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
Storms in NE NSW: Saturday 1st September 2001
Report by Dave Ellem

The day started out quite hazy and cool. However the sun was shining brightly which I was quite excited about as I knew that the storms wouldn't develop well if the cloud band had moved over. However when I checked the satpic, I saw that the cloud band wasn't too far away and within an hour it was quite dull, and the temperature hovered around 15-16 degrees. Before the cloudband had covered the sky some ACCAS was visible along with some AC. 

N, 8.40am  E, 8.40am

It remained this way for most of the day, with a few sunny breaks around lunch time. I was waiting around all day to see if anything would happen. All afternoon it stayed overcast and quite dark with some very light drizzle. At around  4pm it began to get going out in S QLD.

 WNW, 3.25pm

Storms were going to move in a ESE to SE direction, so anything that developed there would hit this area if it made it that far. I was very doubtful that it would make it, but Michael Bath seemed much more confident. There was a great looking cell to the WNW of Warwick that I was keeping my eye on as it would be the one to make it to our area if it lasted. It was showing 'red' in a number of scans. It was going to be a little while so I logged of the net and ate some dinner. At about 7.15pm I logged on to see what was happening. Lightning Tracker was going off!!! It looked like a line of cells from N to S had developed, although they didn't look all that impressive. I went upstairs in our house to see if I could detect any lightning. I saw 2 very dull flashes to the WNW in about 3 minutes. So I logged off again and watched a bit of TV. At around 7.45pm Michael gave me a call to say it was all happening now. I raced upstairs to have a look and saw constant lightning flashes from the N right down to the SW where my view was cut off as I was inside. I raced back downstairs to log on to the net again and radar looked quite impressive. Thunder was now audible. I checked Tracker again, which was going ballistic and then grabbed the tripod and digital camera (which were all charged, setup and ready to go) and raced upstairs. I jumped out the window (it's ok, there is about 2m of roof below the window that is relatively flat) and adjusted the tripod, setup the settings on my camera and I was away. Lightning was every second or more!!! Most of it was CC's but some very impressive CG's appeared as well. My camera was set on 16sec shutter speed, which is it's highest setting, so it was more than enough for the amount of lightning that was occurring. 

WNW, 8.03pm  WNW, 8.04pm  WNW, 8.07pm  WNW, 8.10pm

My brother, sister in law and a friend all came up on the roof to watch the show with me. The inflow into the storm was really warm, and felt quite pleasant. The others were cold though so next the doonas came onto the roof. My brother was a little worried of hail falling on his car so I volunteered to check radar for him, as long as he kept taking pics for me. I raced downstairs and the TV was going physco!!! It was on Channel 7 and if you remember in Twister when the TV signal kept zapping in and out, well, it was just like that. Our TV towers are located directly N of my place and we could see the lightning in that area. So I unplugged the TV. I then checked radar and was astounded at how the line of cells had rapidly developed!! It looked like a serious squall line. I shutdown the computer, unplugged all the appliances and then raced upstairs and suggested that there would be hail, but only small. My brother is afraid of snow falling on his car so he went downstairs to put the car undercover. The lightning was drawing closer and we could make out a shelf cloud. 

WNW 8.12pm  WNW, 8.13pm  NNW, 8.23pm

Me and my brother noticed a few lowerings, one looked like a gustnado. The CG's began to die a little and it was mainly CC's that were in the cloud. However I kept taking photos. It began to sprinkle at about 8.25pm. And then at 8.30pm it hit!! The shelf cloud moved over us and the winds picked up. They weren't very strong, just a little gusty. It was at this point we had to clamber inside quickly as rain was blowing in on us. Doonas and legs were flying everywhere trying to dive inside. Meanwhile I kept taking photos just next to the chaos of people climbing indoors. Once they were all in I moved the camera inside and started taking pics from right at the window. Hardly any rain blew in the window so it wasn't a concern. The rain was really blowing against the western window upstairs, I had my camera pointing out the northern window. 

NW, 8.28pm  NNE, 8.30pm

Then I heard a 'clink' against the window. I yelled out to 'here it comes'!!!!! The hail started. It was great, about 3 seconds after I said to my brother 'I hope it starts hailing' it did!!! It was only pea sized, up to 1cm which was good because we only wanted the pea sized stuff. I told my bother to go downstairs with an umbrella and cup and get me some hail so I could measure it and get a photo later on. Meanwhile I kept taking pics!! There wasn't much hail overall, and the guts of the storm was over in about 20mins. 

E, 8.45pm

Lightning and thunder continued on for a while and the strong cold winds began. The cold front had arrived!! Heavy rain also continued for quite sometime after the storm. When I had finished taking lightning pics I came downstairs to photograph the hail in the freezer, but because my brother had put it in a warm cup, it had all melted!! Oh well, I got to see some at least. When we started up the PC again and logged onto the net we were amazed!! The cell had gone 'red' right over us!! The squall line was quite impressive. It was at this time that I noticed the STA. 


NSW Severe Thunderstorm Advice
Issued at 1941 on Saturday the 1st of September 2001

The Bureau of Meteorology in Sydney has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Advice
affecting people in the following weather district:

Northern Rivers 

Thunderstorms are forecast within the advice area this evening. Some of
these are expected to be severe bringing damaging winds, large hailstones
and very heavy rainfall. 

It had been issued hours earlier but problems with the BoM prevented them being released onto their website.  An hour later when I was flicking through the channels, I noticed ABC was down. It remained this way until after 11.30pm. What a great event! My brother and I concluded that they are the best storms to have, you get all the elements of a storm: strong winds, heavy rain, constant lightning, and hail, but none of it is severe. It sure was a surprise to me to get a storm of that intensity. I had been expecting thundery showers. A great start to spring and a positive start to the storm season ahead.

For those that were interested, here's a pic of the ledge on the 2nd story that I took the photos from.

Photo Taken Facing East


From Bureau of Meteorology.

  • Grafton local scale loop 0830z to 1200z 01/09/2001 (6.30pm to 10.00pm local)

    Satellite Images

    From Bureau of Meteorology.

    GMS-5 Infrared animation 03z to 16z 1/09/2001

    Other storm observations

  • By Stuart MacDonald:

    Document: 200109-01.html
    Updated: 19th October, 2001
    [Australian Severe Weather index] [Copyright Notice] [Email Contacts] [Search This Site]