Thursday 29th October 2020
After finishing work early, I was able to drop south of Tweed Heads in northern NSW to watch a tail end charlie storm develop across the Northern Rivers. This storm rapidly intensified as it encountered the SBF (Sea Breeze Front), becoming a HP monster with giant hail. I decided to see just how big the hail was. I encountered hail to the size of crickets balls (8cm) leaving me with a smashed windscreen and numerous trophies in my car....All in the name of science.
Saturday 24th October 2020
Waking up on the morning of the 24th made things difficult. Overcast and rainy conditions made today's forecast just that bit harder however, the dynamics at play this day would ensure thunderstorms fired up, it was just a matter of where. A strong surface low was becoming established across the southern Queensland and northern NSW border, extending an arcing dryline off to the north-northeast. It was evident that the models were hinting at a dryline bulge across southern Qld, focusing moisture and shear an hour or two to our south whilst more certain storm activity with a weaker cap was to our north.
We left the town of Miles to head to Surat to play the dryline bulge, clearing the back of the mornings rainband to find howling east-northeasterly winds. After eating lunch in Surat, we watched two towers going up, one to the northwest and one of the southwest, both in giant road hole regions (as chasing in large parts of Australia is). Knowing the southern storm was entering a more favourable environment, we blasted south whilst watching this beastly storm strengthen dramatically. It became apparent quickly that this was a violent supercell with a strong meso, large wall cloud and big hail.
Friday 23rd October 2020
Today was the first day of two on the road. Although we weren't expecting explosive supercells, high based lightning storms were the order of the day, with potentially upscale growth into a line by the evening. This is exactly what eventuated on the Maranoa and Warrego region of western Queensland. High based storms developed mid-afternoon before a strong line advanced east into the late evening. My mate Jason and his wife travelled from Darwin down for this set-up, with our second chase day a day to remember.
Thursday 1st October 2020
Whilst this day was lacking in quality moisture, an upper cold pool and sufficient wind shear was in place to produce a few low precipitation thunderstorms, with large hail possible. This eventuated across the Northern Rivers of NSW, with only a couple of small storms developing.
This cell, which moved through the Cabarita Beach - Kingscliff region produced large hail to golf ball size for some locations. Whilst not a high-end day, it was a fun chase with a bit of structure and hail.
Monday 21st September 2020
Monday 21st September 2020, I made the decision to do the long haul to Western NSW for an early season set-up that I just couldn't refuse.
A strong negative tilt trough would enter the state, with strong low-level wind shear and increasing moisture along a dryline. The drive was 12 hours from the Gold Coast, so I left on the Sunday afternoon to ease the trip. The major hurdle was having to be back for work by 8am Tuesday morning. My target was Nyngan in Western NSW. As I arrived into town just after midday, a cluster of high based storms were developing northwest of Cobar, moving southeast, and rapidly due to the strong windshear.
As these storms began to encounter a better moisture profile, they lowered, consolidated and become a beastly supercell with rapid motion in the wall cloud. Sadly, I had to leave at 4:30pm to make it home in time and with an all-night drive ahead of me.
Today was shaping up as a significant day on the Darling Downs (southern Queensland). Sadly, things didn't quite go to play with a cluster of storms forming early in the day, making thing quite messy with numerous storms competing for quality air.
We were lucky enough to get on a cool little lp early that was producing some quality cg's, before a monster gust front developed later into the afternoon.