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Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
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Storm Near Bunbury?
Some amazing pictures of a tornado have been doing the rounds. According to the info that accompanies them, these are "Photos of storm near Bunbury" (which is in Australia), although the text also notes that "you'd swear these were taken in america's mid west / tornado belt..." This has started some discussion on alt.folklore.urban, as people try to locate exactly where these photos were taken. The scenery does look a lot like the midwest.

image image image
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 20, 2005
Comments (81)
What I find most amazing, is that almost three quarters of the pictures are not of tornados at all, but of mesocyclones.
Posted by Gilvain  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  10:45 PM
There certainly is a place called Bunbury, in Western Australia - a small coastal town approx, 30,000 people and I live here ..........
We certainly did have a huge tornado here on Monday 16th May - and it did cause a lot of damage - including moving a cathedral off its foundations. The pictures you can see of house, business damage are definately real - I can give street addresses for these.
The pictures of the "actual" tornado ?? I don't believe these are local - for a start it was pitch dark (6.10 am) when it hit - and is only recorded as being 100m across but it did 'hit' a swath of damage along a 10Km 'stretch'. The "landscape" in those photo's is totally strange to me !!.
Posted by maureen  in  bunbury  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  01:29 AM
Damn strange weather we've been having lately. First it's water restrictions, now massive storms and tornados.
Posted by Soldant  in  Brisbane, Australia  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  03:18 AM
And despite the storms, we'll still be on water restrictions for the foreseeable future. The weather bureau is still saying that it's going to be a drier than average winter here in Perth.

And looking at this week's forecast, I'll believe it - no rain predicted until this time next week!
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  03:31 AM
I work for the Western Australian Agriculture Department. One of the photos has an unfenced suger crop in it. bunbury has no sugar crops, and no unfenced crops. These ARE very fake.
Posted by tom  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  07:38 AM
I did a round up a while ago of storm photos that had been floating around that day

I put them together on a site so you can see the real storm...

http://www.t00l.net/storm/
Posted by t00l  in  Bunbury  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  09:36 AM
Okay, let me straighten some of you out, Otay? The Coriolis Effect refers to the effect of moving bodies in relation to the rotation of the Earth... that's all fine and dandy when we talk about the atmosphere, but we are talking about a downward, gravity-driven movement, turned into rotation not by the movement of the atmoshere in relation to the Earth's rotation, but by its relative latitudinal postion to the Earth's poles. It's a gravity-driven process, not a deflective process of the atmosphere. Damn. Read a book
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  07:21 PM
Okay, final clarification: The storm rotation? Coriolis Effect. Yes. Definately. The sink/drain rotation? Relative Latitude. Okay? Okay. Quiz on this tomorrow, so cram big-time. That's my motto: Cram It.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  07:39 PM
harry are you sure? I just tried to look it up on the internet, here's some webpages I found:
http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/crls.rxml
and here's another one:
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/basics/coriolis-understanding.htm
there's a whole bunch by just googling "coriolis effect"
It's caused by a deflection process by the earth's rotation. Are you maybe thinking of tides?
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  10:27 PM
Or do I just not understand it at all. As I wrote in my first post on it, I can't pretend to be an expert, that's just the way I've always understood it. I could just be misinterpreting it.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  10:28 PM
After living in the US for the best part of 2001 and growing up in Australia. Let me blow some myths for the US readers.
Kangaroos generally don't roam the streets of Australia.
Sydney is not the capital
The water spins in the opposite direction in Australia as it drains from sinks and toilets.
Posted by Karz  in  Adelaide  on  Tue May 24, 2005  at  12:40 AM
Hi, these are categorically NOT photos from the storm in Westerm Australia recently - apart from the fact that it is inconceivable that none of our parochial little media outlets (print or electronic) have run these photographs, I'd draw your attention to the vehicles in two of the photos - they're driving on the right-hand side of the road (we drive on the left)! Sorry guys, these ain't from here! Brian
Posted by Brian  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Tue May 24, 2005  at  10:50 PM
Bleeding heck, how many more times do we have to post this: The storm photos are a hoax--they are from the collection of 2004 storm photos on the Extreme Instability site. They were in Iowa, USA, not Bunbury, and can be seen in their original state here:

