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 Darwin storm season 2010/11

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pulse1
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PostSubject: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:31 am

So sorry I've been absent...forgot my login and password!

Decided to start this thread so that you Brits and other visitors (we refer to anyone living outside of Darwin as Mexicans...Smile ) and give some regular info with soundings, radar loops, sat images and just about anything else you can think of...and the odd photo that I might be able to take when not working nights!

As far as storms are concerned well they did come late last night around midnight but hung off the coast somewhat. Met up with a couple of photogs who like taking storm shots and chatted for a bit, but nothing eventuated. Most of the activity was off the NW coast between the Tiwi Islands which is about 78km from Darwin. Saw the odd bolt and streamers through the mess but in reality it was all too haphazard.

Here's the radar loop of the storms that arrived around 11:30pm Monday night.

http://radar.strikeone.net.au/?fuseaction=loops.main&radar=633&numberofImages=10&dateStart=1284892200&dateFinish=1284917400

The day had started out pretty hot with 35C temps and the DP's around 21C but faded a bit as the sea breeze roarred in at 40kts! An upper level trough had formed to the NW and finally did something but the amount of low level stratus really stuffed things up view wise. Flash rates were only about 2 per 7 mins which did not excite me much, but the cells off the coast as seen on the radar did produce regular flashes but obscured by all the mess. I think parts of Darwin got 42mm which was nice.

Current GFS holds nothing to cough at ..

A dominant high in South Australia is feeding 'dry' air into the NT so the vacant blue area is somewhat a disaster! The graphic may change when you view it as it is live of sorts...



but by the weekend it should change considerably



you will see the advancing moisture from above us feeding in...so depending on what happens during the week this will either be worse or better.

I'll keep everyone up to date regularly as the season approaches proper..although we've had the odd flash and bang inland, it's quite unseasonal for this time of year so by mid-October it should be well and truly up and running.

Nice to be back and enjoy the posts and photos!
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Wazza
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PostSubject: Re: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:03 am

Fantastic to have you back after the password issues mate! lol

Real nice to have something to get our teeth stuck into now, as our season (can we really call it that?) has come to a close. I see what you mean about the instability staying orf the coast there, but as your graphic shows it is pushing towards land nicely! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:49 am

Aah now this is a lot better or next week, LI's at -5 which should be game on and CAPE is 1800 - most definitely juicier.



Just a little more on storm initation ...(I keep finding all the answers whilst doing the research aspect...!)

Darwin has a sea breeze every single day, dry or wet season. Now over the years many chasers have cursed it because it actually hampens storms coming into Darwin and there's always a barrier 40km out surrounding the city. I was not convinced that sea breeze convergence is a given and doubted many theories even though I did not know the answer per se - a bit of sticking one's neck out - because even though the sea breeze carries moist air and most often is conducive to convection, blue skies or clear nights accompany the city whilst the rural area bangs away with lightning...I wondered ...why is this?

After doing some more reading last night on lightning I dug up some thunderstorm perametres whilst getting the low down on hodgraphs and what forecasters look for to determine types of storms...well the answer popped up !

Sometime (more often than not here in Darwin) convergence is apparent on Doppler with NW sea breeze pushing rural and incoming winds converging on that 40km barrier...now it's quite feasible that there's not enough mesoscale forcing - or large forcing - to push warm moist air from outflow up over the more stable air of the sea breeze. It is quite possible that the LFC - or Layer of Free Convection on the coast has a higher value so what moisture does push to Darwin does not have the lifting oomph the outflow delivers and this cannot break through the CIN and have the parcel reach above the LFC to form convection and form new storms.

Makes sense to me after all these years wondering. It's akin to elevated thunderstorm scenarios. A weak boundary shear (which we usually get) drier mids to uppers (due to Sea breeze) and no forcing mechanism for lift, which would be the outflow or anything...discreet storms in the rural area within view of the city just don't and will not produce enough forcing to push warm moist air up over the sea breeze. But when we have multicells forming inland with decent steer above normal, well this definately causes coastal storms and further enhancement of offshore lines. Light bulb moment! only taken me 6 years to work it out....

Many chasers here just don't understand the mechanics of thunderstorms...when you look at soundings you can actually picture a thunderstorm over it, the levels, t he cloud type, the actual storm is kind of overlayed over the sounding and this gives you a rough idea of what to expect...or you could go the hard way and work it out mathematically using every conceibable skew-t equation!

Thought I'd share this revelation I had last night and am pretty pleased with myself for finding this out and working it out for our set ups...whilst not every day will have this scenario, it's a sure bet that 70% of the time I see rural storms and watch overhead sky go blue in a fraction of an hour prior to a chase I will now know well in advance what the atmosphere has in store given any storms moving toward Darwin's boundary...

There's still a bit more to the answer given pressure gradients at the 500 and 850 level and some other things, but basically determining storm base height is a key to any cold pooling which hinders further storm formation...different shear properties, cloud base height and stuff determine if the cold pooling moves quickly or slowly...as these two aspects really do have a large impact on further storm development ahead of a cell...you want outflow but not outflow dominant - like with shelf clouds...a flanking line which promotes outflow can create orphan cells that 'bridge' or connect with another cell and the strongest cell of the bunch delivers the goods to ramp up.....

Interesting aint it!
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PostSubject: Re: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:54 pm

Very interesting read there!

So I assume this means that most of the time there will be rural storms with not a lot round the coast? I mean better to chase inland?

I can see that this gives you a better idea of what is going to hit the coast and what isn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:21 am

Well Darwin storm season is really kicking up a notch with Mike out in the field taking some stunning stuff!

I'll ask his permission to nab a few shots he has taken, some quality stuff yet again!

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Darwin storm season 2010/11   Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:10 am

Oh yes please Mike....share some of those photos on here too! You've caught some crackers so far! cheers
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