Strong low (972mb) with flooding!, 28-30 September 2016

After the enormous storm event that was dubbed ‘the worst in 50 years’ to begin with, and ‘the most significant weather event we’ve ever had’ in the end, a large amount of damage was seen across South Australia after the low had passed. And whilst it certainly was a very big event, it is also a very big call to say it was the most significant ever, especially when you go back through the history books. Given the highly connective nature of the modern world and electricity/telecommunications being such an integral part of our lives, it is reasonable to say we are more vulnerable than ever to such storm events. Suggestions of stronger tornadoes, much bigger rain events and wilder winds have all been recorded in the past, but that isn’t to downplay this event, just a reminder that whilst events like this are certainly rare, they have happened before, and will happen again. But I will say this was up there with the best, a big part of which was due to its broad impact, and the particularly severe storms on the Wednesday.

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The deep low near its maximum intensity, and had even maintained a small ‘eye’ for many hours. The first heavy rainbands associated with it can be seen impacting Eyre Peninsula, while the decaying thunderstorms can be seen on its long tail, the moisture being wrapped back around into our state. 

A breakdown of some of the main events. This certainly isn’t to say this was all that happened, but these are events that stand out for me.

  • 5 confirmed tornadoes, definitely more, potentially many more. I’d hedge my bets that we had a dozen touchdowns at least during the Wednesday simply due to many of these cells going unobserved. There is every possibility that this was one of the biggest tornado outbreak in Australia’s history. In South Australia we often see atmospheric shear profiles supportive of supercells and tornadoes given our latitude, our biggest issue is and always will be available moisture due to the huge dry continental air to our north, which is why we often see our best storms in the wettest years.
  • Hail larger than tennisballs recorded in Blyth and apparently Snowtown, golf balls at Cleve, which caused huge crop losses. What makes this so significant, is it is RARE to see hail larger than golfballs in South Australia, even in November when we still have cold uppers and much higher instability potential. The fact that hail of this INCREDIBLE SIZE occurred in late September, with sub 20 degree temperatures is astounding. Snowtown obs prior to the supercell peaked out at 19.2/15.6. It is clear the relatively cold weather allowed a lower freezing level, combined with the strong upper divergence, high dewpoints and near dry adiabatic lapse rates for a short distance (in height) through the lower-mids, all contributed to this. And of course properly rotating updrafts to allow the recycling of downdrafts/updrafts in the storm. In all honestly, this stands out more for me than almost any other aspect of this system. About the maximum size you will ever see in South Australia.
  • Widespread strong to gale force winds, locally storm force on coasts in association with the western flank of the low.
  • A central pressure in the low of 972mb just south of the gulfs. Very very rare to have such a deep low, hence the severe weather.
  • Widespread heavy rainfall in two lots, the first from the aforementioned thunderstorms on the Wednesday, and the majority on the Thursday from the low and its associated rainbands running ashore.
  • Flooding associated with this rainfall. I’m not aware (yet) of any rivers reaching historical levels, however the broad scale of the flooding is quite rare. Most of the Mid North and the Adelaide Hills suffered some form of flooding with many rivers bursting their banks.
  • A significant storm surge which severely damaged a number of jetties in South Australia, including long standing ones such as Port Germein, which has been in existence since 1879. The impact however has likely been increased as a result of sea level rises since its inception, as sea levels have risen 10-20cm in this time. Some locals quoted as saying the worst damage in 50 years.
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    As the sun finally rose we could get a clear picture of the incredible structure now of this low. A cold front and dryline surging across eastern Australia, a warm front south of Tasmania wrapping back around , the occlusion to the sw of South Australia, and the heavy convective rim of the low being wrapped directly into the mid north ranges. In Clare we heard several thunderstorms move through in 9 degree conditions, and had a couple of quite heavy hail showers with it as well! The first burst of wind had already brought many trees down.

Given the broad scope of the flooding, the statewide outages which lasted two days where I live and the telecommunication blackout which lasted over 5 days in Clare, I spent the entirety of the event around the Clare Valley, simply due to the dangers of leaving (and getting stuck), and who doesn’t want to be there when their own town floods! Doesn’t happen everyday.

