What an exciting afternoon it turned out to be! It came over all dark and stormy and then windy and it poured rain, totally heaved down. I was thinking we just had a nice bit of rain from a thunderstorm, a very needed bit of rain cos it is a couple of weeks since we had any and the garden is really starting to suffer. I had been watching the weather radar and then decided to look at the weather warnings. After all, it isn't often that we see the radar image displaying black (actually dark brown) spots, the most intense precipitation possible on its scale.
When you go to the BoM site and find a warning like this:
you think things might be exciting! (If you are me, you also think that maybe they need a better picture editing program?) Not just one but two supercells approaching!
So I trawl the web to find all sorts of mayhem has broken out across the city! Trams up to the top of their steps in water (I note we aren't seeing pics of the newer, very low loading trams). Lots of hail - some pics I've seen online show golf ball size hail and larger, really weird shaped spiky looking hail balls that clearly have bounced around a lot in the storm, getting larger and larger and weirder shaped. Some friends' yard turned white with hail. They were lucky - some places got so much hail that roofs collapsed under the weight (eg at our main country train station) and in various shops. But we missed out on all bar about 10 spots of hail, thank heavens!
This image from the BoM shows how big some of the thunderstorms were (but doesn't show the one that caused the mayhem in the city). My state, Victoria, runs out about two thirds of the way up the image at Echuca. It is about 250km wide at that point. The large circle in the image covers a radius of 512km from its origin near Melbourne. (You can also see Tassie in the lower part of the image, where 2paw lives. *wave*) I live near the little dot of Moorabbin, near the centre of the circles. Anyway, that is roughly 400km (say 250 miles) of thunderstorm band. Holy guacamole!
But we haven't drowned yet. Some Melburnians are counting the cost cos the storms blew in on a holiday weekend and they were out and about enjoying a festival (Moomba!). Getting caught in hail is not fun! BiL has a very sore toe from where golfball sized hail smacked into it and MiL's car, like many caught in the storm, has quite some hail damage. (Which made me worry about Manto's lovely shiny new little Bazza but I guess he gets to go in the carport!)
I just sat at home and watched online for youtube vids and flickr shots A few of those showed up within a couple of hours. And I played with my material that is now all cut up and ready to turn into half square triangles.
Thank you weather gods for smiling on us today, even if you caused others grief.
And can I just say I heart the BoM for providing us with such good info, so easily found and up to date? Weather stuff in the US was usually easiest found through sites like weatherunderground.com but here? Government operated with ready access to data. Also Melbourne Water for providing us with access to river and creek and rainfall data across greater Melbourne, along with info about the water storage in our dams. It used to drive me crazy that I couldn't find out how much water was in the dams and aquifers in California, presumably because much of it is privately operated. But here in Oz? I can find out all sorts of stuff :-)