Analysis of a destructive wind storm on 16 November 2008 in Brisbane, Australia

Article


Richter, Harald, Peter, Justin and Collis, Scott. 2014. "Analysis of a destructive wind storm on 16 November 2008 in Brisbane, Australia." Monthly Weather Review. 142 (9), pp. 3038-3060. https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-13-00405.1
Article Title

Analysis of a destructive wind storm on 16 November 2008 in Brisbane, Australia

ERA Journal ID1985
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRichter, Harald (Author), Peter, Justin (Author) and Collis, Scott (Author)
Journal TitleMonthly Weather Review
Journal Citation142 (9), pp. 3038-3060
Number of Pages23
Year2014
Place of PublicationBoston, MA, USA
ISSN0027-0644
1520-0493
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-13-00405.1
Web Address (URL)http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-13-00405.1
Abstract

During the late afternoon on 16 November 2008 the Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) suburb of “The Gap” experienced extensive wind damage caused by an intense local thunderstorm. The CP2 research radar nearby detected near-surface radial velocities exceeding 43 m s−1 above The Gap while hail size reports did not exceed golf ball size, and no tornadoes were reported. The storm environment was characterized by a layer of very moist near-surface air and strong storm-relative low-level flow, whereas the storm-relative winds aloft were weak. While the thermodynamic storm environment contained a range of downdraft-promoting ingredients such as a ~4-km-high melting level above a ~2-km-deep layer with nearly dry-adiabatic lapse rates mostly collocated with dry ambient air, a ~1-km-deep stable layer near the ground would generally lower expectations of destructive surface winds based on the downburst mechanism. Once observed reflectivities exceed 70 dBZ, downdraft cooling due to hail melting and downdraft acceleration based on hail loading are found to likely become nonnegligible forcing mechanisms. The event featured the close proximity of a hydrostatically and dynamically driven mesohigh at the base of the downdraft to a dynamically driven mesolow associated with a low-level circulation. This proximity was instrumental in the anisotropic horizontal acceleration of the near-ground outflow and the ultimate strength of the Gap storm surface winds. Weak storm-relative midlevel winds are speculated to have allowed the downdraft to descend close to the low-level circulation, which set up this strong horizontal perturbation pressure gradient.

Keywordsbuoyancy; cold pools; downbursts; hail; mesocyclones; radars/radar observations
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370199. Atmospheric sciences not elsewhere classified
370105. Atmospheric dynamics
370108. Meteorology
370107. Cloud physics
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsAustralian Bureau of Meteorology
Collaboration for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Australia
Argonne National Laboratory, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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