Storm News
and Chasing

Main Index Home Page Stock Weather Photos Australian Severe Weather Forum Storm News and Storm Chasing Reports Tropical Cyclones / Hurricanes / Typhoons Weather Data and Links Wild Fires / Bushfires Weather Observation Techniques Weather Picture Catalogue Tornado Pictures and Reports Stock Video Footage and DVDs for sale
Canberra Microburst Storm: Tuesday 13th February 2001
by Simon Angell

I woke up around 1:00pm and looked out my window and to my surprise I saw the top of a large storm (no anvil) "pulsating" up and down. By that I mean a tower would shoot up on the right (east side because I was looking from the north about 10 - 20 km away) move across to the left, stall and collapse. A tower lasted no more than 5 minutes from beginning to end. At any one time there was 3 stages of towers over the width of the storm (start on right, maturity in centre, collapse on left). I watched this continue for about 1.5 hours and during this the storm appeared to be stationary but I was soon to be proven wrong. Whilst I was watching the storm develop I regularly check 'the weather zone' lightning tracker and satelite pics, and also the BoM warnings page. Lightning tracker showed a few lightning strikes close to the ACT but none where I thought they should be (in the storm). BoM had no warnings till the storm started "doing its stuff" and sat pics showed a cloud mass but no pronounced anvil and a smaller storm WSW of the ACT, which except to WSW was exactly what I was seeing outside. An hour (3:30-4:00) before the storm unleashed its fury I saw what looked like the remains of an anvil come up from the west south west (which was where radar and lightning tracker had pinpointed lightning and heavy rain in the few hours I had been awake). The very high cloud of the dissipated "anvil" Moved over the storm around 4:30 - 4:45pm and the storm started really moving. From my first vantagepoint I saw some lightning pulsate a some small rain bands pushing from east to west. The storm had hardly moved since 1:00pm but now it was about 5km away. Around 5:00pm I moved down the road and watched very, very heavy rain and heard the muffled sounds of very strong lightning, which I could not see because of the rain. I was starting to get wind blowing from the south which I believe was outflow because the storm was directly south. Then to my shock I saw a small lowering to the NW (around 2km away from me) of the main centre of the storm heading SE it reached about 1/5 of the way and their was no rotation visible. It lasted a very long time until I couldn't see it anymore because of the rain. 10 minutes after the first lowering formed I notice some rotation where it had formed and another lowering, this time a funnel shape came down but only reached 1/5 of the way down again. It lasted 5 or so minutes but the first lowering was still down and moving toward the centre. I saw some impressive rain features and heard some strange lightning but all I got from the storm was moderate wind. I had to leave at 5:30pm because I had to go to dinner at the local club. While there I still heard lightning for 20 or so minutes and when I left the club around 7:00pm the sky was bright blue all around.

Damage from the storm was mainly fallen trees in Stomlo Forest and heavy rain damage to central Canberra. My mate had bought a Honda Prelude 1992 model and it was caught up in the storm and got some rear bumper damage from a car pileup and delayed delivery of the car for 2 weeks.

Well that's my account of the storm, I hope my description puts images in your head like it has while I'm writing it..

Document: 200102-02.html
Updated: 26th October, 2001
[Australian Severe Weather index] [Copyright Notice] [Email Contacts] [Search This Site]