Author Topic: 2008/2009 storm season in review  (Read 11116 times)

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Offline Michael Thomas

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2008/2009 storm season in review
« on: 25 March 2009, 07:59:24 AM »
Well sadly I think the storm season has come to an end (although there is a chance something could happen in April). I think it would be good to compile a list of all the events in which high-end severe weather was observed, that is any tornadoes, 5cm+ hail or damaging wind events. Most severe storms this season were around SE Qld/NE NSW. Unfortunately, very few severe storms occurred in the Sydney basin, Hunter Valley, Southern Tablelands or South Coast areas.

Of the top of my head the events that come to mind are-
Nimmitabel tornado (mesocyclonic)
Eyre Peninsula tornado (non mesocyclonic)
Several reports of hail to 6-7cm in the Northern Rivers
Large hail event near Coffs Harbour (hail to around 6-7cm from memory)
Damaging straight-line winds affect The Gap

Ideally I would like to get dates to these events and I am sure I missed several storms as well. Some great storm structure has be photographed this year and it is always great to see and read storm reports by those out and about.


Offline Shaun Galman

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #1 on: 25 March 2009, 09:36:32 AM »
Hi Michael T,
This season certainly had it's up's and down's, particularly the outbreak of supercells throughout SE QLD and NE NSW early on in the piece! Great to see the Nimmitabel F3 actually captured also. That was a real treat for all of us I'm sure :D

I can say the storms we had this season out here in the Upper Western/North West were far superior in severity and lightning activity than those of the 2007-08 storms season. We had hail present in most severe cells which is not common for these parts and the hours of the day where storms matured seemed to be earlier, during the mid afternoon/evening for most. I've never experienced so many sunset lit storms before! It's been great in those -more photographic- respects but has lacked a little in the total storm numbers, particularly in the last 3-4weeks when we usually get a last burst of activity but these, possibly last, troughs didn't quite make it this far East. However we did have one severe storm that un-expectantly formed over town on Friday evening (20th March) at 5:50pm, sticking around for over an hour, dropping 30mm of rain, carrying 60-70kph gusts and causing some minor flash flooding.

The winds, and somewhat higher temps, have been really in our favour this season giving rise to more longer-lived, slower moving storms out here as well as contributing to a healthier shear environment (helping those nice structures form).

Overall I'd like to see a few more storms in a single season but I'm happy with the resurgence of severity for our area. It has been a fairly decent season (so far) none-the-less.

Kindest regards,
Chasing Region: Lightning Ridge. N.S.W.

Offline Michael Thomas

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #2 on: 25 March 2009, 09:57:58 AM »
Thanks for your comments Shuan, great to hear that you enjoyed the storm season. I do seem to remember seeing a great photo taken by you with a storm lilt up by lightning with stars shining above. Regarding the Nimmitabel tornado, from the photo it certain appears to have been a strong tornado. As fair as I am aware though, no damage survey was done and therefore no rating was given. I believe a member of this forum even drove down there and failed to find a damage track. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #3 on: 25 March 2009, 12:21:24 PM »

Yes some interesting events as you would see in most seasons. However, for me, the season is well below average with few serious outbreaks compared to the likes of 2004/2005 season.

My events are typically listed on the forum and summarised in the headings on the storm news section:

Perhaps better observed by comparing

My second season has been more fruitful to say the least with some interesting structures to at least to make the season worthwhile.

Some of the better events:

March 15 2009 severe storms lower mid North Coast

February 23 2009 Classic supercell approaches Sydney

February 21 2009 Featuring a significant circulation

February 10 2009 Surprise hailstorm as I returned home beaten - thanks Michael Bath

February 4 2009 Possible brief supercell near Lithgow - explosive event with Nick Moir

December 25 2009 Nice structure possible supercell near Stanthorpe

December 24 2009 Likely supercell with giant hail warnings South of Grafton

October 14 2009 Likely supercell with ferocious microburst


Jimmy Deguara
« Last Edit: 25 March 2009, 12:58:06 PM by Jimmy Deguara »
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Offline Richary

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #4 on: 25 March 2009, 02:46:27 PM »
Storm season? Did we even have one :-)

Really the last 2 summers have been very disappointing in suburban Sydney. Last summer lots of daytime storms but virtually nothing in the evening. This summer not nearly as many storms as usual, or what was around was more to the NW area of Sydney plus Illawarra. A few lightning events but very little that was particularly spectacular and a lot of the cloud formations weren't as good as I remember from years ago.

A few flashes around last night but all a fair way off.

Offline Michael Bath

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #5 on: 26 March 2009, 03:34:08 AM »
The first half of the season was good in NE NSW / SE QLD but below average this year - still not as bad as the early part of 2008 though.

12 September 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Hail drifts and also damaging hail reported in the Grafton area.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

20 September 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Complete cover of hailstones up to about 5cm diameter maximum at Kyogle.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

21 October 2008

NSW Mid North Coast: Giant hail parts of the Coffs Coast region.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

22 October 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Destructive hail storm path from south of Casino to Byron Bay where hail size in the 5-6cm range.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

16 November 2008

SE Queensland: Supercells formed NW parts of Northern Rivers with destructive storms Canungra and The Gap regions of Brisbane.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

20 November 2008

Queensland Central Highlands and Coalfields: Blackwater supercell with gorilla hail.

