2009 TopEndDownUnder (Darwin, NT, Australia) Stormchase

Stormchase 25th November, 2009: Trucks, Bulldust & Tropical Showers
There are so many things to see up here at the Top of Australia, ships, trucks,trains,coloured coastal rocks and planes, not to mention the real reason we are here and that's to see a few build-up storms, today though we see just a few tropical showers...never mind, they looked good especially when one drops 20mm in ten minutes, floods a couple of paddocks then disappears.

Back to trucks ......venture out onto Gunn Point road and watch the huge 'bull dust' trails go flying as one of the 4 wagon road trains hurtle past....It's blindness all around for several minutes as the red dust cloud dissipates (Bull Dust). After that we venture out onto the 'wet-lands' (still dry) at Fogg Dam and wait for the tropical showers to get started in the afternoon....the airmass is still rather dry from a brief southeast-trade surge the day before, by 4pm a couple get going with their small but spectacular rain-shafts and we play around between them...only for weather nutters, eventually they die out and we head back to Darwin for another soppy sunset.....

Report: Clyve Herbert

Photography: Jane ONeill / Clyve Herbert

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Pilot boat chasing a departing ship - Darwin Harbour

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Weird coloured rock and distant cumulonimbus - Beagle Gulf

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One of the many magnificent small inlets, Nightcliff

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Tree roots in mid air, Nightcliff

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4 wagon road train & bulldust, Gunn Point Road

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Nightcliff jetty

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Tropical showers get going, Fogg Dam

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These small isolated tropical showers were real gushers

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The showers barely lasted more than 15 minutes then virtually disappeared

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Tropical shower sequence Fogg Dam

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Although their tops reach barely 25,000', they produce spectacular rainshafts and rain out in minutes

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Tropical shower raining out

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Towards evening a larger convective complex gets going near Windows on the Wetlands complete with small flanking line

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They produce stupendous updrafts...then a deluge

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The updraft separates from the rainshaft

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This tropical shower produced a surprisingly strong microburst

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Waiting for the next shower

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Ooooh, look!! a rainbow!

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5 minute flash flood

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...another Darwin sunset

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