Widespread damaging and locally destructive winds, including potentially multiple small and fast-moving tornadoes hit South Australia

south-australia-storm-multiple-fastmoving-tornadoes-july-2021

Widespread damaging and locally destructive winds including potentially multiple small and fast-moving tornadoes battered parts of South Australia, causing significant tree and property damage across Adelaide, particularly the southern suburbs, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports.

South Australia has again experienced a wet and very windy few days due to the passage of multiple low pressure systems and cold fronts since Thursday, July 22, 2021.

"On Saturday we saw widespread damaging and locally destructive winds, including potentially multiple small and fast-moving tornadoes, causing significant tree and property damage across Adelaide particularly, the southern suburbs," said Tina Donaldson, BOM's Senior Meteorologist.

"At this stage, looking at radar evidence and damage patterns, they indicate there were multiple small and fast-moving tornadoes along a cold front that moved through around midday. The showers and thunderstorms associated with the front produced narrow paths of damaging to destructive winds."

"Large amounts of small hail settled on the ground could have been mistaken for snow, particularly in the Adelaide Hills region, however, observations suggest small hail was more likely. Small hail was also reported across the Adelaide metropolitan area," Donaldson said.

"This system also saw showers and rainfall across the state. The highest rainfall totals in the 24 hours to 09:00 LT on Sunday, July 25 were 42 mm (1.6 inches) at Ashton, 40 mm (1.5 inches) at Lenswood, and 33 mm (1.2 inches) at Balhannah.

12 mm (0.47 inches) was observed at Adelaide West Terrace/Ngayirdapira.

Some of the most significant observations:

  • Gusts of 90 – 100 km/h (56 – 62 mph) were recorded across parts of southern South Australia, including Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges.
  • The highest gust recorded in the Adelaide area was 95 km/h (59 mph) at Adelaide Airport on Saturday evening.
  • The highest gust in SA since Thursday was 107 km/h (66 mph) at Cape Borda and 135 km/h (84 mph) at Neptune Island.

Featured image: BOM

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