blogging

Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Weather

Extreme Weather Events

It’s a strange coincidence that Sandy chose “weather,” for the prompt for this fortnight’s Friendly Friday challenge, as my corner of Australia experienced several extreme weather events over the last day or so. Signs of climatic change? Freak weather events? Who’s to say?

Typically, the weather in my region is picture postcard stuff. Summer and winter.

N.B.PeNdantry – above are the photos I deleted on your “random raid” on my blog post on Tangalooma, Moreton Island which you wanted to see.

October brings a burst of humidity to our region, but no one expected three tornadoes in one day, or even one tornado – that’s nothing like our usual October day! This is not Tornado Alley, USA. We just don’t get tornadoes here; unless you count the one I remember happening 45 years ago?

Springtime in the sub-tropics invariably brings rain, electrical thunderstorms and lightning, and occasionally, hailstones. The hail received in some parts of our state yesterday was extraordinary, breaking all existing weather records.

Can you imagine balls of ice bigger than your fist, hitting your head at an estimated 100 km an hour? I feel bad for any livestock, grazing without shelter in the paddocks!

Here’s a video impression taken by a motorist in the area worst affected by the storm.

Aside from the extreme weather events and possible climate change, Sandy’s prompt reminded me of times spent at Coolangatta, a city straddling the southern border of our state, Queensland and the neighbouring state of New South Wales. It was a favoured Easter haunt for us, until Covid intervened and the border was closed.

At Easter, the lunar cycle that accompanies the Full Moon heralds the onset of the Australian winter and a drop in the average daily temperatures, which won’t rise again until around the middle of August. (If you can call the weather we have here winter, at all). Thanks to gravitational forces, it’s also a time when the ocean can be wild!

“Spring” Tides

Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is “pulled” back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits.

During full or new moons—which occur when the Earth, sun, and moon are nearly in alignment—average tidal ranges are slightly larger. The moon appears full when the Earth is between the moon and the sun. In both cases, the gravitational pull of the sun is “added” to the gravitational pull of the moon on Earth, causing the oceans to bulge a bit more than usual. This means that high tides are a little higher and low tides are a little lower than average.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/springtide.html

If you enjoy turbulent, volatile waves and pounding beach breaks, triggered as they often are, by the full moon and cyclonic activity in the Pacific Ocean, then Coolangatta at Easter-time, is the place for you. While it’s not for the faint-hearted swimmer, the spectacular swells attracts many surfer dudes, looking for a big wave.

  • surfers in waves at Coolangatta Australia
  • coolangatta Australia

Blue skies generally prevail through the Easter break, unless you’ ve chosen to spend the holiday camping somewhere, in a tent. Then it is pretty much guaranteed to rain over the Easter holiday break!

The Australian in me takes sunshine, beaming down from a cloudless sky, almost for granted. Australians are notorious for complaining loudly about the weather, if they live through three days of rain, in a row! And yet, in channelling my inner Viking, I find delight in a brooding dark sky, the muffled patter of falling snow or a refreshing shower of rain.

Despite its reputation for wet weather and wind, the Norwegian weather Gods have, on occasions, surprised me with Aussie-blue skies, fringed of course with those ever-present mesmerizing mountains, dusted with typical Nordic snow. Like this:

Nordfjord

Do you have something to say about the weather in your area? Have you noticed significant changes or extreme weather events?

Join in with the Friendly Friday challenge by posting a story, photo gallery or blog post based on the theme, which runs for the next two weeks at Sandy’s blog. Full instructions can be found at The Sandy Chronicles.

Friendly Friday

113 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Weather”

