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#1408882 - 20/02/2017 14:53 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Stormy3 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 12/06/2013
Posts: 1341
Loc: Ellalong,10kms SW of Cessnock ...
Enjoyed all the reading above,very good chase reports.

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#1408886 - 20/02/2017 15:58 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Rsav Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 07/12/2016
Posts: 13
I grew up mostly on the NSW far north coast, and have a vague recollection of a storm that hit nearby Lismore on the night that school broke up for summer holidays in December 1979. It caused serious damage in the elevated part of the city called Goonellabah, before passing over us. I think there was lots of lightning, thunder and wind, but don't recall if there was any damage in our area. My dad went outside to watch it approach, and said that the clouds were rolling along.

After moving to Sydney in the late 1980s, a few storms stick in my mind.

I wasn't affected by the March 1990 storm, but I do remember seeing one example of its' power. Shortly after the storm happened, I was on a bus heading from the city to Mittagong on a uni excursion. Heading along the Hume Highway through Lansvale, we passed the entrance to an industrial estate which had a large sign beside the road listing all the businesses inside. The sign had two parallel vertical metal poles, probably about 4-5 metres high, which were bent over at quite an angle a little above ground level. What kind of wind occurred to do that? People on the bus were amazed, me included! "I can't get over that!", one guy said.

I also missed the January 1991 storm which struck the upper north shore, as I was back up the north coast with my parents during the xmas/new year uni break. One afternoon I was mowing the lawn in the back yard when dad came out to tell me that a storm had struck that part of Sydney, causing extensive damage. I recall that the first Gulf War (in Kuwait) had been in progress for a short while, and this event was the first to replace it as the lead story on the evening TV news! Anyway, I came back to Wahroonga (where I was then living) about a week later, and there were lots of branches and tree trunks still lying beside the streets awaiting collection. Wahroonga was on the edge of the storm, and so wasn't as badly damaged as suburbs a little further south, like Turramurra. Travelling through there on the train you could see the trees stripped bare of leaves, where it had previously been lush and green. It really did look like a disaster zone.

My most vivid memory, however, was the April 1999 hailstorm, and this was one I definitely didn't miss! At the time I was working the evening shift in a warehouse at Alexandria, between the city and the airport. We heard some thunder in the early evening, followed by a shower with some small hail. It soon ended, so we thought that was it, nothing major. Boy were we wrong! Shortly afterwards I could hear a distant roaring sound, gradually getting louder. There was also some lightning, so it was obvious a storm was approaching. However I'd never heard such a roaring sound before, and thus didn't know what was causing it. I had heard that tornadoes make a roaring sound, and, fearful that one was bearing down on us, closed the roller door at the entrance to our loading dock. My shift supervisor came and opened it again, as we were still open for customers to come and collect their orders. "It sounds like a tornado!", I said. "It's not a tornado", he replied, unimpressed. How he knew, I don't know. Anyhow, Alexandria is a big industrial area, with many large warehouses, factories etc, so the area has a large expanse of metal rooves. Many large hailstones falling on this was what caused the roaring sound, which got louder as the hailstorm got closer. It was now night time, probably around 8pm. I stood at the open front door, looking out onto the street, wondering what was about to hit. Suddenly a single big hailstone several inches wide dropped out of the darkness and landed near me, on the street. A few seconds later another one fell, then another, and another, and before I knew it we were in the midst of a violent hailstorm, with big stones raining down everywhere. It was quite eerie looking up into the dark sky and seeing all these hailstones just appearing out of the blackness, dropping seemingly out of nowhere. Some staff had brought their cars into the dock before it hit, but others hadn't, and their cars were getting smashed. Someone driving along the street also turned into our dock to escape the fury. The roof of our warehouse around the loading dock had plastic skylights, and stones were just punching through them like they weren't there and smashing on the concrete floor. We had to make sure not to stand under any of them, lest someone got hit. The other thing was the noise. Not just the loudness itself, but also the pitch of big hail hitting our metal roof - these combined to produce a cacophony that was almost painful to hear. You had to shout to speak to someone next to you. There was also a bit of lightning too, and a few close strikes with booming thunder claps added to the din. All in all it probably lasted about 15 to 20 minutes. We came off relatively unscathed. Other than the broken skylights, the roof was amazingly OK, considering how old it was. Part of a metal framework over the front of the building had been brought down onto the ground. Maybe only a few windows were broken, perhaps because the hail came pretty much straight down, as there was no wind (be grateful for small mercies!). On the radio, the stations we listened to had suspended regular broadcasting to cover the storm and its' aftermath. Early reports said that the eastern suburbs copped the brunt of it, which turned out to be true. The storm headed north towards the city, and I was concerned that it had continued north over Neutral Bay, where I then lived. At about 9pm I called my landlady to see what had happened, but she said that storm had not hit the area. Subsequent radar images of the storm showed that the hail core rapidly shrunk in size as it passed over the city and harbour, largely sparing the CBD and areas due north across the harbour. I later noticed tarps on rooves as far west as Newtown, so this must have been the western most extent of damage. It was a long lived storm, starting near Nowra and ending off the coast of Terrigal, lasting about 5 hours. The BOM did not issue a warning until it was too late, despite getting phone calls from people affected in the southern suburbs, before it hit the eastern suburbs. They copped a pasting for it, and since then have been more likely to issue warnings than before.

