STORM CHASING 2009-2010

Edit Thu 19 Nov 2009: Looks like we made the Channel 7 news up on Mt Coot-tha! I'm not sure how long the link will stay valid, but check out the brief glimpse here.

It seemed today hung on a knife edge. High CAPE values meant heaps of potential, but a large cap on convection also meant a good chance of the potential never being realised. Fortunately, around 2pm, thanks to high temperatures, the cap broke and warm air was allowed to freely rise 10 kms into a relatively cold atmosphere.

Once activity appeared on the radar I headed out and was shocked to find a huge anvil to the south over the Gold Coast.

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Storms were moving NE so I headed to Purga, just south of Ipswich, in the hope of intercepting something from the SW. Here's the view of the Gold Coast cell:

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Shortly after, cumulus was developing to its NW closer to me.

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This new development to my SE really took off producing some lovely updrafts and eventually appeared on radar just north of Beaudesert.

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Here's a timelapse of the above cell:

Meanwhile just near Harrisville to my south a new cell was forming. It initially looked very weak, but this would eventually join another cell to become the spectacular lightning show over Brisbane in the evening.

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Thunder was now audible with brief lightning crawlers visible above. As it passed just to the SE it strengthened and huge CGs became visible (but tough to photograph).

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I now had a decision to make. There was a long line south of the border on its way to me. Do I try and get ahead of the current cell and battle Brisbane's peak hour traffic or sit tight and wait for the new line which wouldn't arrive for a couple of hours, if at all?

Eventually I headed north with the intention of watching lightning from the back of the current storm as the sky darkened, but with the ability to slip easily south again.

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Well, this storm was now intensifying, joining another cell north of Ipswich, and becoming lightning intensive. So an easy decision was made to head to Mt Coot-tha to watch one of the best lightning displays I've seen! I was rapt to be watching lightning striking the ground in the surrounding suburbs!

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I arrived at Mt Coot-tha at 6:40pm and left at 9pm. What a reward for the last week or so!