  1. Wow, the pictures in this post look wonderful,
    in every kind of weather- I somehow feel that even the Wildest and most merciless of weathers in Australia would be very romantic. 😍
    It’s also very queer how the Southern Hemisphere gets heated at this time of the year when autumn posts are all I see on WordPress now. The air is chilling everywhere and you’re gearing up for a gorgeous summer! 😁😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many Northern hemsiphere dwellers feel that their seasons cover the world over. Even though they inherently know it is upside down – down under in Australia, they forget and wonder why it is cold at night here in winter, when it is summertime in the North. I have heard travellers from Scandinavia get confused when it gets dark by 5 in July as they are used to light all night at that time of year.
      Glad you enjoyed the blue skies. There is plenty more when that comes from….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Australia and NZ are almost hidden from the rest of the world in that respect 😅 There was once a riddle of this sort- a person went for Christmas vacations and claimed they enjoyed the holidays under bright Sun and surfed in the ocean. How? The answer was that they’d gone down under. I was surprised at how many people didn’t know the answer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow – if you told that riddle here, everyone would look at you as if you were crazy! Many of us have Christmas day on the beach! But now I have to confess that I can’t imagine it getting very cold in India?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. In many places, it does get cold. In the South, it’s as hot as ever during noons. During the morning and evenings, it gets cold. Ofcourse, it’s not uniform. Some places in the North even receive snow fall! So yeah, sometimes it differs even between different regions of the same state. 😁

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m one of those Northern Hemisphere dwellers who is well aware of the difference between the two regions. For as long as I can recall, massive snow and ice storms (arctic hurricanes) have swept down from Canada and ambushed the U.S. and México. After one particularly brutal storm several years ago, I joked on Facebook that, “if we lived in Australia, it’d be summer right now and we’d be sipping alcoholic beverages by a pool or lake. But no! We live in Texas where it snows every winter!”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha. Good joke! And you mentioned El Nino in a previous comment. We had several years of the effects of that weather system causing extended droughts here. This year it is over and we have La Nina… (apologies if I have misspelt it) – the opposite weather system across the Pacific influencing us.
          It is good that you are increasing my knowledge. I don’t think of Mexico or even Texas as having ice storms. I have seen photos of them which are incredibly amazing! You have taught me that there is snow in Texas so I am aware of that but ice storms in Mexico sounds so incongruous with my impression….. thanks for correcting that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It snows in northwest Texas every year, and in my area, we used to get heavy snowfalls frequently. I have old photos to prove it. I also tell people I know global warming is real because we no longer experience frequent snowfalls. When we have – in recent years – they’ve been more ice than snow. The February 2021 ice storm that practically paralyzed the entire state of Texas and killed nearly 1,000 people is the most extreme example of this meteorological madness.

            Mexicans survive summers that would probably kill most Canadians. But between November 1996 and March 1997 a series of arctic hurricanes roared down from Canada into México that resulted in thousands of deaths in México alone. Such tempests may have been harbingers of the weather nightmares to come in the future.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t like to think extreme hurricanes might occur with more frequency, but I suspect it may be so. Possibly sooner than anyone thinks.
              The death toll you mentioned is staggering.

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  2. Excellent post! Nowadays, weather is not a trivial subject. Maybe it never was. Three tornados in one day? Yikes! And look at the size of that hail. In Maine, the weather has gotten ever warmer, bringing both bad things and good things. More heat waves, an extra month of summer in September and partway through October. Later frosts. Cardinals and ticks. More wind storms and power outages. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to wake everybody up. On a more positive note…that last picture sure is a beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I imagine that the lengthened summer has big implications on agriculture. That must make farming food stuffs difficult.
      Power outages? From overload of the power generating systems, Laurie? Everyone trying to keep cool from air conditioners? Or does it happen in winter too?
      Have many folks got solar to supplement or is it similar to the folks in Texas who have restrictions on the solar cells they install?
      Plus what is a cardinal?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, sustain. Extreme weather events are predicted to happen more frequently. In the last decade we have had at least ten “once in a hundred year events.”
      The weather is unstable and the more the planet heats up, the more these freak events will be seen and felt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will write about weather in my hometown too because it is very specific.but on the whole Croatia also has more severe weather lately.higher temperatures and unfortunately two devastating earthquakes in last two years.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really like that you will join in and talk about the weather in Croatia, Tanja. I am interested to hear about it and perhaps see some photos, as well. Warmer weather over your way too? Even though the planet is warming, I read that climate change will result in many different extremes of weather, some colder, some hotter, some wilder.
      I am very sorry to hear about the earthquakes, Tanja. Are the buildings made to withstand earthquakes?

