Supercell With Giant Hail — Dural, Sydney on 18th February 2017

I thought important to document an event of this calibre in Sydney, Australia as they don’t happen often. This summer has been predominately hot and dry with no storms. We have had over 12 days above 40 degrees Celsius with good amounts of humidity on most occasions, but very hot air aloft has provided no sustain storm conditions. Until now. It struck in a big way.

Sounding

The sounding above suggests a healthy cap, good wind shear and a fantastic moisture profile in Sydney.

The Days Context

During the day I was getting a few things done with the family, enjoying some time with my little man. Eventually, about 2.30pm we returned home to North Rocks. The western sky looked flat bar a few bits of convection to the south. To be honest, my hopes weren’t high. However during our drive home from the shops, it exploded in an incredible way. At 3pm, the cap had finally broken.

The storms made their way off the mountain very quickly and I raced north to Dural. I knew a good vantage point and conditions looked primed for the cell approaching from the west to develop on the northern flank. It did, and in STYLE.

My Position

I positioned myself further north than I anticipated as a visual quickly indicated that the storm was moving more E than ESE at the time. I met the storm and hail at the below location, nestled under a tree for some cover;

Video of Supercell

Radar Image At The Time

Pictures of Hail

A fantastic and short chase was had. Easily my best short chase ever. Unfortunately I was unable to capture any reasonable structure photos of the storm itself before it arrived. It had to be the day I was stuck behind 2 learner drivers in succession. What happened thereafter was unforgettable.

Cheerio for now.