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Commercial flight - sensational thunderhead


onetrack
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So .... the W.A. Govt beefs up the entry/re-entry restrictions to W.A. over the weekend, as the virus starts to rage all through the South/Eastern States - and we're in Qld, on the Gold Coast, halfway through an 18 day break with the stepson and his wife (who we haven't seen for near on a year. And like everyone else, we decided to cut out holiday short and get back into W.A. to beat the ramped up W.A. entry restrictions that are only going to get worse, not better - and possibly leave us stranded in Qld for weeks or months.

 

And like everyone else, we all pile on the next Virgin B737-800 back to W.A, and leave Brisbane 3/4 hr late, and running at MTOW (I've never seen a B737 take so long to get airborne!) - and we set course for 5 hrs and 20 mins of loud yapping passengers, sleeping passengers who lean all over you, and service that is pretty much a shadow of what it used to be - just free water and coffee and tea, and everything else you have to pay for. Luckily, we're wise travellers and bring our own tasty food and make everyone else jealous as we munch through it around 7:30PM.

 

Right after we finished, two things get my attention - a considerable deviation in the flight path - and the missus (to my right, in the window seat), getting my attention to point out the stunning show outside.

I can only just see it, as a fair bit of it is forward of my view - but firstly, it's the setting sun, deep below the horizon, lighting up the cloud banks through a gap - and secondly, there's this monstrous thunderhead that is a classic anvil shape, and which must be towering to 50,000 feet or more.

We're at 36,000 feet, and just W of Bourke, and it's way above us - and it's obvious the crew are making a substantial deviation to avoid some major bad weather. This thing is truly impressive, and I try my best to get a photo of it - with a poor result, thanks to the rapidly moving aircraft, a poor seating position, and reflections from the window. But I managed to get a shot which shows the thunderhead on the left. 

 

Then, this morning, on the news, I find reports of a massive dust-storm and BOM reports of a 100km-long line of thunderstorms embedded in a huge front, that travelled South Eastwards through Central Australia, SW Qld and NW N.S.W.

There's little doubt that we sighted the major thunderhead in this line of storms, and we were lucky to see a sight which not a lot of air travellers see very often.

The Flightaware snapshot shows the major flight path deviation as we encountered that bad weather. We made good time, despite the deviation, arriving in 5 hrs and 10 mins, at least 10 mins ahead of the average BNE-PER flight time. Some of the past flights have run to 5 hrs and 50 mins.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-20/huge-dust-storm-sweeps-outback-queensland/100713108

 

 

VA470-thunderhead.jpg

VA470-path.JPG

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IF you want to see big stuff fly through the Thermal Equator,( Inter-tropic Convergence Zone). It goes all the way around the world and is associated with Monsoonal Rain in both hemispheres It can look like a wall of Ice with the tops too high to be visible. It's what AF 447 got into. Ultimately the energy of a storm system is derived from Moisture and that's maximised from Hot (tropical) Maritime  (been over the sea) air.. Nev

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