Jess (hazy_crazy) wrote in aussietornadoes,

Tornado at Dunoon, near Lismore, NSW - 26th October, 2007


It gives me great pleasure to announce that tornadic activity has been observed in Australia, more precisely at a small community called Dunoon (near Lismore) in New South Wales.

The tornado (possibly an EF-1) was filmed by various residents in the area and storm-chased by Jimmy Deguara of

From the Bureau of Meterology Australia:

Photo by Annamaria Hull

Photo by Jimmy Deguara

Where: Dunoon, NSW (map)

When: 26th October, 2007 in the afternoon (4pm)

Duration: approx. 15-25 mins

Path of the tornado:

By Jimmy Deguara and Michael Bath (

- blew out the walls of St. Matthew's Anglican Church
- destroyed two classrooms at a primary school
- tore the roofs off about 20 residences
- uprooted a tree and dragged it about 30m
- a piece of flying debris hit a power sub-station that exploded (see below for footage of this)
- 3000 homes were without power

Fujita Scale Rating: According to Jimmy Deguara, possibly an EF-1

Cost: "...millions of dollars in damage"


Footage © Jimmy Deguara

Recorded by a family on the north coast (also view second part here)

Australia Severe Weather Forum (pages 3, 4 and 5 of interest)
Sydney Morning Herald
Lismore Northern Star

And still, the media continues to call it a "mini-tornado". I wanted to throttle the woman on The Today Show who said so. A weak tornado, yes, mini-tornado, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

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Question: I've toyed with the idea of traveling to Australia to chase or just be an annoying tourist if the weather doesn't cooperate. But what kind of mobile phone coverage do you have there? Do the main companies have good digital service, i.e., would you be able to access the network with a wireless modem on a laptop and be able to ingest radar?

I think our main companies (Telstra and Optus) have pretty good coverage. I found this website that says this:

Australia currently uses both second generation and third generation terrestrial mobile telecommunications technologies.

Second generation networks, Global System for Mobiles (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), currently cover up to 98 per cent of the Australian population and 21 per cent of the Australian landmass. These services are available in many regional areas, and along a number of national and regional highways.

(from this site)

I'm not too sure about the wireless modem business, however. Although, it looks like we DO have it :P

Hope this helps!
Definitely looks good. Do you chase? What are the road networks like?

NP: "Racing Rats" by Editors
LOL no - I'm only 18 (and I don't actually have my driver's license yet :P) but I've been on quite a few trips with my family and our roads are pretty good I'll say. Well sign-posted and extensively mapped :)
Where I'm from in the US, I got my driver's license at 15 but then again, I lived in the mountains and we only got severe hailstorms so there wasn't much to chase.

Most tornadoes are on the east coast there, right?

Ahh, I see. We can get ours when we turn 16 but I'm one of those rare people who isn't quite ready for it yet :/ lol.

Not all! They're also seen in south-western Western Australia (around Perth - there was a tornado at Northam which is north-east of Perth), and south to south-eastern Australia. So predominantly the states of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales report the most tornadoes. But then again, most of Australia is unpopulated. We've probably had loads more and nobody has noticed/seen them! :)
I'd be interested in studying the mechanisms for tornadoes in Australia. They get so much press here in the States, some people don't even realize that they're also common in places like Australia, France, and Russia. Hell, you can get them many places. Part of chasing here is good forecasting and it's easy when you have the same topography to look at every day. What a challenge it would be to completely remove myself from the "home" element and study the climatology elsewhere!

Whoa, whoever took that first video was lucky not to become part of the debris cloud, they were so close. (For a moment, I thought "hey, that 'nader is rotating clcokwise" until I remembered "well, duh, it's in Australia, of _course_ it is.")

Definitely not a "mini" tornado.
Yeah, Jimmy Deguara is a storm chaser and he said he was about 100-150m away from it!!

Haha yep - I love our clockwise turning tornadoes :P

For sure!
Clockwise tornados aren't entirely uncommon in the northern hemisphere either (or counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) as Coriolis is negligible at this scale. This is even more likely with storm split left moving supercells that often have a mesocyclone rotating contrary to the normal cyclonic flow in the given hemisphere.

My name is Jimmy Deguara and intercepted the tornado. It was an incredible collision course whilst chasing the supercell that seemed to be weakening at the time.

I have never been close to tornadoes in the States and this my first real verified Australian tornado I was too close! I was more scared later than at the time given you have more time to digest what was going on!

Kind regards,

Jimmy Deguara
Hey Jimmy,
Since you may or may not see this reply, I'll e-mail it as well ...

Great intercept!! You sure were close!! You have some great photos on your site. Do you come to the US every year?

I did come to the US each year for the past 7 consecutive years but with my turn to get married, I am sacrificing a couple of year perhaps. Not sure as yet.

Thanks for the comments - I guess nature is always full of surprises.


Jimmy Deguara
I can understand those sorts of priorities ... but I guess I'm lucky ... the girl I'm seeing loves to storm chase. ;)

Jimmy Deguara here once more.

My Fiancee also loves with curiosity the concept of storms and storm chasing. I will take her one day.


Jimmy Deguara
Sounds like you're a lucky man too then! Congrats!!