Ex­pert re­veals su­per­cell cause

The Gympie Times - - NEWS - PHILIPPE COQUERAND Philippe.Coquerand@gympi­etimes.com

A METEREOLOGIST has ex­plained the rea­son be­hind the su­per­cell that tore through South­east Queens­land on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Weather­watch ex­pert An­thony Cor­nelius said mul­ti­ple su­per­cells tracked across the Dar­ling Downs and Wide Bay Bur­nett district pro­duc­ing de­struc­tive winds, ten­nis-ball­sized hail and even tor­na­does.

“Yes­ter­day was a very sig­nif­i­cant ‘ridge cra­dled trough’ setup, these are the most volatile storm set-ups in Queens­land, hands down,” he said.

“When­ever these set-ups oc­cur they nearly al­ways pro­duce de­struc­tive su­per­cells. There are two big fac­tors these set-ups generate.

“In­creased in­sta­bil­ity from the in­tro­duc­tion of low-level mois­ture mix­ing in with the hot­ter air ahead of the change (most storms de­velop be­hind the south­east change in these set-ups, which is dif­fer­ent to most other storm set-ups).

“In­creased shear from the strong east to north­east winds (the trough that is cra­dled by the ridge tilts the winds east to north­east, even though the air mass is com­ing from the south­east this en­hances low-level shear).

“The in­creased in­sta­bil­ity al­lows for large thun­der­storms to de­velop. The in­creased wind shear al­lows for thun­der­storms to be­come or­gan­ised and de­velop into su­per­cells which are more likely to be de­struc­tive.”

Photo: An­thony Cor­nelius

HAVOC: A map ex­plain­ing what caused the su­per­cell to form that tore through the Gympie re­gion yes­ter­day.

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