Severe Weather 2015 / 2016 Season

On another marginal day where moisture would play a pivotal role, we scored another awesome evening lightning display.

As far as I can see (and I'm no expert) inland was a bit too dry and the coastal areas too cool. The Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim sub-regions were warm with temps in the mid-high 20s but were also slightly more humid - a crucial element for convection. Without excessive moisture, however, cloud bases were high making CGs (cloud-to-ground lightning) more visible.

As storms tracked through NE NSW, I figured they would probably meander over the border ranges then collapse shortly after. Luckily, I was wrong. Not too far wrong, as Brisbane barely received a drop of rain, but wrong enough to decide at 5:15pm to head out and race S of Beaudesert.

   

As I arrived ground bolts were visible, which was a great sign. Around this time a small black core was apparent on radar. The storm was also developing a small shelf cloud making it quite photogenic against the dying sunset:

         

Low wind shear offered the advantage of relatively slow moving storms, reducing the need to move as often. As I sat and waited for the inevitable rain to arrive, I was hoping for a close bolt (as I always do). The rain did eventually start falling, but I stuck it out a bit longer and was rewarded. The next photo is shot with a 10mm lens so the field of view is very wide, meaning the lightning is a lot closer than it looks in the photo:

 

Happy with this, I packed up and moved N stopping briefly a couple of times before quickly being overtaken by rain. Considering the storm's path, I decided to head back home to Mundoolun. Escaping the rain, I stopped just around the corner from home with a reasonable view to the S where some more big lightning fell:

       

Then some huge CCs and crawlers started flashing overhead:

       

For a marginal day this turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. As usual, the best storms often happen when you least expect them.

Interactive chase track: Enlarge map


128km radar loop 12pm-12am

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