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#1408889 - 20/02/2017 16:26 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Homer Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 16/06/2007
Posts: 4903
Loc: Dural
Rsav.........great story and well told.
It gives us all some enlightenment as to the actual fury of that storm. It was quite remarkable.
I was at Indoor cricket that night in North Rocks and remember leaving and being surprised to see lightning to the east. I had no idea of it's destruction as only vague reports were being rung into radio stations.
After that, I remember driving along Southern Cross Drive and being shocked that almost every house or unit block was tarped up.

I wonder.......are there any archived radar images from that night?

Edit: I just visited my friend Mr Google and yes there is.


Edited by Homer (20/02/2017 16:29)

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#1408891 - 20/02/2017 16:47 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Jimi Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 15/03/2004
Posts: 735
Loc: Cammeray
Disappointingly I missed April 1999 as I was in Parkes (school holidays). For some reason I remember from the news that the max temp in Sydney that day was a pleasant 26C

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#1408894 - 20/02/2017 17:07 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Steve777 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 20/10/2011
Posts: 3097
Loc: Artarmon (Sydney North Shore)
Great report Rsav, thanks for sharing.

---------------

Picture perfect day in Sydney. Dewpoints at most Sydney stations were negative at 4:00PM. OH was as low as -3 (13% humidity) before the seabreeze arrived just after 4:00PM.

Days like today - clear blue sky, low humidity, Westerlies and pleasantly warm - are uncommon in Sydney in February. Most of Sydney maxed at 28-29 after overnight lows of 14-17. Beautiful.

Lane Cove Boatshed by Steve, on Flickr

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#1408895 - 20/02/2017 17:14 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Homer Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 16/06/2007
Posts: 4903
Loc: Dural
Great photo Steve and you are right........ to have a low humidity dry westerly wind day in February is very unusual.
It was certainly a very early taste of autumn.
Reached 27 deg's here today and at no stage did it ever feel hot.
Looking forward to tonight's 12-16 degree minimums.
We'll probably bottom out around 14. Absolutely delightful after last weeks mid 40's.


Edited by Homer (20/02/2017 17:14)

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#1408898 - 20/02/2017 17:40 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
orangeroughy Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 14/08/2012
Posts: 636
Loc: Orange, NSW
Certainly has cooled down....looking at 4deg minimum tonite. Might even be a frost on some patches of conducive ground. Currently our max temps are running nearly 5 deg above the avge, so some downwards adjustment would be handy. YTD rainfall is around 45mm, with 40mm of that falling on one day in early January, so the ground is super dry (again) with trees stressing noticably. Hand watering is keeping younger trees and shrubs alive, just. Last Feb I didn't register any rainfall and it looks like a repeat is on its way this year.
_________________________
NW Orange NSW 860m asl

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#1408902 - 20/02/2017 18:08 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Rainbow Spirit Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/11/2010
Posts: 423
Loc: Green Valley, just west of Liv...
We have had a 'small' tornado hit Green Valley about two hours ago, some major/minor damage to a few houses, with roofs ripped off etc.

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#1408905 - 20/02/2017 18:37 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Rainbow Spirit]
Homer Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 16/06/2007
Posts: 4903
Loc: Dural
Originally Posted By: Rainbow Spirit
We have had a 'small' tornado hit Green Valley about two hours ago, some major/minor damage to a few houses, with roofs ripped off etc.


Really? Where did that come from? A very strong willy willy?

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#1408907 - 20/02/2017 18:48 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Jimi Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 15/03/2004
Posts: 735
Loc: Cammeray
These are more like frost conditions in my mind.......

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#1408919 - 20/02/2017 20:21 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Rainbow Spirit]
Steve777 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 20/10/2011
Posts: 3097
Loc: Artarmon (Sydney North Shore)
I can't find any reference to the Green Valley 'tornado' on news sites. It may have been a Dust Devil: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_devil. In there it says:

"Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado."

Fair, sunny conditions. That's today to a 'T'. The Australian name for dust devil is 'willy willy', but you don't hear that term much these days. Roofs blown off? Maybe exaggerated or mistaken reports in social media? I don't know.

I can recall when I was living in Bankstown many years ago a few occasions on calm, sunny days when a wind would suddenly blow up, raising dust and knocking over rubbish bins. Before you could say "What the * was that" it was gone. You could see it moving down the street with swirling dust, leaves and rubbish. Those ones seemed to be associated with the arrival of the sea breeze, but they don't have to be. Those that occur in deserts (and on Mars) aren't.


