Author Topic: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008  (Read 92160 times)

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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #135 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
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #136 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!

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Jimmy Deguara
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #137 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


Mike
« Last Edit: 12 January 2008, 02:30:07 AM by Michael Bath »
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #138 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
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #139 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..



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




Mike
« Last Edit: 14 January 2008, 09:35:10 AM by Mike »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #140 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

Mike
« Last Edit: 16 January 2008, 01:42:10 AM by Michael Bath »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #141 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
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #142 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
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #143 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
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Offline Richary

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #144 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.

Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #145 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.



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!





Mike
« Last Edit: 15 January 2008, 07:59:29 AM by Mike »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #146 on: 15 January 2008, 08:52:31 AM »
A couple more pics of structure.  Photos taken around the harbour and off to the southeast.



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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #147 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.

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Jimmy Deguara
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #148 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
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Offline Adrian

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2007/2008
« Reply #149 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