Author Topic: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009  (Read 81035 times)

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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #75 on: 01 December 2008, 10:09:44 AM »
Storm chase report 29 Nov 08

Renate (cloudfairy), myself, Jacci and Thomas (also from Germany) went chasing some inland storms this day as the GFS showed real promise.  LI's were predicated to be -7 and CAPE values were 3400 combined with a weak cap things were going to be extreme.  How extreme we had no idea as I had just viewed the radar to see what was firing at 2pm and it was the beginning of something special.

After collecting everyone I decided to head to Humpty Doo given there were two large storms firing.  The original plan was to chase the closer rural areas and then head to Adelaide River to where the GFS showed more intense storms to form later.  Our timing and position was perfect.  A large storm was in motion so I pulled off the highway down another road with a clear view of the storm and we photographed great structure and constant close CGs.  We were all pleased with the start of the chase day!  The lightning was getting a little too close for us so I decided that we head a little further inland as two more big storms were up.  A lot of CG action but the structure of these storms was beautiful against the backdrop of the wetland areas.  We hung around the area for about half an hour and I really wanted to get to our main location as soon as possible by dark.

We were all buzzing from what we had photographed thus far and the locations chosen were great - out of the rain and clean air between us and the storms.  Approaching Adelaide River we saw yet another huge storm over the township so we pulled up and took some shots of the massive rain shaft and brooding mass.  Moving through the township there was some rain so we waited and grabbed something to eat and drink and then head out of the township to the south.  A large storm was to the NW of the town and close, so I pulled over and the CGs were intense right beside us.  I recommended that we take shots from within the car and most of us got some ripper dusk CGs!  Thomas stated the ball rolling as we fumbled with our settings.  Once that action had died down I drove only about another 10kms out of the township down the Stuart Highway and found this great open area - and yep the storms were going nuts on the left of us.  We all set up our cameras once it ws dark and really the rest is history!  A full two hours of lightning right in front of us, above and surrounding us.

Unbeknown to us there was a massive squall line headed for Darwin and this was the reason for all the storms and lightning.  Probably by timing and luck we had caught all the initial bigger storms as they formed prior to the squall line reaching us.  After another hour of shots we decided it was time to head home as it was getting very ugly rain wise.  The drive home was an experience - with an open speed limit of 130km/h I could only drive at 50-70km/h for 100km!  We had inadvertently caught the core of two major cells and literally core punching them - nowhere to go as they followed the highway home.  Torrential rain and constant flashes of lightning and several very close bolts hit along side the road as we drove home - it was far safer to drive sensibly rather than sit and wait given the lack of areas to pull over.

The radar loop shows the initial large storms we encountered during the afternoon and then a monstrous squall line with the rain that soaked the Top End well after midnight.  It was the best chase ever for me and everyone agreed the same - we got everything except hail and tornadoes!  All the locations were perfect, the timing was perfect and the everything was just as textbook as you could ask for.

---> Berrimah radar loop

Here's some snaps of our chase time.  It was insane! :)
« Last Edit: 02 December 2008, 01:27:52 AM by Michael Bath »
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cloudfairy

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #76 on: 01 December 2008, 07:00:34 PM »
Hi,
here are some of mine..... :)

And Mike, I loved it!! Thanks!

Offline Michael Bath

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #77 on: 02 December 2008, 01:36:47 AM »
Terrific report Mike and great images by you and cloudfairy  - you guys sure had a great chase day :)
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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #78 on: 02 December 2008, 02:08:07 AM »
Mike,

The updraft strcuture in one of the shots seem to indicate some crispness and thence perhaps drier air aloft. Was this the case? Was severe weather reported?

Good to see the storm phase of the wet season in full swing!

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #79 on: 02 December 2008, 06:27:16 AM »
Yes Jimmy and MB - the closer rural storms def had drier air to move around in up top.  I have some other structure shots which I'll post and these storms appeared to stall somewhat and remained long lived. 

*I have a photo which shows something and at first glance I thought it could be a spout ? - you can see the CG to the right but to the left near some smoke from a fire there seems to be a shaft of some kind - I don't know whether it is a trick of the light but it extends from the base of the cloud to the ground.  Your thoughts on that photo much appreciated.

There were storms packing 100km/h winds at the wharf here from what I heard from the conversation from Jacci to her friend back in Darwin.  The winds we encountered were def 45kts plus on the drive home, leaf debris, small branches broken and sideways rain.  If they were severe warned i did not check BoM when I got home.
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Offline Adrian

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #80 on: 02 December 2008, 05:24:23 PM »
1 Dec 2008

Had a good run today - apart from the wallaby that walked out in front of the car :(

First cell went through Darwin at about 4pm, couldn't chase as I was at work but lots of solid lightning and thunder .... and then rain.  Managed to catch a few structure photo's after work, two storm fronts one to the south and one to the south east. 

