The storm season 2008/9.  Chases, photos and stuff!

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Storm season 2008/09

(Hector convection over the Tiwi Islands 4 October 08) 

updraft shown here



2008/09 storm chase blog info/reports.


Season ends!  The season for Darwin ended fairly abruptly but I did manage to get some shots of the final storm of the season at about 4am in the morning!  There were several weak cells pushing along the NE coast and I had to wait for over an hour for one particular storm to get organized and close enough to me.  It did not disappoint, albeit brief, and gave me some nice close strikes. 

In summary for the 2008/9 season it was fairly good.  Some frustrating weeks without storms on my days off and then they returned when I returned to work - I hate that!  No cyclones this year and a couple of lows passed us by.  There were some memorable storm chases and I managed some excellent photos again.  The upcoming season for 2009/10 will be much more exciting with the advent of live streaming to TVN on severe weather events and any cyclones...until then I'll be changing and repairing pages to make them more uniform and some other ideas to implement. 

Here's some images from the last storm of the Darwin season..






Storms have been hit and miss of late but we have had two days of severe warned storms during March 23-25.  Late inland heating and moisture infeed caused these storms to grow considerably.  The sounding for these days indicated strong downdrafts and it held true as the cap broke late afternoon and released all that energy.  Here's a few pics from some of the action during the past weeks.  Not much on the cards for the coming days as a dominant high pressure cell pushes dry winds into the NT.  A low is north of Darwin and is expected to deepen slightly, and this will encourage a bit of shower and storm activity next week.  With the season coming to a close soon it will be a sudden end to anything resembling cloud cover!







Storms in Darwin March 16/17.  

Headed out not so much for a chase but a 'photographic opportunity' and caught this image as the front quickly rolled in.  Winds were gusting to around 70-80k/mh - the airport here recorded 100km/h winds.  This bolt was around 250 metres away hitting the ocean and just after this shot a huge strike hit the ocean no less than 75 metres from me - it was an incredible sight! I'm just angry I did not get that one! 

A transformer was obliterated about 20 minutes later as the storm rolled through Darwin, I could see this huge green hue in the foreground and some city lights disappeared right then!  Darwin will have a bit of a break from storms as a high pressure area dominates the country and a developing tropical low/cyclone once again off the Queensland coast in the Coral sea takes our weather again.

Severe storms lash Eyre Peninsular in South Australia  Wednesday 11 March '09 producing hail, strong winds and a land spout (which is a 'tornado', but without the mesocyclone...)

Here's the satellite & radar loops and news report with photo!


As far as Darwin is concerned storms are returning now that TC Hamish off the Queensland coast has now dissipated.  This allows a nice easterly steer to come back to the NT and moisture from the NE to flow back in.  There's been a few storms inland, and one brief one here in Darwin but the next days leading up to the weekend should be ripe!  Winds should be good for decent storms and hopefully the jet will move just a tad further north to assist them.

March 03 2009 

Not a lot of activity abounds in Darwin at the moment.  The weather is deciding what it wants to do of late.  The monsoon is sitting to our north and there's some signs of it ramping up again to the NW as a possible low pressure area develops to the NW of the NT. Our dry season won't start proper until April'ish - so there's always the possibility of cyclone development. 

A low is also possible in the Gulf of Carpentaria as this broad area of low pressure extends right across the NT, models show it moving westward and it's way too early to say what it will do.  Storms have been frequent further inland the last two days, a couple moved over Darwin but with minimal lightning. 

The larger confined strikes are inland and to the NW coastal regions where the storms fire up as they hit the coast.  Most of the CB's have been Congestus and Calvus - which means they get to stages one & two of thunderstorm development but no further. 

With only about 4 to 6 weeks left of the storm season I'm hoping for some decent weather to see the season out.  A cyclone would be nice to chase....updates as they come to hand re decent storms!

February 22 2009:  

Finally the storms returned with a vengence as a tropical low skirts the coastline and was creating storms inland and along the coast.  There were plenty of people out getting photos and I got some pearlers at around 1:30am after work. 

The electrical activity from the storms was something I've not seen for a very long time and now that the monsoon has retreated there's more easterly dry winds to clean up the moisture laden atmosphere and steer these storms back to where they belong!  Chasing has been on the cards again with large convective lines inland. 

Chased yesterday 23rd Feb and whilst we saw some very large towers, one especially emitting large strikes, the line became outflow dominant and was moving too fast for its own good.  But we did manage some neat structure shots and shelf cloud shots. 

Chasing again over the next days as they come inland, but we need some singular type cells to get up and be alone!