The big part of why the flooding was so widespread, is simply due once again to the negative IOD influencing our weather this winter and spring, with some very much above average rainfall leading up to this event. Catchments were saturated, or near saturated throughout, and the reality is even falls of 30mm across catchments were sufficient to cause rivers to burst their banks. Here in the Clare Valley, we had 20-40mm from the storms on Wednesday, and a further 50-70mm on the Thursday. On top of the previous events in September, we ended up with a whopping 220mm in Clare itself, the biggest month of rainfall I have seen in all my years of watching weather. Whilst not directly comparable due to BoM closing the long running rain gauge at Clare post office (what a huge shame) in 1994, and Clare High School taking over (a much drier site), and the possibility of southern Clare being slightly wetter than the town centre, we still easily surpassed the all time September record going back to 1862. The old record was 197.2mm in  1972 (how’s the synchronicity there!). That is to say, we experienced the wettest September since European settlement in Clare.

The 6 month period leading up to this flood was exceptional, with outback South Australia receiving hugely unseasonable rainfall. Cloud band after cloud band extended down from NW Australia, it was an incredible wet phase we had entered.

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The trippling of mean rainfall amounts in outback is in a big part due to low mean rainfalls. But this does show just how much extra moisture we had received.

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Rainfall deciles for the period from July to September (inclusive). As you can see, for the eastern half, widespread deciles above 9 were observed, with some areas experiencing record rainfall.

Now for the year by year comparison for Clare, where I have cherry picked some of the wettest ever years, to see how they compare.

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Here we have Neagles Rock, which records extremely similarly to my address, and is the closest current station to the old rainfall site. (around 1km south-west)

And historical rainfall.

021014_136_13_549494990137925545 021014_136_13_1757208659477602761 021014_136_13_6998970273920088895 021014_136_13_7986461604411927456 021014_136_13_8407015582974396254

As you can see, we are currently running level with many of these years, and therefore have potential to possibly exceed the all time yearly record.

Now for some pics, demonstrating just how much water was around! It’s hard to get a grasp of how deep some of these are, many streams went 1 metre over their banks. We ended up with 102mm in about 36 hours in my gauge in Clare.

The SES issue an emergnency warning for flooding as the Hutt River laps at its banks, and a huge effort of sandbagging is underway.

The SES issue an emergency warning for flooding in Clare as the Hutt River laps at its banks for hours on end, and a huge effort sandbagging is underway. The main street can be seen in the background. This bridge, which is sitting 1 metre under, and sits a further 1.2m or so above the creek bed was quite badly damaged.

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To both the north and south of Clare, the Hutt had broken its banks. This vineyard near the caravan park was well under water.

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A bit of shortsighted planning here. The pipe under the bridge couldn’t handle the water from this small tributary, which instead banked up behind the bridge and was redirected straight through the visitor centre.

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The Hill River, the Hutt Rivers twin which runs parallel to the Hutt, some 8km or so east, had burst its banks through Kirribilly. This river has a notorious history of killing livestock due to its wide floodplain. The actual channel is near the trees. It would rise higher than this overnight.

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The Hutt River north of Clare was bursting wide across its floodplain, the main channel is all the way back under those redgums in the distance.

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A floodway in Clare which I have always used to gauge the height of the flows, I consider it running high when it is near the tree submerged in the middle there. Being the lowest ford in Clare, it’s always the first to go under.

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The Horrocks Highway north of Clare, near the conjunction of the Hutt River and Armagh Creek (the Hutt’s biggest tributary) had formed a bit of an inland sea over the highway for many kilometres. The cars headlights are the Bridge over the Armagh Creek just before the racecourse.

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The Hutt near foodland, running right up to the bridges, as soon as it spills it starts flooding property, we got very lucky!

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The Hutt south of Sevenhill, flooded over Mintaro Road.

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Farrell Creek on Friday morning. It had been significantly higher the night before as it was too deep for me to cross the road but had lowered considerably by morning. I wondered why this particular creek was so swollen…Mintaro received 69mm to 9am, which is right near its source. If you saw this little creek beforehand, you would never have expected it could flood this wide!

