Darwin to Kununurra Chase Nov 2007

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Postby Tim S » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:13 pm

I am not sure if I will be able to get the full two weeks off, November is traditionally our busiest month at work, though I can get someone to fill in for me for a while, will have to see how long for. Will be great to go for 2 weeks but may only be able to do one week. The later the better for me, but it looks like December is too late for you Chop? Late November is probably the optimal time storm wise isnt it?

$2000-$2500 is a bargain for a storm chase tour for 2 weeks, hrmm gives me an idea for a business venture. :wink:
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby Tim S » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:17 pm

radar wrote:While the peninsula east of Broome does get good storms it can also be unreliable (bit like Pilbara), there is only one road through it, and the scrub is thick and tall. If a car can be hired in Kununurra then flying in there directly would be far better than flying into Broome IMO.


Yeah I realised this tonight when I actually had a look of a map of the area, wouldnt be good for chasing at all, not by car anyway. :(
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby MikeF » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:22 pm

Bugger Tim

That is no good re only a week. You should really try for 2 weeks but if you can't...

:(

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Postby Tim S » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:26 pm

Yeah I will try for 2 weeks, might take some bribing but I will try! :)

Since its only my dad and I there I dont like leaving him alone, of course he can manage (mostly :)), it can be hard to run the place by yourself. Though if I can get this relief guy in for a fair bit, it should be sweet. :)
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby Paul Natale » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:59 pm

I've done two week long trips to Roebuck Bay in Broome in the past 3 years. We chose Broome because it seemed there would be something to do if the weather wasn't cooperating.

We stayed at the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park, looking east across the bay to the Roebuck Plains. While there were some very impressive looking storms that formed across the bay, they seemed to peak too early, around 3pm, and be pretty much dead by the time they got within a reasonable distance. It was pretty disappointing actually, as the area is pretty photogenic, with that turquoise water, red dirt and white clouds.

The first trip, we got skunked the first 5 nights, but we lucked out on the last night. A storm formed after dark, and it was like nothing I've ever witnessed. This thing was like a light bulb for over 4 hours as it approached the town, the lightning was so consistent that it was never dark more more than a second. It was a real isolated cell to so there was CG's coming out the sides regularly. I'm pretty sure I witnessed sprites too, and a lot of people from town came out to watch it.

I was in love with Kimberley storms after that night, and we went back again the first week of the new year, this year. Worst trip ever! We timed it perfectly so a cyclone crossed the coast nearby in the middle of the trip, making it grey, dull and miserable for the whole trip. Even the fishing, which was superb the time before, was dead. Heartbreaking!

Anyway, yes, Kimberley storms are potentially incredible as I'm sure everyone knows. although witnessing them first hand is something else.

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Postby radar » Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:34 pm

Well, I've decided to take the plunge. I'm going up to the Kimberley in January for two weeks of chasing and photography, and maybe some fishing in between! My mate is going up there for a month which is a bit long for me so I'll come back after two weeks. We're planning to drive up a couple days after new years day and I'll fly back on the 18th.

January's a bit of a risk but we'll see how we go. It's a bit dry up there at the moment, but that will probably change very quickly. Last time I went up in January I was confined to the area around Kununurra which happened to be a bit quiet storm wise. This time round I'll be mobile and we'll just go wherever the storms are. We're camping the whole time which is going to be very uncomfortable, but sacrifaces have to be made!

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Postby Tim S » Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:52 pm

Wow! camping in the Kimberley in January, your brave! :) though going by your result from your last trip, it should be well worth it. I remember you showing the fruits of your last trip to an ASWA meeting, back when we used to have them at Greg's and I remember thinking then and there that I absolutely have to go up there during a storm season.

Pity this thread got forgotten about but I know personally I wouldn't have been able to make the trip to chase the Kimberley this year anyway. Maybe we could organise a 'mini' (;)) chase up to around Geraldton around new year if anyone is interested? Inland from there gets some ripper of storms around that time of year, though chasing roads are in short supply, could still be some fun.
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby radar » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:12 pm

Yeah, not sure how much sleep we're going to get, but that's the only way to do it I think. It keeps the costs down and leaves us totally mobile to go wherever the storms are without having to return to pre-booked accommodation. We're armed with swags, mozzie domes, and a tent, so it will be interesting!

I would not have been able to make it in November either as per Chop's original idea - bank balance took a belting by two weeks on the Gold Coast with the family! But doing it this way shouldn't be too bad. The main cost will be the fuel. My mate's got a 4WD so there's no car hire, no accommodation costs, and I'm booking my flight back using frequent flyer points so no airfare to pay for either.

Now if I could just fast forward the next five weeks..... :lol:

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Postby Paul Natale » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:28 pm

Insane! fast forward 2 months so we can see the results :lol:

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Postby Tim S » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:18 pm

Interesting! definitely would be Radar, I'm sure you'll have a blast, having a 4wd too means that you wont be that limited by where you can and cant go. Does the 4wd have a snorkel fitted? as I am sure it will be needed at that time of year, maybe one each for you guys too! :) Also you must have wireless internet so we can follow your progress. :wink: :lol:
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby MikeF » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:08 am

OK I admit it I am VERRYYYYYY Jealous

How Jealous?

Um Not sure I could detail it here.

I think that based upon the MJO cycle you could be at the end of the first wet cycle.

The consistent periodicity of about 40-50 days displayed by the MJO over recent events provides some optimism with respect to anticipating the time of development of the next active phase. If recent periodicity is maintained, active conditions could be seen over northern Australia as early as the middle of December, which is into the time of year when monsoon onset over northern Australia is sometimes seen.


from here

It will be a good time to travel with the storms not being "Rained Out" and any flooding that may have occurred having subsided by then. There will however be a lot of moisture around and most of the cells may be HP types which do not always provide the best lightning but you will get fantastic structure.

