.: Why we do it! :.

Darwin Storms the website, is a journey through the most thunderstorm prone area in the country.  Compressed into four months, lightning rates are comparable to other places around that globe that have thunderstorm days throughout their  whole year.  Nowhere else in Australia has the rate of storms, and perhaps severe storms.  With a Bureau of Meteorology estimated 50 Severe Thunderstorms Per Year in Darwin and its immediate surrounds, this represents more severe storms than even thunderstorms alone in most other parts of the country. Darwin is a great place to photograph, experience and learn about weather.  In a relaxed city that has been destroyed by weather events 4 times, the city is new, vibrant, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the most cosmopolitan city in Australia.  Cafes, palm trees, thick patches of monsoonal rainforest and a sense of local pride is what you can expect to see on a visit to this remote, but modern brand new city.

Tropical regions throughout the globe are seen to adhere to a general tropical climatologically distinguishable pattern with storms.  Good lightning rates, minimal severe thunderstorm events, low steering winds and no hail.  But Darwin is a very different place, no other tropical region in Australia matches its storm numbers, nor any city and its immediate surrounds its severe storm numbers.  Darwin is perfectly located on the coast where, during the summer months, an inland desert and its strong South Easterly airstream collide with a tropical Asian monsoonal North Westerly flow.  The combination of these events and many more lead to the area being the most ideal place in the country for thunderstorm events.


During the Summer months, hot areas of land over far Northern Australia spin up as Heat Lows, Vast areas of low pressure, essential in drawing in moist air from the NW towards Asia.  For a period of this time, the well established Strong South East flow from the inland desert of the Northern Territory is still alive and kicking.  The result is perfect.  Squall lines forming inland from the collision of air masses, wide scale convergence and local convection trigger monster sized storms and start their journey towards the city, pushed by those very strong South Easterly dry winds.  Lightning rates seldom seen elsewhere in Australia accompany these beasts, quite often along with winds of over 120km/hr.  Hail is usually seen a few times every storm season inland from Darwin, a remarkable event given the latitude


Of Darwin's 100+ thunder-days, only an estimated 50 of them being severe each season, means that all in all, if you don't catch a severe storm, you are bound to see something.  For a good part there are plenty of storms that do little else than cool the place down, drop a few mm, and collapse on themselves from light steering winds.  Conditions change daily and keeping an eye on the upper atmosphere is essential for the timing of your interludes with the beasts of the Top End.  The average speed for squall lines entering the city area from the SE is usually between 20km and 75km per hour.  During the monsoon season, NW squalls (a totally different variety of storms) usually sweep in at between 50km and 110km per hour. 




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