http://extremeinstability.com/2004photos.htm
Posted by shel  in  Australia  on  Wed May 25, 2005  at  12:37 PM
Well, the corn is not setting, and the rapseed isn't flowering, because in Asutralia it is coming on to winter. They are a hoax, and great to look at!
Posted by anneebp  in  Sydney  on  Wed May 25, 2005  at  11:47 PM
The tornado was real alright, there has been untold damage, but it has only effected some parts of the town.
I do agree that the above pictures are strange as I can not recognise any scenery.
Posted by Erik van Garderen  in  Bunbury, western Australia  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  10:48 AM
From the perspective of a storm chaser here in Texas, I would say that the several pictures I've seen of this particular "Bunbury Storm" appear to be different storms. I also believe these to be in the Midwest also. While I'm not very familiar with the geography of WESTERN AUSTRALIA, I'd say that the frontal boundary would have had to be very significant to cause the convection needed to generate a super cell like the one in these photos. Smaller storms can be tornadic too, but don't usually look like this one. The rotation is definately counter clockwise, which also suggests this was in the Northern Hemisphere, although, there was a storm a few years back in Paris TX I think, that actually rotated the oposite direction, so this can't be ruled out. The 6 or 7 photos I've seen appear to be at different times of the year (Harvest) and at different times of the day. Typically, the storm reaches maturity, does the damage and disipates rather rapidly. Although very rare, this storm appears to have a very long life especially as the meso-cyclone (wall cloud) is so close to the ground during broad daylight, and there is not much disipation between then and sunset. My vote is these are a couple of mid summer storms in the south central plains here in the US. Trust me, it's no honor to have one of these knocking on your door.
Posted by Mike Bartils  in  Texas  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  01:50 AM
Hi everyone, i live in Mandurah WA and copped some pretty harsh effects from the storm, and looking at the supposed bunbury photos it would be rather cool to think that a storm like that passed over us, but i don't think so. It has been brought to my attention that a few cars in one of the photos are actually driving on the opposite road to what we do here in Australia. And i have spent a lot of time in Bunbury having grown up in the area, and that is not Bunbury landscape, not at all. They were cool pictures though
Posted by Emma  in  Mandurah  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  09:18 AM
Hey, i also realised that after i posted my fact revealing letter, that someone has also ready mentioned the same facts as what i did. Lets just say, im sitting at home drinking Southern Comfort and having a hell of a blonde day. Cheers.
Posted by Emma  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  09:20 AM
hello everyone i am from bunbury and there is only one of these photo that look remotely like "bunno"

one of these photos have a paddock and in the paddock is a nice big green crop of something. in bunbury we are not in the growing season yet and we are just about to seed which means put the seed in the ground now this crop in the photo looks like its ready to be harvested people dont believe these photos. bunbury is not like these at all
Posted by peta  in  Bunbury  on  Sun May 29, 2005  at  03:55 AM
Going from orientation of the road signs this has to be taken in America or some country where they drive on the right side of the road. That should put Australia out of the running.
Posted by TJ  in  Candad  on  Tue May 31, 2005  at  11:45 AM
Really awesome shots, but if this is anywhere near Bunbury W.A., then I'm a monkey's uncle. Try mid-west USA. Here's what I think gives it away....
- Lack of Australian scenery, in particular, gum trees
- American style barn with flagpole in frame 7
- reverse cyclonic rotation in the wall clouds and tornado (i.e., northern hemisphere) frames 3,4 and 8
- approaching car appears to be on wrong side of road in frame 2
- incorrect storm type, instead of a spring/summer supercell should have been a winter frontal system (cloud in frame 6 would be plausible if not for the scenery)

