Yesterday I had my ultimate storm chase. Here are some facts:
- Distance: over 850km
- Duration: 11.5 hours
- Start: Berlin
- End: Graz
On the way, I corepunched directly 3 thunderstorms and saw many more. I took around 500 pictures and many videos, of which the best will be posted soon.
The first thunderstorm we struck was in southern Brandenburg, and the dewpoint seemed to be very high since the clouds formed only a few meters above the ground. The rain was intense and there were strong storm gusts, so that the traffic on the highway slowed down to a 40km/h crawl. There was amazing rotation in the cloud, and a funnel that was half way to the ground and could have turned into a tornado. There was also hail in the thunderstorm. The thunderstorm was quite large, but eventually we passed through it before Leipzig. There, there was an amazing view on the thunderstorms S side (they were moving from the E to the W), and you could see a futher thunderstorm which we nearly got caught up in.
The second thunderstorm we got into was in Bavaria. It was starting to get dark, and nobody really noticed that the clouds were getting darker much faster than the sky. At that moment I was taking pictures of the clouds on my side of the car, that were "burning" in the evening light. The thunderstorm was quite intense, bringing a lot of rain, and some lightnings. It is almost certain that there were landslides in that area. The thunderstorm had an amazing wall cloud, and a rotation area with contact to the ground!!!! [Tornado possibility]
The last thunderstorm was clearly visible before we reached it. We were still at the height of Munich when we already saw the lightning coming from Upper Austria. It was now late at night, and the highway didn't have any lights on it. We reached the thunderstorm and were battered by extreme rain and some hail. I do not know if there were storm gusts, however it is quite likely. Suddenly we hit a flooded area of the highway and the speed of the few cars went down to 10km/h. Many cars had failed driving through the flooding, and were now standing scattered on the highway. We managed, thank goodness, and got to Graz "safely"