Here is the final report on the
November 10 storm 1997 that occurred here.
Chase - 11/10/1997
The Bureau of Meteorology were
forcasting storm for today due to a front that was due to pass through the day
before....but was running late. Mid morning was quiet with a little instability
as well as being very humid (80%). Mid afternoon, the weather picked up with
possible supercells sighted off to the Northwest of Murtoa. (Where I live).The
temperature was sitting on 28 degrees and the wind was a gentle breeze with
winds picking up and then dying off just as quick.
Around 4:30pm, a cell moved into
my neighbourhood with CG bolts dropping to the North, West and South-West of my
position. At approximately 5:10pm, a nice rotating wall cloud developed about
500-1,000ft off the ground and had visible rotation in it. It was about this
time that I noticed beyond the wall cloud that a funnel had developed about 10
miles to my west and contacted the Bureau with this
I ran inside and
got my car keys and started heading east along highway 130 towarsd Rupanyup.
After seeing a few more funnel clouds (none of them touched down but provided a
good view) I continued east towards Marnoo. The first wall cloud had completely
dissipated by now and after a while in Marnoo and surrounding area I thought
that the show was over and were preparing to head back
On the way though
when I were about 5 miles outside of Rupanyup facing west, I sighted a second
wall cloud approaching me. This wall cloud was strong in build and stretched a
distance of approximately 6 miles from north to the south. I parked the car on
the shoulder of the road and started taking photos of the approaching wall
cloud. The wall cloud had well defined rotation and was moving to the east at
about 40-60 kilometers an hour (24-37 miles per hour). The updraft was quite
strong with scud rising fron about 200ft upwards at considerable
After the wall
cloud had passed over me, I experienced considerable heavy rain for about 15
minutesfilling the drainage systems quick and causing minor flooding on the side
of the road. I returned home around 7:30pm and watched the lightning which was
still quite frequent to the east. (The most frequent lightning during the chase
was from both wall clouds). All up, the chase was about 90 kilometers (55 miles)
in distance and I considered it to be my best chase yet.
A few days
afterwards, I investigated the possible tornado, although no track was found.
Local farmer Jim Molyneaux said he beleived the storm did drop a tornado. When I
asked about this, he said: "It was like a twister. The wind was blowing
from the north-west and then suddenly it was coming from the south-east".
When he looked outside he seen trees and boughs flying past but sighted no
Mr Molyneaux also
told me that 15 millimeters of rain fell in 20 minutes with marble-sized hail
accompanying it. He said that it had blown a field bin into the air, smashing it
against another ripping the side of the bin off as well as field bin lids 'all
over the place'. I beleive that a weak tornado was present due to the damage of
the field bins and Mr. Molyneaux's discription of what happened but without
visible evidence there is no confirmation of this.
Farmers in a wide
area were counting the cost of hail damage to buildings and crops. The latest
reports put claims in the 10's of millions dollar mark.
Bill and Marie
McGennisken of Longrenong, east of Horsham, were counting their blessings after
getting warnings of the
approching storm on their UHF radio and were able to
prepare for the storm, but still suffered damge from it. Mr
hil big enough to hole an old rain water tank at the house, had accompanied
about 20 millimeters of rain in 20 minutes. He also said that the storm had
damaged his own crops, trees were blown over and sent a grain field bin smashing
Grame Gulline, also
of Longrenong, said that all of his crops were hail damaged and that most of
them were a write-off. He told me a 'strange' sky with brown clouds preceded a
breif dust storm from the west followed by hail and heavy rains.. He said that
strong winds bounced hail balls the size of marbles 20 meters along the ground
before they came to a stop. Mr. Gulline then showed me one of his canola crops
that had been damaged by the hail. The canola stalks were uniformly bent towards
*Lashed farms nort
of Horsham with wind, rain and marble sized hail which swept in with a roar from
trees and branches falling over the countryside with debris blocking the
Melbourne-Adelaide railway line at Dooen
*Flattened crops in
communication tower at the house of the Dimboola district controller of the
State Emergancy Service, Russel Mitten.
around the the district with lightning strikes in the Little Desert National
Park and the Grampians National park.
Paul Yole -
Stormchaser and Weather photographer
18 Hamilton Street
NOTE: NEW WEB SITE