STORM CHASING 2013-2014

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

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

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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

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Here's some video as the storm approached:

Lightning still from the video:

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

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

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.