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A crossing on the Broughton River west of Spalding. Very deep in the middle there and was flowing with rapids. The conjunction of the three north draining systems from the Clare Valley (Hutt, Hill Rivers and Farrell Creek), plus likely Booborowie Creek all contributing to this huge volume of water.

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Hutt River near Spalding, swollen from all the floodwaters of the northern Clare Valley.

The flow gauge at the caravan park went into Moderate Flood. After we had already had three minor floods already this year!

The flow gauge at the caravan park touched the Moderate Flood level. We had already had three minor floods this year! Non-flow is around 0.84, these values above this number indicate flood rankings. 1.1m = minor, 1.5m = moderate, 1.8m = major. This is from memory when they readjusted the base level but didn’t add the flood levels back. 

Some videos to get an idea of the water motion. Some amazing turbulence in the bigger rivers.

Whilst floods like this may be considered bad from a human perspective, from an ecological perspective they are the boom times. Changing the habitats in rivers, washing away salinity (at first at least, rising water tables can bring higher salinity after wet years), creating new generations of river red gums, dumping fertile sediment across flood plains, improving water quality and one which often goes unnoticed, allowing native fish migration through the rivers. In South Australia, we actually have a few species which can migrate out to sea during these flood events, and up and down river channels to spawn and without the occasional flood event would have likely already have gone extinct.

I also remember a conversation, and talks about how Clare has been flood proofed from the amount of dams we have. Almost every last dam was full before this flood, and some were nearly destroyed by this flood. The reality is they provide next to no protection, and in many cases can often exacerbate events if one happens to give way. During dry times however, they are hugely detrimental to streamflow and consequently river health. A bit preachy, but this flood really did remind us how ineffective at flood mitigation during large flood events they really are.

Regardless of all this, I look forward to when streamflow returns to low flows, I can check out some of the bigger waterholes and see what life we have. It’s been an awesome wet season, which will likely soon come to an end. But for now it is as green as ever despite the 30 degree days nearing.

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SA…the Tornado state? Severe storm outbreak 28 September 2016

This day will go down in history for South Australia as one of the great storm outbreaks of recent history. For anyone who lives north of about Balaklava, supercells affected a large swath, dropping multiple tornadoes on the many supercells that formed on a sharp cold front. This front, in response to a very deep developing low pressure system contained a shear profile more typical of the united states, and combined with a very wet winter and start to spring from the negative IOD, meant instead of dry air being dragged in from the continent we had relative to the time of year, high moisture levels. Add the vorticity from the wrapping front, and north-east winds of considerable strength ahead of the front, we had an environment primed for supercell development, despite modest CAPE (up to around 1000 j/kg). A powerful divergent jet stream above would have assisted storm development greatly in the instability department.

The rainband with embedded thunderstorms.

The rainband with embedded thunderstorms.

By mid morning, we had a rather lightning active mid level rainband develop out ahead of the front, in response to huge upper divergence from the jet exit of a VICIOUS 500mb jet moving in from the west. Apart from producing some locally intense Cg action, it acted to transport moisture from the mid levels to the surface, another necessary ingredient for lowering LCL’s in the afternoon, and providing a deeper moisture profile for storm development.

I drove out to the north of Blyth to watch it move in. It had that classic high shear, mid-level thunderstorm sky we often see in South Australia this time of year. A cell rapidly developed out ahead of the line, and proceeded to drop a barrage of Cg’s, running right over the top of me. They weren’t very pulsy, however they were very loud, with huge cracks associated with them. I had many bolts within a few km, the closest hitting <300m from me in a paddock and beading out.

Despite many Cg's dropping, I somehow managed to only capture a Cc on the camera, I can't even remember seeing a Cc, oh the irony.

Despite many Cg’s dropping, I somehow managed to only capture one Cc on the camera, I can’t even remember seeing a Cc, oh the irony.

I drove back into Blyth, being flanged the whole time, ears ringing from the close ones. I take a short video on my phone, and manage to capture one closish Cg on the back end.

A video screen grab of a bolt approx 1.5-2km away.

A video screen grab of a bolt approx 1.5-2km away.

