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.
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:
Shortly after, cumulus was developing to its NW closer to me.
This new development to my SE really took off producing some lovely updrafts and eventually appeared on radar just north of Beaudesert.
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.
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).
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.
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!
I arrived at Mt Coot-tha at 6:40pm and left at 9pm. What a reward for the last week or so!