Author Topic: Thunderstorms, rain, cold and snow SA/VIC/NSW/Qld: 15 - 18 May 2008  (Read 28013 times)

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Offline Jason(pato)

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17th & 18th MAY 2008

Gday Everyone,



Got back from my very first snow chase this arvo. And what an initiation I had!!. First of all I got the call from Rod Wallbridge and Michael Bath to say that we're heading off to Guyra at 7pm 17th May. What ensued was a memorable evening and following morning.

After a rather uneventful trip from Lismore to Glen Innes things began to develop rapidly. We came across some light rain around Glen Innes which eventually got gradually heavier. From GI we came through Glencoe with the rain giving way to sleet. Needless to say we all were getting quite excited as it was almost certain there would be snow falling higher up. (We were at around 1200m with another 200m to climb). After watching the way ahead intently for any evidence of flakes it finally appeared. Firstly sporadically with flurries then magically the whole thing just turned to snow. For a first time snow chaser I was left stunned. What followed then was a slow crawl up to Ben Lomond to witness a 2- 2 1/2 hr snowfall, eventually realising around 5-7cm in depth.

Following are pics from the 17th & 18th May 2008 from around Ben Lomond and Guyra


































In all a fantastic result for something that did appear marginal at times, the moisture coincided perfectly with the cold parcel to produce a magic result. A big thanks goes to Rod and Michael for if it wasn't for those guys I wouldn't have experienced NT snow or got the pics I got,

Cheers pato (jason)
South Lismore, Northern Rivers NSW.....Supercells are us!!

Offline Michael Bath

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Some additional observations and photos following on from Jason's report.

The temperature in Tenterfield was "only" 12 at 9pm though had been 7 on the eastern outskirts of town. We watched as the temp slowly dropped to a consistent 8 around Deepwater. The next 40km to Glen Innes it made a continual drop to below five. Precipitation had commenced too. Just south of Glen Innes there was sleet and as soon as we begun the climb up the Ben Lomond Range south of Glencoe the temp dropped enough for the snow to start. It was now 10.30pm and the snow was intense! What awesome timing. We very slowly drove into Ben Lomond where the heavy snow continued for the next 2 hours.









After much fun photographing the scenes in Ben Lomond - with no-one else around - we moved south to Guyra. The snow had mostly stopped by around midnight but the heavy falls had covered the whole region from below Black Mountain to the Ben Lomond ranges with 5-7cm of dry powder snow. (Guyra Hospital reported a 7cm snow depth in the 9am synoptic report today). Police had closed off the highway diverting traffic via Inverell due to the very poor visibility on the New England Highway during the intense snowfalls.



A partially moonlit scene at the Mother of Ducks Lagoon at Guyra



Local police getting into the spirit. We had a great chat to the two officers about local snow events.






By about 3am we decided to try and get some rest though that was next to impossible. So it was a freezing few hours until sunrise mostly in Rodney's Rav4. Bryan Juni and his friend had booked a motel room at Guyra but were running late so we only briefly caught up with them before they had to crash for some sleep.

After 6am we had a look around the Guyra area. The amount of snow was very impressive - the best cover I've seen over such a wide area of the Northern Tablelands.

Golf anyone ?







I guess the sheep are used to this:



Then back to the Ben Lomond area before we headed home after 10am. Despite no snow between about midnight and 6am, there were fairly constant snow showers for the next four hours - some quite heavy.









Very tired and so glad that Rodney, Jason and I had the opportunity to witness this unusual MAY snow event for the Northern Tablelands !!!

Michael

« Last Edit: 19 May 2008, 02:05:05 PM by Michael Bath »
Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
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Offline Peter J

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17/5/08 - Melbourne rainfall.

In the home gauge in Mooroolbark - 48mm 9am 16/5 to 9am 17/5 - since then a further 15mm, making it the wettest month this year at home so far. Good to see excellent snowfalls across the lower peaks. Also temps here didn't climb above 10c all day yesterday (coldest May day for a number of years). Today was a little warmer, and the sun did break through about 3pm.

Been away for some hours, will check my raingauge about 10.30anm tomorrow for official rainfall from home.

Big Pete
PJJ

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Hi Micheal and Jason  :o
Great snowfall. Loved the snow on the Statesman. Rather alot of snow   :P I believe GFS was the best model at predicting this event. I only hope to see a fall as good as this later this season.

Why didnt my brothers listen to me  :'( I couldve danced in the snow.... oh well  ::)

Offline Richary

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Some good snowfalls in the Tablelands from the look of it. I was at Cataract Scout Camp about halfway between Wollongong and Campbelltown for the last two nights. Things started chilling down late afternoon and the freezing rain started about 5pm but didn't last that long and we didn't get much. However the temperature had certainly plummeted and I was glad I had brought the gas patio heater to use inside the metal "hall" we were in for our radio listening.