The barrage of bolts from this mature mid level cell is demonstrated on lightning tracker.

The barrage of bolts from this mature mid level cell is demonstrated on lightning tracker.

Now that this excitement had passed, my attention turned to the clear air behind, and the currently invisible passage of the front. I knew I would have trouble chasing these cells, with the Barunga Ranges off to my west. Roads are few and far between over this range, and tend to diagonal themselves across it. I also knew there was a chance cells would become too cluttered along the front as it progressed, so it was either sit on the Barunga Range and follow it east to the Clare Valley (therefore risking only seeing a linear line), where it would overtake me due to road networks, OR to drive to the coast to see the cells as close to initiation as possible, and have no road options to persue them with, however with what I believed to be a greater chance of seeing the storms in discrete modes. I chose the latter and drove over to Port Broughton. It’s hard to say whether this was the right choice, as it would turn out that storm cells would remain relatively discrete throughout the afternoon and would produce a significant tornado at my home town which I would have seen with the first option. However, instead I did get to see a very powerful supercell anchored on the cold front put down many funnels, and one short lived tornado, as well as a tornado at Crystal Brook on a weaker, but still significant supercell to this ones north. Unfortunately with storm chasing, decisions like this often need to be made, you simply can’t be everywhere at once!

The BoM weren't messing around with their warnings. I've never seen destructive gusts forecast to 140km. They understood the severity of that was about to unfold.

The BoM weren’t messing around with their warnings. I’ve never seen destructive gusts forecast to 140km. They understood the severity of that was about to unfold.

I get to Port Broughton as the absolutely enormous anvils of the developing supercells to the west moved over. It was at this point I could tell for sure the cells had anchored onto the cold front…success!! This was key for increasing helicity in the storms vicinity and increasing updraft strength with the forced lift.

Here she comes, an impressive mammatus display forms under the anvil of a developing tornadic supercell.

Here she comes, an impressive mammatus display forms under the anvil of a developing tornadic supercell.

I linger, very carefully watching radar to make the critical decision of where to go. On days like today, core-punching a storm can mean severe hail damage to your car, or being trapped by falling trees or flooding. You also need to be acutely aware of cells forming ahead of the line, right movers especially as these can rapidly develop and create potentially damaging storms, just ask the people at Cleve whom had just had a right mover drop large hail as the above image was taken.

A left mover had anchored on the line, and it become obvious that this was the cell to watch. I determined the downdraft region was going to t-bone Port Broughton, so to see the inflow region and flanking line I would need to head north, so I did. My decision was made, I would have to abandon this storm as it went past as there were no roads to track with it short of corepunching through this dangerous storm.

The first severe cells to develop on the cold front.

The first severe cells to develop on the cold front. The cell near Kimba would become a cyclic tornadic supercell dropping multiple tornadoes. The cell near Cleve turned hard right dropping large hail.

Satellite showing the developing supercell in relation to the deepening low to the west. I have circled it in red. Notice the broad area of convective rain off to the east that had developed earlier that morning.

Satellite showing the developing supercell in relation to the deepening low to the west. I have circled it in red. Notice the broad area of convective rain off to the east that had developed earlier that morning.

It didn't take long to see that we had a very significant storm on our hands.

It didn’t take long to see that we had a very significant storm on our hands. It forms a kink in the line, ensuring its inflow was now clear of competition.

I park in a very clear area with great views all around and sit for over half an hour now, watching the spectacle unfold. Slowly but surely the flanking line and wall cloud of this supercell came into view.

First views through the haze.

First views through the haze.

Spin, spin and spin some more. Countless funnels try their luck as it comes into view.

Spin, spin and spin some more. Countless funnels try their luck as it comes into view.

A phone grab, a very low wall cloud is apparent on the line now.

A phone grab, a very low wall cloud is apparent on the line now.

And then sure enough, a tornado rapidly forms, drops to the ground and dissipates in a rather short amount of time…success! My first ever mesocyclonic tornado.

Down she comes! A beautiful tornado under a large wall cloud.

Down she comes! A beautiful tornado under a large wall cloud.

Weatherzone radar and doppler, 2 minutes after the tornado occurrence.