ASW forum discussion thread

10 December 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Two isolated supercells in the Grafton and Casino areas with hail to 7cm.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

24 December 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Supercells with destructive winds.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread

30 December 2008

NSW Northern Rivers: Isolated LP-Classic supercell with giant hail.

my photos | ASW forum discussion thread
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Offline Michael Thomas

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #6 on: 26 March 2009, 05:57:58 AM »
I fully agree with everyone that this was a pretty poor season. There were a couple of decent events, particularly in 2008 around NE NSW/SE Qld. I first started following severe storms in the 2004/2005 storm season. That storm season had a number of impressive storm outbreaks so in comparison the following storm season have been quite poor, particularly south of the mid-north coast. Fortunately there are always a few gems in every storm season somewhere even in the absence of a large, widespread severe-storm outbreak.


Offline David C

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #7 on: 26 March 2009, 06:32:12 AM »
Yeah, at the close, a very poor season indeed here in Sydney for organised storms, but that has been the general trend over the years and so not totally unexpected.

In saying that, overall thunder days, were not so far down on average here, but primarily comprised of weakening cells as per last week and w/e, storms just off the coast and, earlier on in the season, high-based junk.

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Offline pingtang

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #8 on: 26 March 2009, 01:29:41 PM »
Hello Michael.

You summed up the high end severe thunderstorms quite nicely. I'll include a few more.

23rd December- You mentioned the tornado,but the Bathurst area experienced 6 possibly 7cm hail. Mudgee/Gulgong also experienced a large supercell though theres no reports of any huge hail.
2nd February- Bombala 100km/h plus winds,large hail.
21st February- 5-6cm hail just north of Singleton.

The storm season here in the Illawarra has been horrendous and would rank among the worst ever. The season improved slightly in late February/ March providing  some photogenic gustfronts and some reasonable lightning events,but none of the storms were even close to severe or of great quality. November 14 was probably the highlight down here with a nice storm SW of Nowra producing microbursts and nice lightning.The South Coast south of Batemans Bay enjoyed an average season if not slightly above average,the same applies for the Southern parts of the Southern Tablelands. Canberra experienced a poor season overall,and the Goulburn area fared even worse which is quite unusual! Sydney also suffered through a poor season,especially parts of coastal Sydney. Western and Northern suburbs fared better though.  The Hunter has experienced a below par season especially by its standards,but compared to Sydney/Wollongong it hasn't been too bad. I think the storm we experienced near Singleton on February 21 deserves a mention here. We experienced some very large hail up to 6cms(see below)

singleton supercell

Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #9 on: 30 March 2009, 01:05:36 PM »
The best thing about this storm season is that I found the time to get out of Sydney on several occasions and do some chasing and storm photography in country New South Wales. I did 7 or 8 chases in country New South Wales and I was pleased that my forecasting went well and I was able to get something by myself.

I started to take lightning photos which I have not done for a few years.

The best storms that I experienced in terms of photography occurred on:-

- 14 November 2008 (Bathurst) - Cloud structure and lightning.
- 27 December 2008 (Queanbeyan and a rural area south of Goulburn) - Lightning, gale force winds, hail and torrential rain.
- 24 January 2009 (Hunter Valley around Singleton) - Cloud structure and lightning.

The best storm that I liked over Sydney occurred on 25/3/2009 (Especially for Lightning). I was aware of an active storm over Western Sydney on 14/11/2009 that I saw from a distance but I could not make it back to Sydney in time especially after photographing storms around Bathurst.

I saw hail on 3 occasions being:-

- 14 September 2008 - Small brief hail observed from an afternoon storm around 4.40 pm at Blacktown.
- 29 November 2008 - Brief hail from an afternoon storm with a few stones up to 2 cm at Blacktown.
- 27 December 2008 - Small hail from a strong thunderstorm south west of Mt Jerrabomberra (Queanbeyan).

The afternoon storm of 26 March 2009 that occurred over Auburn appears to have produced some small hail because I heard noise that sounded like small hail stones bouncing off the Council chambers steel roof during the thunderstorm event.

Overall I believe the storm season over Sydney was not great however, I took the opportunities when I could by going into country New South Wales which increased my opportunities for photographing thunderstorms.

Harley Pearman

Offline Peter J

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Re: 2008/2009 storm season in review
« Reply #10 on: 30 March 2009, 01:51:12 PM »
Well, I'm sorry to say, there wasn't much to report for the Vic storm season this past spring/summer.
I think there were only 2 event days worth mentioning - and I think Brad Hannon and John Allen have done so quite comprehensively.
The only "storm" of note here has been the two firestorms that affected the NE region and the SE Gippsland areas that wiped out over 200 lives, and over 1 million acres of land - not to mention the thousands of animal species that have gone.
And i think the only storm I think that had some tornadic feel was the mid-Dec storm that affected the Sunbury to Seymour area. It was an LP storm.
At least that covers Vic in a nutshell - but I liked the Nimittibel and the SA Eyre ;land-spouts. They were the best ones for the season - the season otherwise was better concentrated in QLD and the top end of WA with cyclones and microbursts.

Big Pete
waiting for next season.