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Intense hailstorms and wild shelf cloud over Trieste

Pretty wild activity yesterday in the late afternoon when a short-wave trough crossed the Alpine region. A few strong organized storms blasted across northern Adriatic sea into SW Slovenia. A lot of hail and torrential rainfalls have been reported from coastal areas near Venice as well as over Karst region around Trieste and SW Slovenia. Here is one webcam shot from city Caorle just east of Venice in mid afternoon when intense cell crossed there…

Caorle webcam

I have had a successful first chase of the season, first intercepted a leading edge of the system over Trieste gulf and then blasting east along with it in falling hail and intense lightning. There are some photos posted below, more can be found in my gallery, link is at bottom of this post.

Cells were actually pretty intense with reflectivity well above 60dBz while also lightning strikes were intense with impressive thunder at the end. Looks like air density and its cold temperature made it different than classic summer storms. There was rapid temperature dropping when the core hit Karst area, temps dropped from +13 do +2 at higher places in 15min so it turned to snow after intense hail. Hail was 1-2cm in diameter and very soft, so no real danger at all.

I was shooting from Prosecco at first where a view over the shelf cloud was spectacular. I was soon blasted by 2cm hail so I moved further east along with the cell to get some more shots. This was my first storm chase of the season and also the earliest storm chase ever. I also got a few lightning strikes, which I’ve never done before so early in the season, too. Pretty nice for early season, no doubts!

Here you can see radar animation and satellite image when cells were over Trieste gulf, around 15-16z…

Radar animation

Satellite image at 1545z

Here is a lightning activity map later towards the 18z when storms were already more inland… but still quite active…

Lightning activity

A couple of images from Prosecco showing a nice looking shelf cloud over the gulf…


More photos can be found here: Impressive shelf cloud over Trieste gulf (Prosecco, Italy) – 31/03/2010

Here is also a video report of my whole chase where one can notice the structure and large hail at the begining and then mixing snow+rain+hail later on. Notice also an intense lightning strike hit just next to me (less than 20m away) towards the end of the video.

Video of intense hailstorm over Italian and Slovenian Karst – March 31st 2010

Today, another interesting day could occur as another short-wave trough with an intens cold front blasts in.

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