Weatherzone radar and doppler, 2 minutes after the tornado occurrence.

Red shows a huge supercell forming, whilst the orange shows innitiation of further cells north along the line, which would also produce some significant tornadoes.

Red shows a huge supercell forming, whilst the orange shows initiation of further cells north along the line, which would also produce some significant tornadoes.

The cell moves forward, and continues its relentless efforts to put down tornadoes. It was a strange feeling, having wind nearly at my back that was not only strong, but moist as well. Something rarely seen ahead of storms in Australia, the crucial lower level jet which greatly increases tornado chances.

Another well formed funnel comes down!

Another well formed funnel comes down! The last ditch effort for this meso.

The storm gets closer, and what I believe to be an updraft replacement cycle occurs. The storm also starts to look mean…very very mean. An eerie green glow emerges the closer it comes, and as I start to see storms EXPLODING to the north of this one, I begin to get nervous, I have a dangerous supercell to my south ready to put down a tornado any minute, and rapidly developing cells sandwiching me in to the north.

BoM radar, at the same time as the image below.

BoM radar at the time of the image above.

Two mesocyclones here, the lowering on the left where the first tornado dropped is now occluding, the lowering to its right, further to the east is taking over as the main.

Two mesocyclones here, the lowering on the left where the first tornado dropped is now occluding, the lowering to its right, further to the east is taking over as the main meso.

Angry Cg's start dropping as the new meso really starts to wind up, and the rainfall intensity increases.

Angry Cg’s start dropping as the new meso really starts to wind up, and the rainfall intensity increases.

Here, we can start to see two distinct inflow regions forming. To the very left, behind the hail curtain is a dissipating wall cloud, responsible for the first tornado observed, while a new and stronger mesocyclone forms just to NE, as the RFD begins to cut in and a funnel forms.

To the very left, behind the hail curtain is an occluding wall cloud, responsible for the first tornado observed, while a new and stronger mesocyclone forms just to NE, as the RFD begins to cut in and a broad funnel forms, chucking down numerous fingers.

The separation becomes even more defined and visible motion in this funnel is observed.

The separation becomes even more defined and visible motion in this new area is observed.

I accept the fact that at least one of the right movers heading in from the north will hit me, so I wait for it to pass to the south, which would allow me to see this mesocyclone up close and personally!

The big cells I'm under have now cast a huge anvil across the land, and the cells that I'm worried about coming down from the NNE and forming rapidly. You can see how I was being sandwiched.

The big cells I’m under have now cast a huge anvil across the land, and the cells that I’m worried about coming down from the NNE and forming rapidly. You can see how I was being sandwiched.

Oh what a moment. The green glows strongly, the winds start whistling from behind me, and the meanest storm of my life rages just to my south.

Oh what a moment. The green glows strongly, the winds start whistling from behind me, and the meanest storm of my life rages just to my south. Playing a mighty fine line, I can see rain/hail curtains only a few km to my west. You can see the curve here quite strongly.

And radar.

Radar showing a nasty core.

Radar showing a nasty core.

I take this image and then floor it to the north to get to my NW road option and out of danger. I take no pictures until I reach the highway, but have to corepunch in front of a fairly benign looking cell coming down from the north, which blows at least 100km winds sideways across the road, with the odd bit of small hail and spray everywhere. The trees are swaying over the road but I just manage to get out to its east before the worst of the core crosses the road…success! I have avoided damaging my car in any way.

The strength of the inflowing winds is obvious here, the tall grass is bent right over, thrashing around as the line of severe storms moves through.

The strength of the inflowing winds is obvious here, the tall grass is bent right over, angled 70 degrees to the storm, thrashing around as the line of severe storms moves through.

Taking in the now two, left moving supercells. The one to the far next was now 10-20 minutes away from putting down a tornado at Blyth, the right side put a tornado down in Crystal Brook. Notice the inflow tail.

Taking in the now two, left moving supercells. The one to the far next was now less than 20 minutes away from putting down a tornado at Blyth, the right side put a tornado down in Crystal Brook. Notice the inflow tail.

