There was lots of instability today but very low shear, meaning cells would be slow moving indicating a risk of flash flooding but also possibly short lived storms.
I started down the Cunningham Hwy stopping at Silverdale for the first SE Qld cell of the day. Constant rumbling thunder was a good sign.
Staying ahead I darted N to Coleyville for a brief chaser convergence with David Sercombe.
After only a few minutes, raindrops meant it was time to go so I headed ENE stopping between Harrisville and Peak Crossing as a flurry of CGs (cloud to ground lightning bolts) landed less than a km away:
I moved on to just N of Peak Crossing for a chaser convergance with Tejay as the storm continued to develop nicely:
The cell looked to be shifting N slightly. I took off up the Ipswich-Boonah Rd and noticed the anvil overhead, stopping at Purga.
I struggled for a view around Willowbank as the storm continued to evolve. By the time I stopped near the quarry just W of Amberley the cell was weakening significantly:
With new activity starting near Allora, I took a punt and dumped this storm and took off W down the Rosewood-Laidley Rd stopping near Grandchester for a view back E at the decaying storm.
This mountainous arm of the Lockyer Valley was a nightmare for views until I got just past a tiny place called Blenheim. As I approached, a new cell was tracking E towards me from Toowoomba dropping regular huge CGs.
The Allora cell continued to grow and produce a huge black core on radar. Here's a view of some well defined base features from that storm to the SW, taken at the same time as it produced its most intense radar echo:
I continued on to what I knew was the last of the views E of the range and watched the storm come to me.
Meanwile, another storm was intensifying over Grantham and heading SE towards me as well:
My plan at this stage was to track the southern storm as it looked to be the most severe, so I headed back E.
Trouble is the northern cell was also intensifying and dropping regular CGs. I was pretty much right in the middle of these two storms which were on a collision course.
Normally, I'd prefer to stay in front of the storms but it was too late for that. These two cells were about to collide and I didn't feel that I had much choice but to hang back. The radar shows that as far as avoiding the rain from these two storms, I was somehow in the perfect spot. I'd also scored some pretty decent lightning out of the back of some storms lately, so I didn't mind sitting tight.
I shifted back W a few kms and waited for something interesting to happen.
Thunder was constant for the next hour and a half as I watched various cloud formations whiz by in the strong winds. Eventually the sun lowered and bathed my cloud dome in rich orange colours.
I continued to wait, hoping again for a light show after dark. It wasn't overly impressive but a few forks did make themselves known:
I turned around at one point and was excited to see some flashes from a weak anvil towards Allora. I started heading that way as it looked to be a nice discrete cell, but it weakened soon after. I turned around at approximately 8pm and started for home.
On the way I saw extensive flooding around Grantham and Gatton. I didn't take too many photos but it was heartbreaking to see glassy reflections from large fields on either side of the road. Had these folks not suffered enough?