Weather and Storms of Australia

Most people might confuse weather and climate, but there is one difference. Weather is short term in a small area, while climate is long term and is all over the world. Seeing as how Australia is located right around the subtropical high, which is usually associated with deserts; and the subtropical low, it is fair to say that Australia has subtropical climate. Actually the subtropical climate of Australia only dominates half of eastern Australia while the rest of it has a variation on climate. The subtropical climate consists of  hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters.

Seeing as how Australia has a variation of climates, it bring a lot of different weather and storms with it. The most well know storms to come through the area are tornadoes, lighting storms and haboobs.


Haboob bringing a stunning wall of dust and sand


Tornado about to touch down just off of Cape Byron

thunder storms

Thunderstorm heading just over Queensland

Since most people already know what tornadoes and thunderstorms are, ill start by explaining what a haboob is  intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current. Haboobs occur regularly in arid, dry regions throughout the world. The deserts of central Australia are more prone to having haboobs  with sand and debris reaching several kilometers into the sky and leaving up to a foot of sand in the haboob’s path. Most Haboobs are formed from the high winds that flow down and out from thunderstorms in which the high winds stir the dust into the air.

(Go to to see a video of a haboob)

Tornadoes are also prominent in Australia. Tornadoes first form when a column of warm humid air will begin to rise very quickly. Once this warm air meets with the cool air, the column of air begins to rotate when winds at two different altitudes blow at two different speeds creating wind shear. The faster the column and wind starts to spin the more the funnel is created and eventually touches down. The most common tornado spots are the south-western coast of Western Australia. 

(Go to!  to see a video of a tornado)


In order for a thunderstorm to be created, you need two different things. First you need moisture in the air to produce rain and clouds, and unstable air which is some what warm so it will rise rapidly. According to “Geoscience Australia” Severe thunderstorms can occur anywhere in Australia and do so more frequently than any other major natural hazard. These storms can come with heavy amounts of rain, and with enough rain can come flash floods. Hail can also be prevalent in thunderstorms which is caused when  raindrops are lifted up into the atmosphere during a thunderstorm and then super cooled by temperatures below freezing, turning them into ice balls. The more and more these ice balls get lifted up the into the atmosphere, the more and more water adds onto these ice-balls, causing them to grow in size. Another feature that comes with thunderstorms is lightning. Lightning is formed when a negatively charged particles in a cloud disperses from the cloud toward earth and try to fine a negatively charged particle on the ground. This first jolt of is know as the step leader and it happens so quit it is invisible to the human eye. Once the negatively charged particle finds a positively charged particle  this is what causes a lightning strike to actually touch earth which is known as the visible stroke.



Flash Flood caused by a thunderstorm in South Australia



Lightning strike over the North-West Slopes and Plains



The hail damage that happened to someones car in Perth Australia


(Go to to see an amazing thunderstorm)