Sunday, 2 October 2016

Forbes Creek Tornado 30/01/2016

Google Maps recently updated there aerial imagery of Forbes Creek. The new images reveal the extent of the tornado damage path left by the 30 January 2016 event. The path revealed is 6,300 meters long with a maximum path width of at least 300 metres. The damage to trees done by winds of at least EF1 strength defines the limit of the path observable in the imagery. The bounds of this path allows for the easily location of pictures and video of structures damaged by the event.  The remote damage survey used the methodology set out previously (Shergold 2016A).

Synoptic Summary

Thunderstorms produced strong winds, heavy rain and local flash flooding in the Sydney region on the 29th and 30th, with damage to buildings and powerlines. Major property damage was also reported in the towns of Forbes Creek and Palmers Island (BoM 2016, p. 4). Conditions across the ACT and southern NSW were favourable for tornadoes with strong vertical wind shear and high amounts of low level moisture (Colley 2016).

Damage Survey

Event Summary

Start Date/Time: 30/01/2016 12:30:00 UTC
Start Latitude/Longitude:  -35.3907, 149.49111
Duration:  10 minutes
Maximum wind speed: 200-220 km/h
Enhanced Fujita Scale: 2
Path length: 6300 metres
Maximum Path width: 300 metres
Path direction:  0 degrees
End Date/Time: 30/01/2016 12:40:00 UTC
End Latitude/Longitude: -35.4464, 149.49093


BoM, 2016A Monthly Weather Review – Australia – January 2016, Bureau of Meteorology, viewed 3 October 2016,
BoM, 2016B Severe Storm Archive – Tornado ID 1300, Bureau of Meteorology, viewed 3 October 2016,
Colley, C 2016 ‘Tornado strikes south of Bungendore as Canberra cops supercell storm’, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January, viewed 3 October 2016,
Francis, A, Fettes, J & Osborne, T 2016 ‘NSW storms: Forbes Creek couple watched 'bricks falling on the bed' during wild weather’, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 31 January,  viewed 3 October 2016,
McDonald, J & Kishor, CM 2006 A recommendation for an Enhanced Fujita scale (EF-Scale), Lubbock, Texas, Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Texas Tech University, 30 October.
Queanbeyan City RFB [QBNCAT1] 2016, ‘Forbes Creek Tornado impact map’, Tweet, 31 January, viewed 3 October 2016,
Queanbeyan City RFB [QBNCAT1] 2016, ‘Forest striped of foliage with full size gum trees cut clean in half #forbescreektornado’, Tweet, 31 January, viewed 3 October 2016,
Queanbeyan City RFB [QBNCAT1] 2016, ‘Debris field #forbescreektornado’, Tweet, 31 January, viewed 3 October 2016,
Shergold, D 2016A, 'Remote damage survey indicates tornado was culprit of Wyndham Vale damage on 18 March 2016', David's Blog, viewed 3 October 2016,
Shergold, D 2016B, 'Tornadoes in two states 30/01/2016', David's Blog, viewed 3 October 2016,
Sills, DML, McCarthy, PJ & Kopp, GA 2014 Implementation and Application of the EF-Scale in Canada, American Meteorological Society.
Stormspotters AU, 2016 ** Forbes Creek Tornado** - 30/01/16, video, 30 January, viewed 3 October 2016,
The Weather Chaser, 2016 BoM Canberra Radar Loop – Rain Rate – IDR404: 12:00 30/01/2016 UTC – 13:00 30/01/2016 UTC, viewed 3 October 2016,


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