Ray Burrows

Tornado Tuesday before the end of the world

TUESDAY is heating up to be a severe storm day across the Northern Rivers with the very off chance of tornadoes predicted by North Coast Storm Chasers.

Chaser Antonio Parancin said on a typical storm day they like to see values of 1500 - 2000 for some severe thunderstorms, but the latest modelling for Tuesday showed CAPE or storm energy values of 3100.

"So far this season the charts have not forecast this much energy and should this model keep predicting this amount of CAPE and on the day we have this much energy in the air, all I can say is we are going to have some rather fast developing storms and very high structures," he said.

The air in the upper atmosphere is going to be very very unstable on Tuesday and with these levels of instability we should see rather severe thunderstorms develop, we could see large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding and we could even throw in the possibility of tornadoes.

Mr Parancin said the latest K index, which indicates what types of storms are possible, is showing extremely high values of 42 which indicate severe widespread storms.

"Values of 30 - 32 usually mean isolated storms, 32 - 34 still isolated but they could be severe, 34 - 36 usually storms will be widespread and severe 36+ is definitely severe and widespread."

With the rumoured end of the world predictions for Friday December 21 based on the Mayan calendar, Mr Parancin the potential storms and a link between the two events was pure coincidence.

"It is definitely a total coincidence," he said.

"It has got nothing to do with the end of the world scenario; it is just an outbreak that has happened to be developing towards that time period."

The comparison to the Mayan "end of the world" might be apt though. Veteran storm chaser Michael Bath said there was "virtually zero" chance of a tornado on Tuesday and any severe thunderstorms were likely to be limited to the ranges.

"Having said that, thunderstorms are possible in the region from Sunday and several days following," he said.

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