Trentham Stormchasers

TopEndDownUnder 2011

Report: Clyve Herbert

Photography: Jane ONeill / Clyve Herbert

26 November 2011

Tropical storms across the Top End deserve their title of Monsters, the Aboriginals called then Knock-em-down storms, this reference to "Knock-em-down" is most likely derived from the energetic downbursts of cool air that fan out on the ground for miles ahead of some strong storms with wind gusts to 100kph+. When larger storms develop they have an immense size they dwarf smaller storms in the near environs and often they suck in most of the energy within 100 kilometres. The evolution of such storms leads to the development of long squall lines that generate more storms, this self perpetuating characteristics can drive squall lines across the Top End for hours. A feature of these huge squall lines is not just strong winds but severe lightning that often bolt away from the storm into clear air sometimes for more than 20 kilometres, these are known as positive strokes and often eminate from the very top of the storm near 50 or 60.000 feet !. Today we headed for Fogg Dam a favourite location for storm chasers around Darwin, there a good vista and its flat its here today we watch the evolution of a squall line over 4 hours together with other chasers from Darwin...What a great day out it was...

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Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode...

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