My 2 cents worth...

I think that November chase this year would have been disappointing to say the least with really no activity to speak of due to cooler than normal Sea Surface temperatures up there.

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Postby radar » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:26 am

Yeah, it's been a funny season so far, hasn't it. No moisture up in the Kimberleys at all at the moment, and if there's no moisture up there we're not likely to see much down here either. Definitely would have been a disspointing November chase this year.

But it could all change very quickly. January is a bit of a risk, but at least we're mobile. If it is still wet when we get up there it will probably mean that initially southern Kimberley around Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing will be the go. It will likley be a bit dryer down there, probably not dissimilar to teh Pilbara. Who knows, if it's too wet we may even initial target eastern Pilbara, or west Kimberley around Broome. As things dry out the activity will reterat north and become more isolated which may then allow us to target the area around Kununurra and Wyndham.

It's all a guessing game at the moment. Problem is it's still 5 weeks to go and I'm already finding it hard to concentrate on my day job! :lol:

Tim, I'm glad you mentioned wirelss, any idea of the coverage up there? I'd imagine there would be next to none. If there is I might take my laptop with me though.

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Postby Tim S » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:14 am

I wasn't actually expecting there to be much coverage but there does appear to be a couple of spots of coverage on telstra's nextG network, which I presume would be Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing. There appears to be fairly good coverage around any of the significant towns in the area, you can have a look at the map here: http://www.fonezone.com.au/?p=2074.

I would imagine Optus and Vodafone wouldn't have any coverage in that region at all, except for the major centres like Broome, but I may be wrong.
Kia Kaha, stay strong, live long and above all have fun. :)

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Postby radar » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:22 pm

Thanks Tim. Just checked the coverage by all major providers and I can safely say the laptop is definitely staying at home. I'll try to stay in touch though, there's got to be some public use internet up there!

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Postby SimonB » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:31 am

Gee, some of you guys obviously haven't been up in the Kimberley at this time of year! I can get 'free' flights there any day of the week and have accomodation on tap in Kunners, but I'm staying away for now. Heat I can handle, but when it's 80% humidity at 7am in the morning, no thanks.

Got told there were some storms around Kunners last night, so maybe we're getting there.

All the above said, I will be going up to Kunners in Jan or Feb for a couple of days. One of the guys will give me a call when they've had some heavy rain and I will hop up and he'll take me out on the rivers to get some waterfall shots, something to be seen, I am told.

I'd also like to go somewhere like Five Rivers lookout in Wyndham when there are storms around to get some photo's. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, good luck with your trip!

Simon....

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Postby SimonB » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:33 am

Tim S wrote:I would imagine Optus and Vodafone wouldn't have any coverage in that region at all, except for the major centres like Broome, but I may be wrong.

Voda is in Kunners, for one. I seem to recall they're also in Wyndham.

Simon....

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Postby MikeF » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:54 am

I drove from Kunnunurra to Wyndham up the five rivers lookout windy road to take pics of a fantastic thuderstorm right on dark and while I was driving it was producing positive strikes and had pretty nice structure.

Anyway.... Set up the camera and you can guess the next part. Anyway the moral of the story is, what a fantastic lookout (and this was before they put the radar up there).

I have been there a bit and looked at a few waterfalls around Kunnurra with a 4WD and they are very nice (Black falls or something like that). and another few on the way out there.

Agree with you Simon re accommodation. Not really the peak tourist season.

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Postby radar » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:33 am

Yeah, the five rivers look out at Wyndham is awesome, some lightning photos from up there are definitely on my wish list. I reckon lightning striking Kelly's Knob would make for a nick pic as well.

The waterfall you're thinking of Chop is Blackrock Falls, it's on the back road which takes you to the northern side of Ivanhoe Crossing. It's a really nice spot. Unfortunatly the best waterfalls around Kununurra are only accessible by boat or helicopter. My mates got some fantastic shots of Revolver Falls not long after very heavy rain, but the only way to get in there was by chopper.

Won't be a comfortable trip that's for sure, but I expect a lot of evenings we'll end up quite some distance from towns so it makes sense to camp out. I've camped out in the wet in Kimberly before and during the build up in Kakadu so i kind of know what to expect. The biggest problem will be keeping everything dry if the monsoon sets in, but we'll see how we go.

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Postby SimonB » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:56 pm

radar wrote:I reckon lightning striking Kelly's Knob would make for a nick pic as well.

Agreed, but it's the usual problem if being in the right spot at the right time, isn't it.

radar wrote:Unfortunatly the best waterfalls around Kununurra are only accessible by boat or helicopter. My mates got some fantastic shots of Revolver Falls not long after very heavy rain, but the only way to get in there was by chopper.

I am planning squirting a reasonable amount of money on a helicopter hire when I am up there in the New Year, when the circumstances are right. We'll see how we go.

Have fun!

Simon....

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Postby radar » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:05 am

Hey everyone! Greetings from muggy Fitzroy Crossing. It's good to finally be up in the Kimberleys, although the old heel is a bit sore from the long drive. We finaly got into the Kimberleys last night and watched lightning on the horizon as we were driving till about midnight. Not close enough for photos but fantastic to see all the same. Going by the models tonight should be better still. We're aiming to get to Wyndham or there abouts by mid afternoon, and if GFS is correct it should make for a long night! Well, here's hoping anyway! :)

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