Edited by Steve777 (20/02/2017 20:22)

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#1408920 - 20/02/2017 20:22 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Knot Online   content
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/05/2014
Posts: 1482
Loc: Blue Bay N.S.W
@Steve
lovely shot. one would never know from that shot that a urban sprawl lurks beyond view.

beautiful evening.

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#1408922 - 20/02/2017 20:25 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Knot]
Steve777 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 20/10/2011
Posts: 3097
Loc: Artarmon (Sydney North Shore)
Knot - thank you. Lane Cove National Park is a beautiful place, mostly less than a kilometer wide either side of the Lane Cove River. A favourite refuge for locals and visitors.

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#1408928 - 20/02/2017 21:16 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Wave Rider Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5309
Loc: Wollongong NSW
Awesome pic there Steve, and that is exactly what the day looked like here. Could not spot a cloud all day.

I agree with the sentiments above, today was an absolutely incredible day. If I hadn't organised to go to my friend's house, I would've been out there all day taking photos because everything looks so beautiful on such clear days. Felt distinctly autumnal. Can we please have another five days of high 20's with westerly winds? Please!!! I'm almost a little sad that the seabreeze will likely be back tomorrow but it will no doubt be an excellent day too, nonetheless. I might even go for a bike ride, haven't done that since I got my P's!! Overall a few days of great weather coming up (and warming up too) before an absolute disaster of a weekend.
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 14

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th, 26th

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#1408934 - 20/02/2017 21:33 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Wave Rider Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5309
Loc: Wollongong NSW
http://ski.com.au/snowcams/australia/nsw/perisherblue/perisher-olympic.html

Pretty decent amount of snow at Perisher on the cam this afternoon. They picked up 10mm early this morning mostly at around 0C, so the snowfall amount would've been about 5-7cm at a guess.
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 14

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th, 26th

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#1408937 - 20/02/2017 21:40 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Knot Online   content
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/05/2014
Posts: 1482
Loc: Blue Bay N.S.W
It looks like a great little oasis Steve. Never been there. I believe some stuff in Home and Away is shot there.

Haven't seen Dave stick his head in the door for a bit. You out there Dave? And heck. Eddy came and went in a flash


Agree Wavesta. Could do with some more low humidity, westerly weather. Soon as the wind swung onshore today, up goes the humidity and away went that nice clear look to the sky. Some streaky haze at dusk. Not quite cloud. Dont think the sky will be as clear tomorrow as it was from dawn till around 3 or so.

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#1408939 - 20/02/2017 21:47 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Wave Rider Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5309
Loc: Wollongong NSW
That wouldn't surprise me if some of Home and Away was shot there, as it is quite close to 'Summer Bay'-aka Palm Beach in real life.

Dave should be back tomorrow or whenever he's at work again. Eddy- I don't know. Was expecting him to show up when that big storm hit Port Stephens.

Yep agreed, I love the 'look' of westerly weather as much as the feel. Don't like that streaky coast haze as it's not pleasant to the eye. Nothing like a crystal clear sky.
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 14

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th, 26th

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#1408941 - 20/02/2017 21:49 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Knot Online   content
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/05/2014
Posts: 1482
Loc: Blue Bay N.S.W
Woohoo.. Great to see a few flakes. We need a major volcanic eruption in the equatorial region this year I reckon. To offset the hot summer and likely warmish Autumn. Just remember guys I used arcane methods to correctly predict the snow depth for the 2015 season. At least I think I did


Edited by Knot (20/02/2017 21:50)

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#1408951 - 20/02/2017 23:11 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Wave Rider Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/01/2014
Posts: 5309
Loc: Wollongong NSW
Just went for a drive and the air was very chilly in some parts of it. Went through a frost hollow of open farmland near home and cold there, checked the temp in the car- 13C. It is noticeably warmer here and temp of 16.1C backs it up.
_________________________
2016-17 season storm total for here= 14

Oct- 21st
Nov- 9th, 28th
Jan- 24th
Feb- 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th(2)
Mar- 13th, 16th, 22nd
Apr- 9th, 26th

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#1408955 - 21/02/2017 00:10 Re: NSW: Heat, major cool change, storms/rain (with Giant Hailstones on Feb 18th) - Feb 16-21 2017 [Re: Steve777]
Rainbow Spirit Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 10/11/2010
Posts: 423
Loc: Green Valley, just west of Liv...
When is a willy willy, a willy willy and not a tornado?

All I know is that a colorbond 5m x 10m pergola lifted off the front of a house and it flew about 50m up and over that house, bounced it off the house behind, then skidded it up the roof of the house next door, and ripped that roof apart.

How do I know, my SES team had to remove the pergola and repair the roof...

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