Decided to go for a bit of a drive and chase the storm to the south .... Finished up at about half 9 when the rain kicked in.

Cheers,
.adrian

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #81 on: 02 December 2008, 06:29:03 PM »
adrian, yours are great!!!!!!!

Mine are nothing compared to your......however, I like to show them....
I was at Casurarina Beach and then back at Uni Campus.

Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #82 on: 02 December 2008, 08:42:25 PM »
Beaut photos guys.  The structure of that storm near Darwin in the late arvo was mind boggling - so huge I could not fit it all in my wide angle!  Will post some of my shots from  tea break during work - the lightning was incredible!   Adrian - splendid lightning shot from the bridge - a few  volts in that one! Renate - that last lightning photo looked very close!?
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Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #83 on: 03 December 2008, 03:59:57 AM »
A northward moving trough around the Top End is creating deep instability and storms hugging the coastal regions and moving toward the city during the late afternoon.  The structure of the storms is quite impressive and I counted no less than 3 shelf structures as they moved in around 6pm.  The size of these storms is quite surreal as their width and anvil spread covers the entire city skyline.  Last night as Adrian and Renate posted the storms were so active that I've never seen so many multiple CG strikes bombarding one singular region in a long time.  During tea break i went straight to the wharf area and witnessed just about every strike pulsing 4-5 times - incredible to see such power.

There were two major storms, one east of the city and one hugging to the west - but this one in particular was discharged huge strikes and with the people eating at the wharf in the open I was wondering if that was a safe thing to do considering the dangerous lightning.

I've included a series of photos taken from different aspects to show members the breadth of lightning on show.  The second shot is actuallyt eh same shot that Adrian took except from a different locale.

The monsoon is forming over PNG/Indonesia etc but it will be a week before we see anything from it.  There is a low embedded in it but no activity from it expected in the next three days as BoM suggest.

Also included a Nick Moir special at the end - taking a shot whilst driving.  :) turned out quite good I thought!

« Last Edit: 03 December 2008, 04:11:13 AM by Mike »
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cloudfairy

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #84 on: 03 December 2008, 06:22:19 AM »
Yer the last one seem to be close, but the thunder wasn't close enough afterwards. What we had on Saturday was much closer.

I really could kick myself, that I wasn't at the Wharf. Probably I should go there EVERY night, so I won't miss anything.
But I'm happy about my smiley shot ;)
:D Ms. Smiley took a smiley pic :D

Offline Mike

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #85 on: 03 December 2008, 06:27:22 AM »
That last photo was taken on Saturday night on the drive back to Darwin - I snuck that one in whilst attempting to get us home!
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Offline Adrian

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #86 on: 04 December 2008, 04:53:37 PM »
2nd December 2008

Renate - don't be so hard on your photographs - as you have had some great shots ! please keep posting your images.


Got a chance to survey the damage to the car in the daylight (from the night prior) - will require a new bumper and some panel work to the right hand side. The poor little bugger did quite a bit of damage!

Managed to catch a few shots as the cell dodged town last night? did anyone else get any decent shots?

Cheers,
.adrian



Offline Richary

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #87 on: 04 December 2008, 05:21:38 PM »
cloudfairy - love that 3rd shot with the sunset behind the awesome cloud.

Adrian, that first one is amazing.

Keep them coming, I can see a Darwin trip coming up next year!

Richard

cloudfairy

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #88 on: 04 December 2008, 06:28:03 PM »
2nd December 2008

Renate - don't be so hard on your photographs - as you have had some great shots ! please keep posting your images.
thanks I will.....
Quote
Managed to catch a few shots as the cell dodged town last night? did anyone else get any decent shots?

but not the ones of last night....I had a very bright light pointing on me while taking the pics....so they are....nothing...

But I like yours!!!!! bright and pin sharp!! wow

cloudfairy

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Re: Darwin Storm events 2008/2009
« Reply #89 on: 04 December 2008, 07:45:13 PM »
hi there,
tonight was better!!! As I saw these two cells with great updraft on the radar, I jumped on the next bus and went to the Wharf.
They merged together with great anvil in the sunset.
From SE was a new one coming.
The first strike is from the two merged ones. The others are from the one on the forth pic as it has moved further west.
There were three other cells flashing. Nothing big, but really nice!!

And we saw dolphins playing!!!