Thursday, December 06, 2007

Stormy weather

I experienced a dramatic first a couple of days ago; it was early evening with a really odd yellow cast to the light and constant rattling thunder above. A storm was forming directly overhead. There was blue sky around the horizon and heavy cloud boiling overhead.

Storm chasers are busy in Australia at the moment (Australian Storm Chasing) and I would have had to chase to watch this one play out; as it collapsed and spread we were just left with a few spits of rain and a memory of the event. Surrounding areas felt the full force of the storm.

It is storm season here, but we have also been in drought for over a decade. Scientists are saying the Southern Oscillation – El Nino – has switched. Apparently this has something to do with surface water temperatures In the Pacific and drives weather cycles across Australia and the Americas.

It is believed that El Nino may have contributed to the 1993 Mississippi and 1995 California floods, drought conditions in South America, Africa and Australia. Scientists are still trying to work out these fascinating mechanisms. El NiƱo Theme Page

It was fascinating standing under a forming storm cell, even if it was a relatively small one. In Sydney and outback Queensland I’ve watched supercell storms form at a distance then felt their power as the storm collapses and spreads. I’m no storm chaser, but it is a delight to be in the right place sometimes.

1 comment:

D.K. Raed said...

I've found myself in some all-out bad storms up in the mtns which were very scary. Down in san diego, we regularly got some good ones, lightning directly overhead & all around. Electricity has a distinct smell & oh, when your hair starts standing up on end, you are in it for sure. Ever since our forays into world destruction, all I can think is, this must be what it's like to be on the receiving end of Shock'n'Awe!

You know, I never thought about it before, but all those El Ninos (and their evil twin sisters La Ninas) we experienced in CA must've been the opposite for Aust? Think we are in for another Nino or Nina this year?