HUNTER STORM CHASE
From: Hunter, Written by: Grant Burgess
Accompanied by Tim Grugeon
The days leading up to this event looked promising with all the right ingredients being in place. We had planned to base ourselves in the Muswellbrook area & see what happened from there as the trough line was still quite a way to the W.
Chased the Hunter area E of Muswellbrook. Set out around 1320 heading for
Muswellbrook. Stopped briefly in the Singleton area around 1500 to survey the
situation - small cell to our S, looked pretty clear further W & early
crisp updrafts were going up toward the Barrington Tops (BTs) (we thought the
Gresford area) so this is where we headed.
Drove parallel to the convection for about an hour (ie Singleton - Gresford - Dungog). Turned out the cells would have been a further 50km or so up the road to our N. The E’ern edge of the line appeared to have collapsed rapidly with fresh development to their NW. Decided around 1630 to head back W to Singleton on radar advice & the fact the BT stuff was not in a chaser-friendly location.
Went back through Singleton around 1730 with first lightning visible to the W. Cells looked pretty weak & unimpressive at this point, CG activity seemed to increase a little though. Looking back at the BT stuff on our drive back (to Singleton) it appears two cells may have collided & just exploded! This cell showed some nice structure & punched straight through the thick anvil of the seemingly large storm to our W.
Was back in Singleton just after 1800 with some reasonable stuff off to the N. Heavy precipitation & gust front in the distance looked to be almost touching the hill-tops.
Headed home from here with some nice CG's all around. Only received light to briefly moderate rainfalls throughout our journey of around 390km.
A special thanks must go out to Pete Rothwell & my mum for supplying us with some detailed radar info!
Had a good day out even though it was a little
frustrating at times & I just didn’t feel we were in the right position at
any point of our chase. As it also turns out