Looking at BoM Campbelltown only got 1.6mm and there was 3mm in the guage here when I got home. So while it got cold and windy for a while it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the early forecasts were indicating for today, I seem to recall GFS suggesting 50mm for the area today which obviously didn't occur.

Reported overnight minimum for Campbelltown was 4, and I guess we could take off a couple of degrees for the extra height and being bush at Cataract.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2008, 02:19:05 PM by Richary »

Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Definitely some impressive snowfalls for May and they definitely make some nice scenes captured. I find it intriguiing that the snowfalls did occur to that extent that far north and not in the Tablelands. Obviously I did not check the models for the overnight hours further north. The air was sufficiently cold that whilst you had precipitation there was going to be snow.

Does anyone know if Shooters Hill south of Oberon got any snow?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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Gen

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Hi everyone,

I'm quite new to all this, and I guess you could say I had my first snow chase this morning.

After living in QLD and Northern Territory all my life, (and have therefore never seen snow), I moved to Tamworth last year, and after hearing of the possibility of snow in the Northern Tablelands, I started searching the net to find out more, and ended up here...so in the last 24 hours I have certainly learnt a lot, had a successful trip and seen my first snow! And have definetly caught the bug!

I left Tamworth at 6:40am this morning, heading north on the New England Highway, with the aim of heading towards Guyra. Here in Tamworth it was about 8 degrees according to my car thermometer, and stayed like that till I headed up the Moonbies..

I spotted my first snow about 5 min south of Armidale at 8am. The temp was 3 degrees. There was just a small amount of snow patches on the side of the road,and snow clinging to the grass.  Since I haven't seen any snow in my life that was an exciting enough event, and I knew that there should be more as I got closer to Guyra. I'm not exactly sure what Armidale's snowfall had been, but I had heard that there had been some late Sat night, so am not sure if this was still remaining from that, or whether there had been some falls in the morning.

I reached Guyra at about 930 after stopping a few more times for photos on the way. It was good to see other people's photos earlier that morning/the night before to see how much more snow there was before I arrived. When I arrived there were still light snow showers (I apologise if i am using incorrect terminology, I'm still learning). I also headed out to Ben Lomond, and was there till about 1130am, and there was still quite a bit of snow (not that i have much to compare it with). By the time I headed back south on the new england highway, there wasn't much snow left in Guyra (about 1145am).

I'm definetly feeling quite pleased with myself and glad I got up early for the drive. I'll definetly be watching whats happening this winter and hope to have a few more chases!

zacaroo

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Long time, no post. Here is my report of the storms yesterday - 17th May.

Not sure what to say about this one. Fantastic view from Bulwer, Moreton Island thats for sure. However, there was a lack of clear lightning           :(          .

I watched the storms build all day, at around 830am on the northern side of the island I saw a rainbow and a few cells out to sea.
  

   

On the Eastern beach I was watching cells go up all day - confirmed by strikeone radar.
  

    

When we came back up the inside of the island from Kooringal, I could see a cell over northern Caboolture/Bribie? I am questioning my observation skills as it was moving N-NE but it isn't on radar? The anvil was out to the ESE of the storm though? I'm not sure what the go with that was, so I ASSUMED the movement of any more developing storms would be N-NE.


So at about 5pm I walked down the beach and saw that massive squall line, I could tell it was from Northern NSW to about Caboolture. Now I thought good it should get us because I assumed the movement was NE and it seemed to be from my point of view for atleast an hour. The low level stuff was flowing in heading ESE. I think what stuffed me up was that I hadn't watched much of the line develop.


I sat there watching the lightning flicker away, not much visible stuff           :(          , I had the best spot ever and it wasn't there           :(          . The first line moved south of Bulwer, through Tangalooma southwards. Reports from Redcliffe were 36mm of rain, hail, plenty of lightning and some gusty winds. It had an impressive guster on it, being lit by the lightning I could see it would have been great to see in the daylight. I knew that line was gone so sat up chatting with some family friends until around 11pm. I thought it was a little too cold for anything else to fire, wrong again. The wind was still blowing a ESE when I went to bed. I woke up at about 1230am to a big flash. Went outside and it was bucketing down, pretty windy too, probably 60-70km/h gusts. That lasted maybe 20minutes before clearing, wasn't any flangs that I saw but some impressive wind nonetheless, there were a few old trees down around the back of Bulwer this morning and plenty of small-medium branches as I woke up to the SWer this morning for the barge ride back to Redcliffe.