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  4. Wow, yes, the poor animals in the fields. I remember not to many years ago a similar hail storm in Perth. It huge insurance implications as so many cars looked like they’d been attacked all over with a hammer. The weather is most definitely changing, we’re having our wettest October in history. Also our beach’s are getting smaller as the water line creeps noticeably higher each year. And still our PM does nothing….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scomo’s silence is deafening. His only interest is in marketing himself, sadly. Your wettest October? It was very dry here in September but the storms are regularly bringing rain. Good but my veges in the garden have now suffered from mildew – too much water in one go. But the newly installed water tanks are full.
      Beach erosion is an issue. At the coasts, north and south, they keep adding groins to block the currents moving sand northwards to preserve the beaches. It works but only on one side of the groin and fails to understand the natural tendencies of sand movement that is associated with the currents. Are councils concerned in your area?

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      1. Absolutely. The repaired the washed beach path year after year, before finally conceding to the need to actually move the path further away from the beach. At the rate the beach is rising they’ll be moving it again soon. All the groins along our beach have had millions spent on them over the last two years, plus a landscaped sort of sea wall has been built in the centre of Busselton. It’s like shifting chairs on the Titanic though unless ScMo gets his head out of you know where and takes some rapid and drastic action.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. People always joke about “all they have to talk about is the weather” but there’s nothing that affects every single day of our lives more. There have been more and more conversations about the extremes of weather. Here I am, sitting in my kitchen in Vermont in the very north of these United States, and yesterday it was 70 degrees outside, we haven’t had a frost or freeze yet, and my morning glories are still blooming. We plan to have lunch on the porch today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So sitting on the porch in October with blooming flowers is unusual, Dorothy? My goodness, everyone is noticing the changes and the speed with which they are occuring is so worrying. I guess your heating bill might decrease, but then do you need to sue air conditioning in the summer?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow, that’s some hailstorm! I envy you your generally blue skies, especially as we head into winter here – although I have to say that today is quite bright, if chilly. I do like the look of those waves at Coolangatta – I like my seas to have a bit of movement and excitement about them, on the whole!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If you like wild seas, you must come to Coolangatta at Easter one year, when we are allowed to travel again. You would love the sea. Other places for wild seas that I can think of here include, Port Campbell and along the Great Ocean Road, in Victoria. It is a fabulous place with spectacular scenery and rough seas. Some photos of which I have posted here: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/weekly-photo-challenge-forces-of-nature/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I just commented on that super Forces of Nature post, if ever we make it back to Australia the Great Ocean Road will be high on our list of priorities. But it’s so far, and there are still so many other places unseen, that I suspect we may not 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the south west corner is divine. On more or less the same latitude as Sydney, you don’t get the awful humidity we do in Queensland. Plus you have the lovely Fremantle Doctor calling each afternoon to cool things down.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I sometimes wish that we in England could see something – anything- weather related, which could genuinely be called extreme. Our seasons seem to be merging into one narrow band where grey skies and drizzle are the most common feature and extremes of anything are rare. No wonder we Brits love to travel!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh gosh, that doesn’t sound good that you are expecting year round drizzle in Britain. It is no surprise that you look for skies that are more blue in colour and like to travel to Spain and the continent. I guess it is a bit like Singapore in reverse – same, same every day. One positive thing – you never need to water the garden! We still have to do that even when we have some rain – as the sun is so intense. I remember hearing a student who went to study at Oxford telling of how she remarked about the green grass she saw in England, commenting that they must water their gardens well. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Double thanks for that pingback you threw at me; one for the heads-up on those pics (they’re wonderful!) and another because the pingback caused me to check that Wibblette (I found that it needed some attention; the embedded video had gone, err, I think you’d say ‘walkabout’?).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Some of them do seem to have a short lifespan. I’ve taken to paying more attention to the upload date lately; I figure that older ones have a better chance of surviving longer.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG those are huge hail stones! They must have created quite a dent on peoples property.

