Thursday, 11th October 2018
Thursday, 11th October 2018 was shaping up as a rather significant storm day across parts of the Darling Downs, South East Coast and Wide Bay and Burnett region.
A sharpening dryline would develop over the Darling Downs as a southerly change moved and stalled in the Wide Bay and Burnett region of southern QLD. Excellent wind shear, steep lapse rates and rather nice LLJ would develop during the late afternoon and evening. Isolated supercells would develop just after midday with the initial supercell south of Goondiwindi producing copious amounts of golf ball hail with some larger, totally destroying one of my friends vehicles who was able to chase that storm.
During the late afternoon, a cluster of towers develop west of Goondiwindi, and due to a favourable environment, quickly develop into supercell characteristics. This storm went onto produce some lovely structure before moving into unchaseable terrain.
Just when it seemed like the day was done, another storm develop at dusk, and produced some stunning classic supercell features into the evening hours before slowly dying.
Friday, 12th October 2018
After what was an enjoyable chase on the 11th, it seemed like my plan of staying out in western central QLD might of been ruined as the better environment rapidly shifted well north overnight. I woke up on the 12th to overcast, drizzle conditions. A couple of embedded thunderstorms were already underway and looking like the party would be spoilt.
However, watching the satellite loop where the surface low and trough was located, it appeared as though cloud had started to clear allowing heating to occur in a narrow band. I blasted west of Bollon in Queensland to sunny skies and waited. Out this way, there is no internet or phone reception, and just the one road (highway)which is heavily treed. I waited and watched as popcorn developed across the area, before a cell just to my west blew up and intensified rapidly. Inflow began streaming into this storm, with inflow stingers developing as well as a ragged wall cloud. I went to core punch the best I could on the singular road and was lucky enough to capture hail to 2-3cm in size (quite substantial for this area), lots of close cg's and very heavy rainfall that began to lead to flash flooding. Sadly, this storm then moved off to the south-east into unchasable territory once again.
This was a fantastic reward for patience and hard work. One thing about storm chasing it, you can never rely on having internet and looking at radar to do the job, always keep and eye on the sky, observations and satellite data.
Friday, 14th December 2018
This day was a bit of a "sleeper" day. Moderate instability and sufficient wind shear was in place across the western Darling Downs to support supercells however there was a chance that storms would become outflow dominant once maturing.
During the late afternoon, we moved west of Millmerran and waited for this storm to move towards us (road hole). It was evident that this storm was indeed a very intense supercell. Sadly, this storm soon gusted out (rear flank downdraft) become too powerful for the inflow winds, undercutting the storm and it slowly died. We blasted east in hope that this OFB (outflow boundary) would help develop more storms to the east. Fortunately enough, this happened and we were treated to a wicked guster on the eastern Darling Downs close to sunset!
23rd March, 2019
On this day, we decided to target northern NSW. It wasn't the best set-up as moisture was a bit thin, but it was worth a crack. West of Grafton, NSW a cluster of storms developed and steadily moved north. Sadly, this region is full of trees with no roads or views. So it was over an hour later (south of Casino, NSW) that we finally had a decent view. This storm had rapidly organised into a high based supercell with decent structure and some sensational cloud to ground lightning. Soon enough, it produced a large outflow push and effectively killing the storm. Later that evening, another cluster of storms develop on its outflow and produced some stunning sunet lightning. Not the best chase, but was fun regardless.