After being barraged by front after front over the course of winter, August has seen a change to unseasonably troughy weather, with frequent strong NW infeeds with systems and generally higher moisture levels than usual. This has lead to quite a few days with afternoon convection and local weak storms, however one day in particular produced some extraordinarily good storms for this time of year, it is indeed the earliest chase day for a new season I’ve ever had. Because of how early in the year this summer like convection has been occurring, all of the stronger cells have contained hail in various sizes, nothing large (>2cm) however as CAPE has been very limited.
On the 23rd of August, I went for a drive to the Tothill Ranges to observe some developing convection on a day with very low (<10 knot) 500mb shear. Nothing overly special but after core punching with some heavy rain, hail, seeing half a dozen rainbows, and an epic looking storm near Burra, even a funnel, it turned out to be an enjoyable day after the long lull of winter.
Whilst this was a fun day, a very productive storm day was to be had on the 30th of August, the best winter storms I have seen. It was another low CAPE day, however a rainband from the night before had moistened the atmosphere considerably, in fact that morning the ranges of Clare were shrouded in low cloud which burned off in the late morning, something you rarely see before a storm day. There was also considerably good speed shear, with a jet over the top, however nothing too strong as to overpower the relatively weak updrafts. From memory somewhere around 30 knots for the steering level.
The main group of storms developed on the west coast of northern Yorke Peninsula. I drove over to Bute and followed the cells back, over the Barungas and eventually back to Brinkworth.
A super impressive sight as this cells reaches its peak strength and weaker cells to its north join to form one large line. I core punched this cell with very heavy rain and pea sized hail.
And an amazing way to top off a very enjoyable day of chasing.