    The Coolangatta surf looks very similar to what I’m seeing outside my window right now. I imagine the surfers are having a field day — I guess that’s why my neighbor’s showed up suddenly last night — he’s chasing the storm waves 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is amazing that the surfers are not deterred by colder temperatures nor the presence of rocky coastlines, where they could be killed by a dumping wave.
      Even in Norway, there is a beach way up north, where they surf! Can you believe that? Of course they wear wetsuits……

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They have to wear wet sutis here, the ocean is too cold. I believe it of Norway. Extreme sports enthusiasts go up to Alaska to surf the waves caused by ice breaking off of icebergs. Those guys are nuts.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi neighbour, we thankfully only got the skirt of violent short storm that hit coffs the other day. Sydney had a tornado. Although all this was predicted with a solar magnetic flare (some sort of sun event). I do worry about our horses as they don’t shelter in storms they run straight out into the open even in a hail storm they never use a shelter. I usually rug them at least.
    I do think we gonna need solid umbrellas soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hail proof umbrellas could be a marketing niche product, Linda. Of course, unlike the horses who wants to go out when it is hail baseballed sized hail.
      A tornado in Sydney, one here at the airport and one up north… crazy isn’t it? I hadn’t heard of the solar flare. That would make sense that it disturbs our regular weather pattern. Thanks for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have become close to being in a cyclone, but at the last minute it has turned and gone out to sea. Friends in Port Hedland and up north kind of get used to dealing with it. -40 sounds pretty grim. -25 with wind chill in Iceland was cold enough for me. Where was the – 40?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In Nebraska late at night. It was actually -52°F, which is equal to -46.6°C. My car wouldn’t start after I stopped in a rest area. I had my dog and cat in the car. Against my better judgment, I accepted a lift from a stranger, who drove me to the next town. The garage was open and they sent out the tow truck. All ended much better than I expected.

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    1. We do hear more about climate anomalies, Janis, which may lead us to think they happen more often. But is it is a concern that they are happening with greater frequency? For instance, the last five years, I have heard extreme weather here described as an “once in a hundred year event!”
      So you don’t get a lot of rain in the west? Do you have water restrictions?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think those “once in x years” proclamations will be a thing of the past since they are obviously happening more often. And, no, we don’t get enough rain to wash away our draught. Even though we have water restrictions, they are for the most part voluntary. Those of us who are very careful will be even more careful. Those who are not will probably continue to over-use.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A sad fact about human nature is that some folks are careful and toe the line or conserve where possible, while others have little regard until their own rights are impinged upon.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I only just realised you live in Australia 🤦‍♀️ the one thing I miss about living in QLD, apart from seeing my kids everyday, is the thunder storms but goodness me, I could do without that hail!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I just popped over to your blog and saw Tassie! Lucky you, but I can imagine that you must miss family. It is not like you can just pop over for a quick cuppa.
          Mind you, at least we can travel direct atm. That may change in December…. I hope for the best though.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s been difficult….my kids haven’t visited much for fear of getting locked out on return with jobs and whatnot on the line and I can’t travel too much as I am full time carer for my mother. I am hoping that next year will bring some normalcy 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻back into our world

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Selfishly, I hope the climate does get warmer where I live. We have about 117 frost free days a year… and winter temps that can dip to -30C. We tie with Russia as the coldest nation in the world.
    The news here certainly does make a big deal when we have extreme weather but it is rarely any worse than extreme weather events of years gone by!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Canada is pretty extreme when it comes to the cold, Margy and it is interesting that you note that the weather is not any more extreme than what you have experienced in past years. So is the ice melting up north at a faster rate? I have heard talk of the alteration of the temperature gradient in the Atlantic due to increased sea ice and the fabled north west passage that might one day become a reality?
      My North Icelandic friends speaks of polar bears floating down from Greenland on smaller ice floes that break away and are so malnourished when they reach Iceland they have to be humanely shot. She has noticed this in on the increase.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Arctic sea ice and polar bear research is highly complex and well beyond my area of expertise – but I don’t trust most main stream media and anecdotes to adequately research and relay unbiased evidence.
        For example, the media does not report that polar bear numbers have been climbing from an est 5000 bears in the 1950’s to an est 22,000 to 31,000 now. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg recently pointed out that the biggest risk to polar bears at this time isn’t climate change – it is that 500 bears per year are shot during the annual Canadian Inuit harvest.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So the indigenous hunt is the biggest threat to Polar bears according to this study, in Canada Margy? Interesting, even though it is once a year. I am not familiar with research on polar bears either and can only go on information I receive, yet I can understand it from the p.o.v of a similar threats to turtle populations here in Australia. The issue of plastic in the oceans is a big factor but more significant is the indigenous folks are allowed to collect turtle eggs as native food. (Normally that illegal). So habitat loss is not an issue for the polar bear, as far as you know?

