Close Calls In Southeast Australia as Violent Storm Cells Tear Through Region

  • Feb 09, 2016

Multiple strong storm cells rolled through the southeast coast of Australia bringing dangerous lightning strikes and even cyclonic winds in some areas on 30 January 2016. These severe weather conditions created dangerous close calls for people in Oyster Bay and Forbes Creek.

Oyster Bay

The above video shows the storm moving southeast and out to the Pacific Ocean. Earth Networks Total Lightning Network detected large amounts of both in-cloud (purple) and cloud-to-ground (yellow) lightning. This high frequency of lightning warranted multiple Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts in the area throughout the day. The DTA’s appear in the video above as a purple alert area polygon.

As the storm moved over the Oyster Bay area during the evening hours, two men had a close call with a cloud-to-ground lighting flash on the water. These two men were lucky as a bolt of lightning missed them by just a few feet.

Forbes Creek

Southwest from Oyster Bay in the town of Forbes Creek, residents had more to worry about than just cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. The barrage of lightning moving south over Forbes Creek was an ongoing event all day, however it indicated severe weather conditions to come as night fell.  High frequencies of in-cloud lightning are often a precursor to other dangerous weather conditions like hail, high winds, and microbursts.

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Photo: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ses-crews-clean-up-storm-damage-20160131-gmhw29.html

A particularly violent isolated storm cell that made its way throughout the town of Forbes Creek featured winds so strong they ripped the roofs off of homes, lifted cars, and sent debris flying through the windows and rooftops of many residents.

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During the height of the storm cell, numerous lightning strikes can be seen covering the area. This storm could have been deadly, but luckily it was only a close call for the residents of Forbes Creek, even if it did hit their homes.