Tornado at Branxton
Monday, 10 March 2003
A tornado was reported yesterday afternoon from Branxton. Two
thunderstorms, one developing west of Cessnock and the other
around the Mt Royal
ranges near Singleton, merged around Broke at about 4pm and then travelled
towards the northeast. The storm itself was a supercell and produced 2 - 3 cm
hailstones in the Singleton area (including Branxton). The back end of the storm
showed large amounts of rotation and had an inflow band that stretched
approximately 30 km.
The tornado was reported to the Bureau of Meteorology at
by storm chasers James Harris and Andrew McDonald. Fortunately, the tornado was
only weak and occurred away from any major urban areas, so therefore no major
damage was reported.
The thunderstorm produced awesome and eerie cloud formations
that made the sky very colourful. A blanket of mammatus (clouds that hang down
from an anvil of a thunderstorm in a bubbly formation) covered a large part of
the Hunter. Mammatus of this magnitude is very rare, but are commonly associated
with supercell thunderstorms.