          Like

          1. Just about every article I’ve read about polar bear habitat says that climate warming will have an impact on the distribution of polar bears. The operative words are ‘will’ and ‘distribution’. Past predictions of how sea ice decline will affect the polar bears have not proven to be accurate – the ice has declined but the bears haven’t. Fortunately there are a great number of specialists who

            Like

  13. The conditions that allow for the creation of tornadoes and hail storms exist in most parts of the world, but some regions obviously are more prone to them than others. I live in northeast Texas, which is in the exact center of the southern U.S. We’re on the southern end of what is known as “Hail & Tornado Alley”, where more of these storms form than anywhere else on the planet. It is rare, for example, for tornadoes to form on the west coast of the U.S. If they do, however, it’s most likely during “El Niño” years, when weather systems across the Pacific grow into chaotic maelstroms.

    Did you ever encounter any of those Australian tornadoes up close and personal, Amanda? My parents and I did one day back in the spring of 1978, when a major tempest struck Dallas during evening rush hour. We saw it from a few miles away, as we headed home along a major thoroughfare. Years later my mother told me she almost started screaming in panic, but didn’t want to frighten me.

    As frightening as all those things can be, I’m still fascinated with them. Their size and power are humbling. Anyone who finds them annoying are idiots and should feel their wrath at least once.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have not been up close and personal with a tornado, Alejandro and have no wish to be so intimate with one. A cyclone threat each year is enough for me, I think. The one that happened 45 years ago occurred a few miles from me, but due to the hills, I didn’t see it. But I do remember the damage. A strip of houses about 50 yards wide totally obliterated into sticks, whilst the neighbouring house was totally fine! Scarey because we don’t have cellars or basements of any kind in Australian houses. We hide in the bathroom clinging to the toilet or some fixture in the event of a cyclong – which is a bit like a hurricane. Watching these aberrations of nature is fascinating, from a distance. IF you use social media, you may like to follow Higgins storm chaser – a locally based storm chaser who scores some good footage of our storms. https://www.facebook.com/HigginsStormChasing/videos/878273862826384

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The three tornadoes were quie some distances apart, Donna. Linda from Working in Acres, tells me of a solar flare that was expected to disturb our weather conditions so I guess in that way, it was not that unexpected. But hail that size is unusual. Our storms are short and sharp, thankfully. The sun has returned today, so it is back to picture postcard perfect, for now at least.

      Like

  14. The hail storm was on the news here, I was shocked with the size of them. The weather is changing and not slightly anymore. We had the first snows over the mountains here in Scotland this week, I’m told it’s too early for that.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. You had three tornadoes in one day? That is a lot of uncertainty to live through. We have spring tornadoes here in the midwest USA but they’re days apart when they happen. As for my current weather observation, we’ve had such a warm fall that the leaves on the trees have barely begun to change colors. This is ODD because October 25th is the date when our trees are supposed to be at their most glorious. I’m bummed about this, but realize there isn’t a thing I can do about it… except mutter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Three tornadoes in one day – in different parts of the east, Ally. Apparently Solar flares are the trigger! And you are noticing a delay in the start of the crimson leaves season. That is a significant change from years past – and the implications are worth pondering and muttering about to our leaders.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Such a nice push Amanda / and your photos added to the flow!
    Still
    Smiling at this part ” in channelling my inner Viking, I find delight in a brooding dark sky, the muffled patter of falling snow or a refreshing shower of rain.”
    Hahaha

    And for me – we live in Virginia with four seasons but the winters are mild and even after 20 years here I still do not take it for granted – originally from way up north with brutal winters I seriously appreciate mild winters (zone 7)
    Hope you are having a nice weekend

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A brutal winter doesn’t sound pleasant Yvette, even for a snowlover like me. If I lived with winter 5 months of the year instead of summer, I would think the same as you. Today it is hot and dry. In the nineties F. And it is still officially Spring. Maybe a storm later to cool us down?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh a storm to cool down sounds nice…and high 90s sounds more like summer than spring!
        😏
        And I remember being a teenager and asking why it was still gray skies and so cold in March and April – such a longggggg cold season

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Summer is always in the 90’s here and above. Spring can be too, but the humidity is the main difference between spring and summer. Early December ( summer ) – the humidity really ramps up.

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