Today I witnessed the biggest hail storm in my life. It came in from the north, moving at right angles to the prevailing west to east movement of weather as shown on the BOM radar. The cell was black on the radar, meaning it was VERY intense. First weather warnings said it will pass to north, but as the storm continued right at last minute the issued a warning for Newcastle itself.
I was watching, fascinated by the cloud formations http://www.users.on.net/~josiah/hail...6/IMG_9644.jpg
I could also see swirling going on in a bank of low cloud under the storm, and coming this way. I could also hear a roar, like falling heavy rain that hasnít yet arrived, but louder. Yet the roar continued to rise in volume, but not a drop of rain fell. The roar seemed to be coming from west through to north, getting even louder, starting to become frightening, ive never heard anything like it. I didnít know if there was a tornado, hidden in the rain band or what. Then a sudden VERY cold gust of wind from the north replaced the warm moist easterly that had been blowing earlier. It is the coldest most sudden outdoor temperature drop Ive ever felt in my life. The roar still goit louder, till one had to almost shout to people nearby to be heard. Then a single chunk of ice fell about 50 metres to the north, breaking up into fragments when it hit the ground. I ran for cover, now knowing the roar was giant hail crashing down. A few seconds later down it came http://www.users.on.net/~josiah/hail...6/IMG_9652.jpg
Not a drop of rain, just pure large hail. Each one making a loud bang when it hit the roof. Not a ot of wind thankfully so it fell near vertically, just a slight angle from the north. Mums car copped a few dings despite a palm tree over it (may have been worse without it). I could see trees being ripped, branches and leaves falling down from the hail. http://www.users.on.net/~josiah/hail...6/IMG_9653.jpg
It didnít seem to last too long, after a few mins it eased off, replaced by heavy rain. Then some pea sized hail, more rain then blue sky, sun and the storm moved off to the SE, temp rapidly rose again. Local shopping centre Wallsend Plaza was flooded due to water coming through roof, and was closed for the day. Hail was shown on the NBN News falling at the beaches, so all of Newcastle got hail, however worst seemed to be near Newcastle Uni. A mate not far from there rang to see how I was, as his mum was just missed in her kitchen by a baseball sized hailstone that crashed through their skylight!
Yep I got caught right in it, the car is full of dings, lucky it didn't break the windscreen (like it did on a car just in front of me), I tried to park under a tree to reduce the severity. When I got home I found my rain guage, kids swingset, and pipe stormwater that was plastic destroyed. it broke 4 outdoor lights, and cracked a few roof tiles. the steel colourbond roof is full of dints too on the extension on the house, as too the shed up the back. it was bad, but not the worst I have been in. The downdraft that this storm exhibited was amazing, the leading edge was a turbulent mass that seemed to recycle itself very quickly, the temperature dropped more than 12 degrees (car has a thermometer) went from 29 to 17 then back up. have to get those fixed today
Wow it looks like a pretty amazing storm you guys had up, the weather maps showed a large concentrated cell. By the size of the stones it sounds like it could have done a lot more damage than it did, although I haven't heard much on the news done my way.
Glad everyone is all right though.
Yes, the sound of the falling hail still far off was awe inspiring, a dull roar coming from the west through to the north, like a big tsunami getting louder and louder. I see today mums car has a few largish dints in the roof, ive not been up on the house roof yet to check, our plastic "skydome" skylight seems to have withstood the hail, but skylights at Wallsend Plaza shopping centre didnt, when they broke thats how water got in. News today says Wallsend, Shortland and Mereweather worst hit. When hail first came no rain fell, only hail.
Wow great story scott, in a strange sort of way it makes me jealous of you, in another sense I am glad I wasnt there, strange feelings. You should send your photos to the Bureau of Meteorology, they always collect as much info as they can for reports and damage assesments.
Hi Scott..I'm glad no-one was hurt!!..we had one in Melbourne a few years back..tore up the plastic roofing, guttering and gardens like tissue paper...made a Moonscape out of any car out in the open...nasty stuff!!..as a precaution..I fitted shadecloth prior to re-roofing to catch the sharp bits..just in case!!
Take care mate.
Wow! very lucky Scott. I'm glad the damage wasn't worse and that no one was hurt. I've been through a few hailstorms but nothing with hail quite that big The loudest one I can remember was at work one afternoon. You try teaching in a colourbond shed Everyone had to put their hearing protection on/in
BTW in your second pic there is a strange sausage looking plant to the right of the driveway, is that a cacti of some sort (the horticulturalist in me )
Meh, i seen bigger hailstorm before, was back on 18th December 1998 in Ballina here. We got hailstones bigger than grapefruit and size of apple and mandrin. It was scary as hell, even twice or triple scariness of that Newy storm.
living in brisbane in the early 80s .. we had one that came through
that dropped similar sized stones through the southern suburbs
bulimba ,morningside ,valley .. but lasted for 20 minutes .. every house
that had a window faceing SW had them all broken .. the ice down the road from home hit one of those big steel electricity towers and sort of deflected down at its base .. The ice was in huge piles all around it 5 feet deep and didn't melt for 3 days ( 35 + temps ).. never seen anything like it and don't want to either !!
Yes its a storm I wont forget anytime soon.
Paul. Yes thats a 20+ year old cactus. In fact I got it as a tiny 10 inch high potted specimen when I was still going to school, and thought that Id plant it in the garden, its now grown into the massive plant you now see. It often comes out in beautiful red flowers too, it loves the position there, always growing well. Anyone who wants is welcome to a cutting (though good luck in obtaining one without getting spiked lol)