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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.

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Posted by The Curator on Fri May 20, 2005


We did have a devestating tornado the other day in Bunbury. Half the town was destroyed. We also had a whole heap of little ones go through Perth causing minor damage. Bunbury does have scenery like that but I don't read the paper often enough to know if photo's like that were published over here. If they were real, I'm sure they would have been published here.
I'll ask around.
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  12:03 PM
I've lived in the American midwest my whole life and our tornado pictures don't look like that. The formations just look strange...
Posted by J  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  12:11 PM
well, there has been some really freaky weather in australia.
in brisbane they had a huge hail storm feet deep and raidars didnt sense it till half an hour before and ice was all over football fields and stuff.
and besides if you live there you would know
Posted by teryn  in  new zealand  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  04:30 PM
Nettie and Smerk: there's no place like home, there's no place like home... and your little dog, too
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  04:40 PM
Scenery? The only 'scenery' is some flat land, a few trees and a road. Do you really think the USA's midwest is the only place on the planet that looks like that?!
Posted by Wendy  in  New Zealand  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  06:09 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but tornados in Australia rotate counter clockwise, just as water goes down the drain counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

Rotation in these photos isn't that easy to see, but in the third photo (flush right) and possibly the first (flush left) it's pretty clear the rotation is in fact counter clockwise.

Of course, they could have easily flipped the photo horizontally...
Posted by Brenner Thomas  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  06:11 PM
"...water goes down the drain counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere"

I'm afraid that's an urban legend.
Posted by Peter  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  06:37 PM
There may be a place called Bunbury, but Bunbury is also the name of the nonexistent person Ernest is always running off to visit in "The Importance of Being Ernest."
Posted by Big Gary  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  08:03 PM
This shot makes it look like the truck in the middle-ground is driving on the right side (wrong for Australia) of the road. It's real hard to tell though and this picture doesn't help any since the cars are too far away to tell which side they're on. I saw a lot of Austrailia a few years ago and plenty that looked like the midwest US.
Posted by Reinstag  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  08:06 PM
Dude, the whole water-swirl-latitude thing is not an urban legend... it goes more straight down near the equator, and swirls faster in the respective direction as you approach the further latitudes... Some toilets, however, have a directional swirl in the design, which counteracts the gravitational swirl... but if you use a large sink or tub, you can measure the increased swirl speed at further latitudes... don't make me prove it- i don't feel like it
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  08:14 PM
Cool pictures... explains why Smerk has been "in side" lately...
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  08:31 PM
well that street sign looks pretty australian to me...
Posted by Hew  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  09:47 PM
The corealis effect works for large phenomenon like storms, but is insignificant for small scale systems like water draining. So it's true for storms, false for sinks...
Posted by Wally  in  La La Land  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  09:55 PM
I agree.. looks like that truck is on the wrong side of the road for Australia.. I'd say it's the Midwest as well.
Posted by mizzouri  in  Missouri  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  02:01 AM
Wally is right Harry. The corealis effect deals with low/high pressure areas. It goes the direction it goes because air is trying to travel into a low pressure area, but because the earth is spinning, it misses and then tries to rush into the low pressure area again, etc...causing a circling effect.

Ok, that's definitely not in scientific terms, but that's the way I understand it. Someone else is free to correct anything in there that is wrong, or explain it better.

The point though, is that the corealis effect should have no effect on something like water in a toilet.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  02:03 AM
A search on Google for 'bunbury storm' produces a link to a story in 'The Australian' which mentions a recent storm in Bunbury. This page is full of Australians debating these photographs:
http://www.westernangler.com.au/forum/Storm_Photos/m_65768/tm.htm

It also includes what appear to be photographs of the aftermath. Being Australian, the forum participants can't express themselves very well, and so it's not really helpful. We'll have to wait until Snopes gets holds of this to know for sure.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  08:36 AM
Ashley, how bout 'shut the fuck up'. Is that expressing myself clearly.
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  11:11 AM
Oh dear nettie. red face
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  11:22 AM
sorry I don't like people being nasty to us aussies. Sorry Chary, did it lower your opinion of me???
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  11:58 AM
Having said that, it is an *angling* forum, so they probably aren't the cream of the crop... the tastiest fish in the catch, my little joke there. I want to stress that I don't think any less of the people there, just because they're Australian; I'm sure they make up for it in other ways.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  01:15 PM
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

smile
Posted by shel  in  Perth...not far from Bunbury  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  02:26 PM
you guys have certainly deminished the credibility though meteorological analysis...
I debated these photos last night, through knowing the south west region very well, this is definately not the landscape or cloud formations seen in even the worst storms. The road aggregate colour, lack of fencing, yellow road line, road sign, housing style, driving side, and most of all crops (what appear to be fence-less corn and pineapples crops!!!) All pointing to bullshit smile
Posted by kim  in  from bunbury!  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  03:31 PM
Kimmy come home i miss you Honey Buns!
Posted by Kim's Mum  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  08:23 PM
the one clear conclusion: there are a bunch of idiots out there who chase storms like the ones in the pictures, just to take more pictures.
Posted by piercedfreak  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  09:53 PM
Sometimes, PiercedFreak, the Storms chase the Idiots
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  10:00 PM
Okay, I didn't mean to suggest that people chased by storms are idiots, so don't go there. What are you supposed to do if a big storm goes by? Not take a picture cuz somebody will think you are an idiot who chased it? No, you'd take that pic. I would. Urrrrrrrrrf
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  10:04 PM
I mean, what if it wasn't a big storm, but The Full Moon, that came up, and you could take a picture of it? With its silver light bathing the valley, calling to you, telling you to run and get up on the hill to get closer to her, so you can HOWWWL and HOWWWWLL until your chest explodes? That would make a good picture... ggrr
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  10:08 PM
Darn. Too late to really make much of a difference to the discussion. My sister told me about these pics this arvo, and we've established that they are not pics of tornadoes over Bunbury. Biggest problem being that the main tornado over Bunbury happened at 6am, a good 45 minutes before dawn!!
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  05:39 AM
I'm in Perth, Western Australia. Strange I just saw this entry. I just watched a report on the local news about a waterspout just off the coast of Perth last evening. Of course, it didn't look anywhere as spectacular as these pics, but there's been some unusual weather around here over the last few days.
Posted by balster neb  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  06:14 AM
Tornadoes spin both clockwise and anti-clockwise, there is just more of one than the other in each hemisphere.
Posted by Les  in  Melb, Aus  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  09:45 PM
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