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Sculptured Low Precipitation Supercell NSW North Coast: Monday 20th October 2003

Report compiled by Michael Bath and Dave Ellem

Images appearing on this page must not be reproduced without permission.

A cloud band had moved through the Northern Rivers district during the morning with some heavy rainfalls totalling up to 35mm in 2 hours or so. It took until about noon before the last part of the cloud cleared to the east. Severe storms developed over the border in Southeast Queensland about 200km to the NW.

The Northern Rivers remained largely clear of any cloud apart from some medium sized cumulus persisting westward of the coast. Winds which had been northerly tended to the NW and the sky took on a rather dry appearance but the DP remained in the mid teens. Cumulus persisted and the winds eventually tended to the NE by about 4.15pm. Turkey towers developed NE of Grafton, and it wasn't long before an isolated dominant cell really took off.

Storm chasers headed to a vantage point just south of Alstonville and were treated to one of the most beautifully structured LP supercells ever recorded in Australia. Hail to 4cm diameter was reported at Wardell and Woodburn. The photographs and video tell the story....

Photographs taken from Wollongbar, Meerschaum and Alstonville by Dave Ellem:

Photographs taken from Goonellabah by Ray Mullens:

Photographs taken from Ballina by John Bath:

Photographs taken from Lismore looking towards Woodburn by Isaac Smith:

Photograph taken from Rosewood (SE QLD) by Anthony Cornelius:

Video Clips

Video footage taken at Meerschaum by Michael Bath:

Timelapse sequence 1 [2.1mb]

Timelapse sequence 2 [957kb]


From Bureau of Meteorology.

  • Grafton local scale loop 0540z to 1000z 20/10/2003 (3.40pm to 8pm local)
  • Grafton higher resolution local scale loop 0554z to 0914z 20/10/2003 (3.54pm to 7.14pm local - thanks to Sydney BoM)
  • Grafton higher resolution 3D tops loop 0554z to 0814z 20/10/2003 (3.54pm to 6.14pm local - thanks to Sydney BoM)

    Satellite Images

    From Bureau of Meteorology.

    Images are at 06 to 10z (4pm to 8pm local)
    20/10/2003 06z 20/10/2003 07z 20/10/2003 08z 20/10/2003 09z 20/10/2003 10z

    04z MODIS 250m resolution image

    Analysis Chart

    From Bureau of Meteorology.

    20/10/2003 06z

    AVN Model Analysis

    From NOAA 20/10/2003 06z analysis run

  • Liftex Index
  • CAPE
  • Relative Humdity surface
  • Relative Humdity 850 hPa
  • Relative Humdity 700 hPa
  • Relative Humdity 600 hPa
  • Relative Humdity 500 hPa
  • Relative Humdity 300 hPa
  • Temperature (C) surface
  • Temperature (C) 850 hPa
  • Temperature (C) 700 hPa
  • Temperature (C) 500 hPa
  • Temperature (C) 300 hPa
  • Winds (knots) surface
  • Winds (knots) 925 hPa
  • Winds (knots) 850 hPa
  • Winds (knots) 700 hPa
  • Winds (knots) 600 hPa
  • Winds (knots) 500 hPa
  • Winds (knots) 300 hPa

    Document: 200310-04.htm
    Updated: 22nd April, 2004
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