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Old 08-28-2009, 05:27 PM
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DarkSky DarkSky is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: St. Catharines, ON [Niagara]
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Photos Jul.28, 2000 - storm chase

Quick stats:
- 4 people injured by lightning strikes
- golfball size hail and a 15 minute hail storm
- 100km/hr winds
- radar echo tops: 50,000 ft
- 75mm of rain in less than half an hour in Niagara Falls

- widespread crop damage to fruits and grapes
- Maid of the Mist elevator box struck by lightning trapping occupants for an hour
2:30pm - grabbed all my gear and headed out as I saw a storm build up rapidly around Niagara Falls. I was planning on taking the QEW down to the Falls but before I could even leave the city and get onto the highway I noticed the low-level clouds extending from the storm's base, dancing around only a couple hundred feet from the ground. 'Decided that the storm was moving directly towards St. Kitts so I went out to Niagara On the Lake (NOTL) which is between St. Kitts and the Falls, and has nice open farmland.
3:00pm - started north down Hwy.55 and stopped a couple miles down from the Niagara Airport off the side of the road where there was some nice open unobstructed viewing. Had some VERY close CG strikes just off in the field next to me and the clouds continued to swirl around just out over the field, and the cloud base grew -very- dark and thick to my north as the storm continued to build.
3:05pm - as the front edge of the storm passed over it was originally staying LP, but a light rain eventually started.
3:10pm - the rain started to really pour and the winds picked up
3:11pm - small hail (marble sized) started
3:12pm - small hail came down HARD and the winds picked up, trees around me started having their leaves stripped.
3:15pm - marble sized hail grew to quarter sized, with some even larger mixed in (golf ball size hail was reported at the airport 2 miles to the north of me). The car was really taking a pounding - sounded like being in a tin garbage can while somebody threw rocks at it.
3:17pm - winds in excess of 100km/hr started from the E, shifted to the N, then to the NW and began rocking the car, so I turned the car into the wind to get the aerodynamics of the car working for me. This stopped the car from shaking but the wind was forcing the rain between the top of the windshield and the roof causing water to drip inside the car and all
over my camcorder (which held up pretty good!!)
3:20pm - I called into CanWarn and reported the event, and was told of the observations at the airport. Hail had turned to rain by this point and the winds had lowered to making driving conditions better so I hopped back on the road and headed out towards the Falls. The QEW going the other way was closed to to flooding.
4:30pm - drove to Misssissauga to The Weather Network to drop off my footage. Video available in the videos section.
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