Bendigo Storms

30th December 2003

Clyve Herbert



On 30/12/2003, a band of mid levels storms unexpectedly developed west and northwest of Bendigo producing fierce downbursts and local flashflooding. Damage was sustained over the greater Bendigo area, thus bringing to an end a very weather active year for Bendigo. These unexpected storms developed along a narrow trough moving through the region which interacted with a tongue of mid level moisture spreading southeast from South Australia.

The storm development is a good example of activity when elevated moisture is advected into a previously very dry environment and mixes with daytime maximums near 40C and the timely passage of the additional forcing structure of a trough... Extensive and energetic downbursts were common with these storms as rain falling from elevated storm cells evaporated in very dry air below 7000feet. As the storm band moved eastward, an opportunity to photograph receding multi cells in the setting sun allowed that rare occasion to see the rich detail of these storms.


Image of Bridgwater on Loddon, northwest of Bendigo showing mid level vorticity on the rear of a cell.



Series of 4 images above Clyve Herbert




4pm MSL - 30/12/2003

4pm 30/12/2003 MSL

8pm 30/12/2003 JCU IR image



Amplification of cloud line associated with thunderstorm development over north central and northwest Victoria on 30/12/2003

Click this image to get the SE Australia IR animation

IR loop SE Australia (click for loop)


Click this image to get the radar loop 256k Melbourne

Radar loop - Melbourne 256k 30/12/2003 (click for loop)

...from the cover of the Bendigo Advertiser - for article see link below

Bendigo Advertiser 31/12/2003


Other information

Taken from Melbourne looking towards Bendigo, image courtesy of David Simpson

Bendigo Advertiser article - printed 31/12/2003

Bendigo Surface Oberservations (30/12/2003)

850hPa 10pm 30/12/2003 analysis chart - Australia

300hPa 10pm 30/12/2003 analysis chart - Australia

Images Clyve Herbert. Additional image courtesy David Simpson. Information courtesy of Robert Goler (Uni Munich), Bendigo Advertiser, Bureau of Meteorology, ASWA, Weatherzone, James Cook University, Robin Land.

Updated 10th January 2004

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