Author Topic: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007  (Read 3962 times)

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Offline David C

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Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« on: 13 February 2007, 07:27:18 AM »
Paul called and said that he just witnessed a funnel cloud with condensation to the ground around 12:30. This was while travelling north on Silverwater road and he estimated that the funnel was around 2km away....which is quite close for an observer. He is going back to look for damage of any sort now. Unfortunately he did not have a camera with him at the time.
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Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #1 on: 13 February 2007, 11:07:37 AM »
David

I work at Auburn and Silverwater Road is in Silverwater (Auburn municipality) and I was not aware of any thunderstorms or shower / rain cells that could have produced a landspout in the vicinity of where I work. It has been cloudy and showery all day. I acknowledge some rain falls have been heavy for brief periods but any such cloud would have passed overhead where I work.

This needs to be verified. Thank you.

Harley Pearman




Paul Graham

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #2 on: 13 February 2007, 06:49:39 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I was the one who saw this small 'tornado' and reported it to the BoM.  I must admit, I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it.  It really took me by surprise as I never expected to see such a thing in what were seemingly benign passing showers.  Unfortunately I didn't have a camera on me.  But I suppose that I might not have been able to capture much even if I did as it was a short-lived event. 

It happened while I was driving north along Silverwater Rd towards the intersection of Victoria Rd at about 12:30pm (February 12th, 2007).  I was coming up to the crest of the hill when a spindly, rapidly swirling funnel cloud caught my attention slightly to my left.  It was unmistakable.  I know it was a technically a funnel cloud as I could not see debris, nor could I find any damage after investigating later.  But given the rate at which it was spinning - it looked like water swirling down the plug hole - and its length, appearing to reach ground level, I'd say it could easily have been causing damage at the surface.  It was a small but tight vortex and didn't last very long.  I pulled off at the next left and tried to find a better place to view it.  It must have taken about 5 minutes from first sighting until being able to stop and look in the direction where I'd seen it.  In this time the funnel had disappeared, but the clouds in the vicinity where rotating and scud cloud was rising directly upwards into a very dark cloud base.  I then looked for a public phone in order to call the Bureau and some friends as I'm not using a mobile presently.  It was at this time that I lost sight of the area from where the funnel had been as buildings and trees were in the way. 

I reported it to the BoM as a tornado because that is what it looked like at first sight.  But in the absence of any visible debris or any damage it would probably only count as a funnel cloud, albeit very close to being a tornado given its proximity to the ground and the rate it was spinning.  I noticed afterwards that the wind had increased following the storm cell that had produced it, and I pondered whether there might have been a small wind change and if this might have contributed to its formation.  I spent some time driving around the local streets surveying for any sign of damage but to no avail.  I also paid a lot more attention to other storm cells around being suspicious of any signs of lowerings or rotation, but there was nothing unusual in them at all.  It was just the usual scuddy bases and small short-lived circulations but nothing like what I'd witnessed earlier.  It seemed like the little funnel I witnessed was a freak event.  I would be interested to know if something like this could have been resolved on doppler radar at all (which is able to measure wind speeds and directions and is able to sometimes pick up on tornadoes).  I would also be interested to know if anyone else had seen it.  I'd be very surprised if no one else saw it given its location near a main road in a populous suburb.  But its short life span would probably have limited the number of witnesses. 

Cheers,

Paul
« Last Edit: 13 February 2007, 07:10:05 PM by Paul Graham »

Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #3 on: 14 February 2007, 01:59:44 AM »
Paul,

Great find. Goes to show you were observant. I would contact the Bureau again to ensure that the corrected observation was of a funnel cloud rather than a tornado. I rang the Bureau and corrected y observation of 6cm hail in Lithgow to 6cm hail 1km from Lithgow for instance.

Harley, I don't think you could assume on a day like yesterday with very low cloud bases that you were in a position to see from Auburn. I note that yesterday visibile distance to cloud bases were of the order of a few kilometres at most.

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striker92

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #4 on: 02 March 2007, 12:18:33 PM »
Hi guys
I was just wondering if you could clear something up for me.
I was droving home one day and as we rounded a bend in the road we came face to face with a enormous storm, easily one of the biggest Ive seen.
On an exposed hillside to my left i spotted a funnel cloud it was quite narrow and very white, it seemed to be tracking from side to side and i can remember clearly that there was no debris just a pure white funnel. What would this have been, I'm not familiar with the different funnel clouds we get in Australia, BTW there was no rain at this point.

Paul Graham

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #5 on: 05 March 2007, 06:08:33 PM »
Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum.  First, it would be useful to know a bit more about what you saw.  Do you remember when and where it was you saw this funnel?  How big and long was it?  Was there lightning with the storm?  A few more details would be good.  Also, perhaps you should consider joining the Bureau of Meteorology storm spotter network.  Take a look at this link for more information: http://www.bom.gov.au/storm_spotters/index.shtml

Cheers,

Paul

striker92

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #6 on: 07 March 2007, 01:52:40 PM »
HI paul..
Well there was lightning with the storm, i cant remember exactly how when this occured but itwas definatley towards the end of summer. Im pretty sure that it would have been back in 2003, 2005. The funnel itself wasnt all to long, but it did extend all the way from the base of the cloud to the ground and it had a thin white appearance, it was also very narrow.

Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Sydney funnel / Landspout Tornado February 12, 2007
« Reply #7 on: 08 March 2007, 10:58:39 AM »
Mark Y,

Difficult to determine anything about an observed funnel cloud of we don't know precisely where it was although you have helped out be giving some form of time frame.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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