Lightning Pictures from first line(5 second exposure)
Night-time mammatus?
  

Best visible lightning shot   :(


Pity the strike out of the bottom wasn't bright

Offline Michael Bath

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Gen - welcome to the forums. Glad you were able to have a successful snow dash - post some pics if you want :)


Both the GFS and MLAPS model runs at 2008-05-17 00z (10am Saturday) forecast the Saturday evening moisture levels (@ 700 hPa) very well but GFS also predicted the return of good moisture in the 7am to 10am period on Sunday - MLAPS had the air too dry.

+12 forecast:





However, both models had the 850 hPa temps way too high in the forecast AND the 2008-05-17 12z analysis - GFS plotting values around 3 C and MLAPS 5 C in the Northern Tablelands around Guyra and Ben Lomond (30 S, 151 40 E) at 12z (10pm) though both had values around 1 to 2 C by 15z (1am Sunday).

(lat/long values for GFS are missing from the maps for some reason, but you can match them off the MLAPS maps)

Analysis:





850 hPa heights were analysed at 1430 metres for 12z (quite good to allow the cold to impact the higher terrain). The 850 temps forecast and analysed were perhaps inaccurate compared to the real situation, and if they had occurred it would have resulted in a couple of hours of rain instead of heavy snow. Typically you must have 850 temps below 1 C for snow.

The Moree sounding at 12z shows temps of about 1 C around 850 hPa - with significant cooling from the 00z trace. The 12z values are indicative of the airmass that must have been over the Northern Tablelands snowfall areas 150km to the ESE of Moree.



Overall it seems temps were a bit too high for so much snow. So what process was at work ?

Michael




Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
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Offline TroyVR

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Sydney was pretty uneventful. Apart from some strong wind and a little rain on Saturday afternoon

I did get this nice shot while on my way to work on Sunday morning though
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l313/troyrulz007/DSCF0467copy.jpg

Offline Harley Pearman

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An interesting rainfall phenomena occurred in Adelaide Saturday (17/5/2008) during this event.

Rainfalls in the western coastal suburbs were around 10 mm to 15 mm.
However, rainfalls in the central suburbs and the city area were between 20 mm and 30 mm.
However suburbs on the Mt Lofty Ranges (Eastern suburbs) scored 30 to 69 mm.

It was clear orographic effects, (lift created by the ranges to the east of the city) had a big impact on rainfall.

Yet, places on the eastern side of the ranges had much lower totals of around 10 mm due to the rain shadow effect.

Harley Pearman

Gen

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Hi, here are some of the photos I took on my trip up to Guyra on Sunday 18th May.

The first pic is not very exciting, but it was the first snow I had seen ever so I got a bit excited. It was taken about 5km before the Armidale turn off (Tamworth/Sydney side of NE Highway) at 8am, temp was 3degrees...It may be of interest in regards to Armidale's snowfall, as I'm not sure if it was left over from the night before, or if some more had fallen during the morning. The side of the road was like this for a few km, although there were quite a few spots that had more than shown in my photo.

The next photo is the NE Highway about 15 min out of Guyra (Again, the Sydney/Tamworth side), once I reached the top of the range.

The next are various shots around Guyra and Ben Lomond, taken from about 10am-1130am. The temp in guyra was 2 degrees until about 11am (from memory).

A big thank you to Michael, as it was your webpage with the information about snow chasing, and past snow events in that area that made sure I got to see my first snow. I have joined weatherzone and am now trying to get my head around all the charts/models, I spent a lot of Saturday studying it all, and it is starting to make a lot more sense!
« Last Edit: 20 May 2008, 09:48:57 AM by Gen »

Offline enak_12

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We got the predicted storms on May 17. Saw some offshore lightning again but was shooting without my memory card! haha, luckily I didn't really get anything anyway. Nice snow coverage in Guyra wished I could of made a trip up to ebor but couldn't make it. Heard of some pea sized hail in Tormina from the storm below.








Offline Michael Bath

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Gen - thanks for showing those photos.  After the snow fell in the Armidale area it was dry, windy and freezing until dawn so it must have allowed the snow that fell around Armidale late evening to remain on the ground long enough for you to photograph it.

Great the snow chase guide helped - I will update it with information from this event as it was a different sort of setup to the other case studies.

MB
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Offline Michael Bath

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I've uploaded all the photos for the weekend storms and Northern Tablelands snow chase.

17th May 2008 Storms and Snow Chase

18th May 2008 Guyra and Ben Lomond Snow

Alternative gallery: 17th May 2008 / 18th May 2008

MB

Location: Mcleans Ridges, NSW Northern Rivers
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Contact: Michael Bath