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27 November 2009 – Pretoria

After heading to Pretoria for a week this November I was greeted by wintery weather and had to wait 4 days just for the temperatures to recover to something more suitable for development- though had to wait 7 days for actual storms to develop. Though it was worth it for what occured on the Friday 27 November.

The day started out with a meeting with Georgie George of the South African Weather Service in Irene, as we went to visit the new doppler radar system which has recently been installed. After being inside looking at the software we exited the building to a large storm in the distance with a massive anvil present. There were hints of mammatus clouds already on the storm (which would later develop far more defined).

We sat around watching the radar for some time as the storm then passed just to the south and died down, but there was still plenty of instability around and large towering cumulus surrounded us. We were tracking the storms on an iphone via the South African Weather Service’s radar system. We then relocated back to Centurion where on arrival the mammatus clouds were becoming more and more defined as can be seen by one of the photographs below. The mammatus were almost as good as the 16 April 2009 mammatus which I was lucky enough to encounter in Cape Town.

We then continued to watch the radar as the storm passed just to our North West, noticing that the storm was still buildingand that there were new developing cells behind it was decided to travel north west to intercept one of the larger storms. It wasn’t easy to navigate through the fairly busy streets of a Friday afternoon, but we found ourselves in a nice small suburb with an open view of the storm where we managed to get almost under the ‘core’ of the storm- lightning was fairly frequent and we also encountered short periods of heavy rain.

While nothing too exciting went down it was good to finally encounter a storm, and the fact that there were mammatus made the day worth while.

Below: Radar animation of storms we were chasing to the north west. (large file)

Pretoria Radar Animation






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