Friday, December 17, 2010

Summer Storms

 With the summer warming rainfall has been at record levels all over the eastern states of Australia.
On Wednesday night at around 8Pm a huge rolling front passed over South Eastern NSW.
Approaching at about 40Km/h, it could be heard when still 5Km away like a jet engine as  hail and torrential rain fell at the lip of formation.
The Photo below has no colour adjustment and was taken minutes before its arrival.
Needless to say the cloud was extremely charged and produced a number 
of huge lightning strikes and sheets  that spanned the sky.
The photo below reminds me of a shot I've seen showing the discharge of electricity 
in a charged plastic sheet. Those who have seen such a  shot will notice the similarity.
The charge is passing over to another cloud, and not to the ground, balancing with the potential at the seaboard.

The aftermath saw hail at a maximum of around 1 cm, with the shot below 
giving an idea of the gusting strength.
The mist is not a dirty lens :) it lay directly behind the front and was heavily charged 
also producing continuous flashing in the sky.


All in all one of the most violent storms I have experienced.
Being a bit of a storm chaser, it was nice to bring the work home for a change.
I was made aware recently that storms, worldwide, are becoming more charged as time progresses.
I would not be surprised if this was linked to increased solar output and interactions 
of charged with the magnetosphere .
A study on the regularity and intensity of Northern/Southern lights
 in relation to lightning activity could be interesting.
This link on the magnetosphere makes an interesting read also.
This link has a interesting study on Solar flares and interactions with the Troposphere.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The rain continues

 A good amount of rain has fallen in our area since late November.
Last night it was accompanied by unusual lightning in the form of "bursts" within the clouds that seemed quite limited in area lit though very charged.
Strong wind gusts accompanied this storm and it was this wind that afforded me the following two shots.
They are of a hive of European Bees that were living within a hollow branch.
Although the weather was still quite cool, there were 100 or so "sentries" keeping a cloud around the immediate area. 
I am trying to get the swarm collected by resident apiarists and have yet to get a reply at the time of this post..

The last two weeks have been damp enough to allow the emergence of  fungi, some of which I have pictured below.
This lovely yellow bracket type is quite small and was growing from an old wagon wheel.

 Immediately above is a type of Puff Ball measuring around 3cm diameter.

The cup like fungi pictured below I have seen in the rain forests of the Southern Highlands, though was a new find for me here on the far south coast.

These small Puff Balls started brownish, though quickly went orange, as in the next shot, deflating as the slightest sunlight and warmth approached.