen on the Melbourne sounding, 500 mbar wind speed is only 30 knots. This would be fine in a higher CAPE/warm season storm but in a low CAPE/cool season setup I would typical expect far stronger mid-level winds, say 40+ knots. Lower-level winds are also relatively weak with only 20 and 10 knots at 850 and 900 mbar, respectively. I would be interested to hear John Allens opinions on this funnel/possible tornado. This should be right up his alley.