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Mt Dandenong Storm: Saturday 24th January 1998
by Jane ONeill

It started as the most beautiful summer's day in Melbourne - 27deg with a light breeze, cirrus moving fast from the west, thickening to altostratus and stratocumulus through the day. The pressure and humidity both dropped slightly towards evening. NW wind picked up from 4pm.

Wandered outside at about 9.30pm, took one look skyward, and was out the front door armed with video and camera in less than 60 seconds. There was a towering cumulonimbus just west of Mt Dandenong. Drove hell for leather up the mountain (20 minutes) to the lookout.

The storm was heading across the eastern suburbs straight towards us. The cloud base was below us so the cloud-cloud lightning appeared to be the product of someone sitting on top of the cloud shining a torch down onto the earth. I only sighted on cg stroke during the 2 hours I followed this storm.

As the cloud closed in on the mountain, thunder and lightning became almost continuous and it started hailing, lasting the best part of half an hour - hailstones about 1-1.5 cm in diameter. A fall of about 3" made 'sliding' down from the lookout extremely hazardous.

This storm continued out to the east of the state and remained very active for another hour before fading away.

Synoptic Charts & Satellite Imagery

These images obtained from James Cook University

Infrared Satellite Image at 8pm & 11pm 24/1 and 2am 25/1 Local Time showing thunderstorms developing to the north and northeast of Melbourne, and spreading eastwards during the evening.

This image obtained from the Bureau of Meteorology

MSL Analysis 5pm Local Time

Document: 9801-02.htm
Updated: 14th January, 2003
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