An enormous strongly rotating as indicated by radar, wall cloud, <20 minutes before it produced the Blyth tornado and hail to tennis ball size.

An enormous strongly rotating as indicated by radar, wall cloud, less than twenty minutes before producing the Blyth tornado, and hail as large, if not larger than tennis balls. A violent storm, more typical of the united states.

The radar I believe shortly before both the Blyth and Crystal Brook tornadoes occurred.

The radar I believe shortly before both the Blyth and Crystal Brook tornadoes occurred.

The now huge line of cells is very obvious from space!

The now huge line of cells is very obvious from space!

I take a moment on the highway to see if there is anyway to get back in front of the southern cell. I rapidly conclude there isn’t, i’ll be driving directly under a rotating wall cloud region and then core punching the worst to do so…bugga! The cells to my west and north are rapidly developing and closing in quickly, nothing for it but to head to Crystal Brook to seek shelter, I simply can’t outrun this.

A huge wall of near ground scraping wall cloud advances from the west, there is no escape now. I head into Crystal Brook to find shelter for my car from the storm...little did I know.

A huge wall of near ground scraping wall cloud advances from the west, there is no escape now. I head into Crystal Brook to find shelter for my car from the storm…little did I know.

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Another enormous tornadic wall cloud was bearing down on me. This produced a weak multivortex tornado through Crystal Brook shortly after.

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See the inflow ripping in from the north on the right side. Very fast motions, very dynamic storms, VERY low wall cloud. My last view of the cell.

I snap this last shot of the line and drive into Crystal Brook. I turn the corner and see a large piece of roof flying hundreds of metres in the air…oh crap I’ve made a mistake. I see more bits of tin roofing being wrapped around in the air, low cloud rotating above and the trees being shredded down the road. I slam the car into reverse and this fast moving and nearly invisible multivortex tornado moves diagonally towards me at fast speeds, probably around 50km/h as a rough estimate. Rapid motions are observed at ground level and i whip the car around, turn left and watch the tornado pass to my east by a couple hundred metres as I sit in the ‘bears cage’ region of the storm. The trees in front of me get a clipping from this tornado and are violently thrown around. It passed and I drive a short distance down the road to find a front yard full of trees, powerlines down and the owner visually distressed, whom I don’t think had any idea what was coming, it came through very quickly.

I manage to snap only one shot on my phone (thought It was videoing, stupid thing). I think the most disturbing thing about this image, is you can see next to nothing. This tornado was nearly invisible.

I manage to snap only one shot on my phone (thought It was videoing, stupid thing). I think the most disturbing thing about this image, is you can see next to nothing. This tornado was nearly invisible. The low cloud above was spinning rapidly, probably some 200m off the ground.

Cloned out a couple of raindrops here and up the contrast. What is it I captured? You can see the vague outline of a multivortex tornado. The black objects in the air are pieces of roofing being lifted a long way up. More interestingly however we can see a tube like blur just left of centre...given the fast shutter speed it can't have been debris forming. Hence my conclusion, a small vortex spinning just above the ground. These vortex's are the reason why tornados can do severe damage in tiny areas, while leaving nearby objects untouched.

Cloned out a couple of raindrops here and up the contrast. What is it I captured? You can see the vague outline of a multivortex tornado. The black objects in the air are pieces of roofing being lifted a long way up. More interestingly however we can see a tube like blur just left of centre…given the fast shutter speed it can’t have been debris blurring. Hence my conclusion, a small vortex spinning just above the ground. These vortex’s are the reason why tornadoes can do severe damage in tiny areas, while leaving nearby objects untouched.

A quick pic again from the phone camera before I check to see if everyone there is okay. These trees were shredded in front of me like a hedge trimmer was going through.

A quick pic again from the phone camera before I check to see if everyone there is okay. These trees were shredded in front of me like a hedge trimmer was going through.

Then comes the rainfall a couple of minutes afterwards. I carry on to find the source of the airborne debris. 90-100km winds and some very heavy wind come through.

