Author Topic: NE NSW / SEQ Hailstorms 11 August 2011  (Read 7532 times)

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Offline Michael Bath

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NE NSW / SEQ Hailstorms 11 August 2011
« on: 13 August 2011, 02:46:47 AM »






This one was to the north along the border



A second stronger thunderstorm moved in from the WSW about 6.15pm. The northern edge looked nice with the sunset. This was the cell that produced large hail at Wollongbar and hail drifts elsewhere.





Jason arrived and got a nice lightning shot that he may post later on.

We then headed to Ballina for lightning. We didn't notice the hail drifts during the drive there due to rain so only got some pics on the way home at about 9pm. The stripped foliage was obvious through the western parts of Wollongbar too.





This one is from a very small cell that formed just southeast and Ballina. It lasted about an hour before we gave up on it.




128km Radar Loop for Grafton, 03:00 11/08/2011 to 14:00 11/08/2011 UTC

Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
Australian Severe Weather:   http://australiasevereweather.com/
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Contact: Michael Bath

Offline Jason(pato)

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RE: NE NSW / SEQ Hailstorms 11 August 2011
« Reply #1 on: 13 August 2011, 10:28:08 AM »
Wow!!! What a great assortment of pics there MB.

I started the day watching convection slowly build whilst at work. When I finally got home checked the radar and became aware of a cell moving in from the west towards Casino. It hadn't yet became lightning active but I decided to bite the bullet and go and check it out anyway. On the way out I saw my first CG of the day, stoked that I had taken the risk to have a look and get rewarded. Pulled up at a location just west of Lismore to have a look and this is what greeted me.



The precip curtain looked quite heavy and it was surely hailing within the core. I decided to give the lightning trigger a go just in case of another CG. I set it up and then turned away only to hear the shutter fire off twice in quick succession. Lets have a look and see I said to myself...first photo showed nothing but upon reviewing the second shot I was pleasantly surprised to see this



There was a few in cloud flashes after this but nothing worthy so with the rain curtain closing in I decided to head closer to Lismore and get some more pics of a developing base.



Also noticed a small vortex



After this the rain set in and it was a case of go home and wait and see what else pops up. More cells starting spreading in from the west so I put a call into Michael Bath to see if I could head up there for one of those Epic lightning shows he gets. So off I went with much anticipation of meaty bolts smashing the valley below his house.....but everything was in-cloud except for one



Been waiting a long time for the opportunity to bag one from MBs so I'm pretty stoked with that effort. Stuff looked like it was heading towards the coast so we decided to follow it down and see if we could get a decent offshore lightshow. The rain was a real pain and continued to hinder us whilst trying to get some shots from under our umbrellas. Still managed to get a few but the rain did give a washed out feel to some of the bolts. This is prolly the best of the first serving we got.



Later another cell snuck up off the coast from near Evans Head and spat out some infrequent lightning with a few bolts captured.





After this the cells became to distant and uninteresting so we decided to call it a night.

In all was a decent little chase with a few nice surprises and was a great way to kick off the storm season....even if it was a little earlier than expected.

Cheers Jason
« Last Edit: 13 August 2011, 11:23:59 AM by Jason(pato) »
South Lismore, Northern Rivers NSW.....Supercells are us!!

Offline Vortex

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Re: NE NSW / SEQ Hailstorms 11 August 2011
« Reply #2 on: 14 August 2011, 07:52:17 AM »
Some very nice images there MB and Pato! That CG is fantastic and certainly the shot of the day.

Cam and myself were undecided whether to chase the 11th of August due to the sounding being very dry in the lowers early that morning. Most of the moisture on GFS actually was great around area's of the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay. We decided to take a chance anyway just for the fact of any decent showers from the upper influence of the cold pool could produce rice sized hail.

Around lunchtime before we decided to take off we actually had a light shower pass over the area and hail overhead but it seems very 'virga-ish' with most of the precip evaporating as it encountered the drier lowers. Soon we noticed a very weak NE coming in right on the coastal fridge. This elevated the dew points by a few degree's which was a vital key for something solid to form. We were not sure if it was actually the seabreeze as such but could of been outflow moisture being pumped in from the cells offshore.



We picked where the dryline was roughly sitting on the northern edge of the current convection around the Border Ranges in hope of some explosive action as the moisture increased. Sadly it did not penetrate too far to the SW and all we got was high based showers with small hail falling from within the updraft. Looked crappy and totally unphotogenic.



Around 3pm there was a weak line of showers moving NE across the Border Ranges and we wondered if there was enough available moisture right on the coast for the line to fire into a thunderstorm. 48 minutes later the cell 'nuked' and displayed some of the most intense cauliflower features from the cold air that I have seen since Dec 30, 2008. We headed from Boonah-Beaudesert Road E to try and get as close as possible, and if close enough under the cell for hail assessment.

Here is an image of what the cell looked like when it first nuked on the coast. I love how in this image the bushfire smoke in the lowers makes for an interesting colouration. The twin barrel cores are looking quite healthy too at this stage and both anvils started to push out at this time.



From Beaudesert we tried to head further E towards Canungra to get a closer look at the two-cells which were now backsheering to the SE. We noticed some nice base features the closer we got however the cell slid off the ranges and to quick to chase it.



Soon enough the cell moved offshore and the Lismore cell went spastic with cloud-to-ground lightning for over an hour at least. We saw the last of the moisture move through the area around 5pm-6pm with cloudless skies to the W. Two cells started to fire overhead but didn't survive more than 30 mins.

The only chance now was on the coastal fringe looking over the Pacific for any cells that fired closer to the coast in the better environment. We actually got lucky and had a cell pop up a little later and move NE off Moreton Island. The moonlight helped illuminate the thunderstorm structure and the lightning was also great to watch. We did not end up scoring CG's as such however we were treated to a few crawlers on the rear flank of the storm.



Marginal days sometimes really do demonstrate some of the best structures. It's very nice to take a risk and be rewarded with some decent structure and features. We did we undecided what to do and thought bugger it, it's worth a look. Thanks very much too MB for squaring up my account on your forum.







Offline Michael Bath

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Re: NE NSW / SEQ Hailstorms 11 August 2011
« Reply #3 on: 22 August 2011, 05:25:31 AM »
I've been a bit slow to go through all the photos for this day - and the past 3 months actually. The highlights were blown with this lightning shot though reducing the exposure by 2 full stops in the Nikon software did allow for this result:



Same photo as Jason's with a little extra on the top and left which contributed to the over-exposure. The shutter was open for 5 and half minutes before the lightning occurred.  If I recall correctly, there seemed to be a crawler from right to left which put down two CGs and some other branches.
Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
Australian Severe Weather:   http://australiasevereweather.com/
Lightning Photography:   http://www.lightningphotography.com/
Early Warning Network: http://www.ewn.com.au
Contact: Michael Bath