I am familiar with the countryside near Bunbury and it is mostly well forested with hills in the distance, Tuart trees are a frequent large gum in the area, with plenty of Marri/Jarrah forest around. The flat coastal areas tend to peppermint and paperbark swamps. Bunbury itself is a reasonable sized city with a hill in the middle of it that you can see for miles around.
Posted by John Woodbridge  in  Brisbane  on  Thu Jun 09, 2005  at  10:11 PM
READ THE BLOODY THREAD!!! Sheeshhh and Bleeding heck, how many more times do we have to post this: The storm photos are a hoax--they are from the collection of 2004 storm photos on the Extreme Instability site. They were in Iowa, USA, not Bunbury, and can be seen in their original state here:

http://extremeinstability.com/2004photos.htm
Posted by shel  in  Perth...not far from Bunbury  on  Fri Jun 10, 2005  at  09:33 AM
Weighing in here after the gunfire has died down. Interesting to note that even though a single quick visit to the link posted by shel on May 21 established indisputable bona fides for the origin of these images, the debate continued for almost 3 more weeks. Maybe us humans are so easy to hoax cuz we likes it.
Posted by Rik Jonsson  in  Minneapolis  on  Wed Jul 06, 2005  at  01:23 PM
Just from looking at the photos, I could tell they were the midwest:
Vehicles on the right side of the road
The street sign
The corn and soy bean crops
And it's flatter than $#@!

I'm moving back to Montana!
Posted by Fred  in  South Dakota  on  Mon Jul 25, 2005  at  08:11 PM
ok i live in bunbury, for starters... the storms went through about 6am. not after getting to werk at 8.30am. outside was darker during the day than in any of these pictures. and the landscapes, the only places near bunbury that are open spaces and full of grassed areas are the collie/brunswick hills areas. all not flat as in these pics. bloody top pictures, but as far as im concered every 1s been had.
Posted by Benno  on  Tue Aug 09, 2005  at  05:10 AM
READ THE THREAD. READ THE THREAD. READ THE THREAD.

As I said back in May.......
"Bleeding heck, how many more times do we have to post this: The storm photos are a hoax--they are from the collection of 2004 storm photos on the Extreme Instability site. They were in Iowa, USA, not Bunbury, and can be seen in their original state here:

http://extremeinstability.com/2004photos.htm
Posted by shel on Wed May 25, 2005 at 08:37 AM"

_We_ haven't been had, _we_ know where they're from.

Shel.
Posted by shel  in  Perth...not far from Bunbury  on  Tue Aug 09, 2005  at  05:27 AM
Actually . . . I posted the link to the original non-bunbury photos in this forum on May 21. Alas and alack, still we have debate . . . .
Posted by shel  in  Perth...not far from Bunbury  on  Tue Aug 09, 2005  at  05:28 AM
Sorry, shel. People are dumb. And tend not to read what anyone else has posted.
*shrugs*
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Tue Aug 09, 2005  at  07:21 AM
Hi,

Not only have these photographs been incorrectly circulated as a hoax under this name it has under other names as well unfortunately. And in one known case, it may have been submitted to one of the US channels incorrectly authored by someone in Texas. Mike Hollingshead has had to unfortunately come to terms with losing control of an absolutely awesome set of photographs.
Posted by Hail  in  Australia  on  Thu Aug 11, 2005  at  08:03 AM
Here they are again, this time in Canada....

Last Friday (Aug 18) a severe storm came through the Toronto area. We don't usually get storms that bad, so everyone was really impressed.

It took exactly 1 week for these photos to show up in my inbox with the caption, "Photos taken near Orangeville during last Friday's storm! Isn't nature amazing!?!" (Orangeville is in a rural area NW of Toronto.)

Where will they appear next? Anywhere but Iowa, no doubt.
Posted by Marbi  in  Toronto - Center of the Known Universe  on  Fri Aug 26, 2005  at  07:03 PM
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