I go a bit more up the road and see the very real damage from the near invisible tornado. The damage path was sporadic, this thing was briefly touching down and bouncing through the town. I talk to a local who saw the worst of it happen and he mentions a thin wall of black…given the wetness and the fact it was across an oval…we have had a condensation funnel touch down, gain momentum and slam through the netball courts. This guys property had faired okay, but a large piece of wood and bounced straight through his fence knocking it down, and there was a hole in his shed roof from debris.

I head in for a closer look, now it is all good and well to see pictures of tornado damage, but seeing it first hand is something else. This was only a weak tornado, but it became quickly apparent that had anyone been outside in this, they would have been killed.

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The roof was torn off this shelter…and thrown backwards to the rest of the debris, gently enough that it held its shape.

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Some gauging of the surface of the oval. A closer look showed wood had been speared into the ground, along under the grass and became wedged into the ground, hows that for power. There were many examples of this on the oval.

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This building on the right was a write off. Quite bad damage.

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A bit of force to push this skip over!

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Check out the tin wrapped around the chair, and the wood driven through the tin on that shed. Deadly stuff.

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Some of this tin had originated from the Crystal Brook football club roof on the other side of the oval.

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Carnage through such a narrow strip.

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The only apparent damage on this side of the oval was this tower blown over, and the roof off the back of this building had been lifted off. Yet shade cloths 40m away were fine. It’s like a funnel clipped the top of this building, but didn’t drop any lower until it reached the oval.

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Was hard at times to explain where all this tin came from.

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The tornado must have lifted just after this bit, only a few tree branches down until about 300m down the road where a whole heaps of branches and powerlines had come down.

These weren’t the only severe storms of the day, oh no. I believe the biggest tornado of the day belongs to north of Melrose, where some very wide and severe damage was recorded. River reds de-branched and stripped, and some severe property damage. If anyone reading this knows of any pictures of this tornado I’d love to see them!

So far based on pictures I have seen, I think we can confirm 5 tornadoes, and possibly 7 or 8 damage paths possibly so far. This truly was an exceptional storm outbreak, thanks to a very powerful weather system. Something very rarely seen in South Australia. All types of severe weather would result from this low. A day I will never forget, and some things I might never see again.

Posted in Landscape Photography, Storm Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The wet, wet year continues

For anyone who lives in South Australia, needless to say it has been a wet ol’ winter, gravely needed after some serious bushfires during the long dry summer. High soil moisture levels from high early winter rainfall, combined with frequent low to moderate rain events recently has the whole region of the Clare Valley, and indeed the whole mid north, vibrantly green and lush, as good as I can ever remember it. The dry, dead landscape of Summer is a long lost memory at the moment. These following images portray a landscape seldom seen in South Australia where rivers look like actual rivers, and green can be seen as far as the eye can see.

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This is South Australia right? Lower Skillogallee Creek, south-west of Auburn.

Vibrant greens as the late arvo sun lights up low cloud drifting through in association with a shower.

Vibrant greens as the late arvo sun lights up low cloud drifting through in association with a shower.

Healthy crops and an awesome skyscape, visual bliss on the drive to work.

Healthy crops and an awesome skyscape, visual bliss on the drive to work.

Kangaroos enjoying a very dewy morning.

Kangaroos enjoying a very dewy morning.

The Light River near Kapunda running wide, fast and turbulent.

The Light River near Kapunda running wide, fast and turbulent.

The Light River further upstream, swollen and over its banks in places.

The Light River further upstream, swollen and over its banks in places.

Flooded fields courtesy of the Light River.

Flooded fields courtesy of the Light River.

Even small creeks were making their presence felt.

Even small creeks were making their presence felt.

The Gilbert River at Tarlee, also flowing well.

The Gilbert River at Tarlee, also flowing well.

Wind turbines spin on the Barunga Ranges, through orographic cloud after heavy thunderstorms moved through.

Wind turbines spin on the Barunga Ranges, through orographic cloud after heavy thunderstorms moved through.

The Hutt River, nears its confluence with the Broughton, running high after rainfall in the Clare Valley the nigh before.

The Hutt River, nears its confluence with the Broughton, running high after rainfall in the Clare Valley the night before.

The confluence of the Hutt and the Broughton was an awesome sight.

Here’s hoping it continues.

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