Severe Weather 2013 / 2014 Season

Another day, another chase. This week is starting to remind me of the eight-day storm spell we got in Jan 2004.

Activity started before noon with a gunshot flang at our house on the southside.

 

Thankfully, this early activity died pretty quickly and burned off opening the blue sky to provide better heating for afternoon storms.

It wasn't a long wait before activity was firing SW of the ranges which quickly formed into a squall line. This is from Purga, just S of Ipswich:

     

This thing was moving so I didn't get to camp long. Considering the storm was headed for the awful Brisbane peak hour, it was tricky to decide where to go. I decided to stick mainly to the freeways, stealing regular peeks of what was turning into a lovely gust front:

 

I stopped at Larapinta to watch the rapid formation of a classic Brisbane summer guster that I remember from when I first arrived here in the late 90s.

       

Considering the traffic, I honestly thought the storm would overtake me, but I had an astonishingly good run. I decided on Cleveland, then at the last minute diverted further N to Wynnum for a brilliant view of this stunning shelf cloud:

         

The next pan is a stitch of five portrait-format shots each taken at 10mm, which means the angle of view is virtually 180° and the top of the image is actually right above me.

 

Lightning flashed regularly but CGs (cloud-to-ground strikes) were less prevalent. Inside the whale's mouth:

     

Here's some video as the storm approached:

Lightning still from the video:

 

I then tried for lightning photos as the storm tracked out to sea:

     

It didn't take long to get dark, yet the rain persisted and the big branchy bolts I was after were being shy.

         

A brighter exposure showed up some great texture at the back of the storm:

 

More storm activity was developing to the W. For some reason I didn't expect much from it, probably because a storm had already been through and spent the atmosphere of fuel, so I was ready to head home. As I did, regular flickering beyond the city distracted me enough to find a view. I met a lovely chap who let me shoot from his front porch which had this incredible view:

   

As good as this view was, I was now really fancying a closer view of the city as it was clear from the radar that the storm would track straight over it so I stopped at Bowen Tce. It didn't the storm long to arrive with some brilliant forks of lightning. Two of my favourite photographic subjects brought together at last.

       

The rain inevitably arrived but I didn't care. I was hankering for a giant bolt to hit the bridge or a building so I persisted underneath my hardy brolly. Keeping raindrops off the lens is always tricky, and this windy downpour wasn't helping.

     

I didn't quite get a bolt hitting a building but am thrilled with capturing lightning over the sexy new Story Bridge and Brisbane city. Another amazing storm day after such a long dull spell.


128km radar loop 10:40am-2am


256km radar loop 10:40am-2am

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