STORM CHASING 2014-2015

Storm potential was higher today than and initially things started slow but by mid to late arvo a number of cells popped up producing a brilliant lightning show for Brisbanites.

Despite the title, I went from Jimboomba around to Ipswich, S to Boonah and Rathdowney, across to Jacobs Well, up to the city then home again. My initial target was this side of Toowoomba but cells formed instead to the N and S of there. North around Wivenhoe and the D'Aguilar Ranges is a nightmare to chase so it was an easy decision to shoot S down the Cunningham Hwy. I stopped near Warrill View for my first look at a storm heading for Boonah:

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Considering the road network (or lack thereof) I was almost out of time if I wanted to stay ahead of the Boonah cell, but with little other option I took off anyway. The following shot doesn't look like much but at the time Rathdowney was losing large tree branches due to the strong winds inside:

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After arriving in Boonah I had to decide whether to continue E to Beaudesert skirting the N edge of the storm, or go S then E to Rathdowney to see if the cell had produced any damage. I normally like to get in front of the storms but I wasn't sure I'd actually manage that so I chose Rathdowney and whatever rain and winds I might get as I trailed it.

Some nice mammatus at Mount Alford:

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Strong winds had brought down many small and occasionally large branches. The road was littered with branches and leaves.

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Taking this road also meant a better view of activity forming to the S:

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When I arrived in Rathdowney there were more branches down and flash flooding.

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The storm continued on to the Gold Coast but the mountain ranges meant I was never going to see the front of it. I had to content myself with some nice rumbles as it produced heavy rain in the areas around Coomera. It was still early so I figured a night time light show off the Gold Coast probably wasn't likely so I started heading home to Mundoolun (NE of Beaudesert).

I can't remember why now, but by the time I arrived at my turn-off I decided to continue NE towards Yatala. I think there was something about the back of the storm that looked appealing so I followed it to the area around Jacobs Well:

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While it did look pretty and produced some nice rumbles it wasn't overly spectacular. I was contemplating heading homewards again when I heard some new rumbles from the W. The radar showed three small cells which had spontaneously appeared nearby and were heading straight towards me!

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These three cells then merged above me as the rain came down. More flash flooding was evident near Jacobs Well.

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Finally, the sky started to darken...

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...as the lightning finally came out to play.

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While this show was going on, yet more lightning active cells had emerged over Warwick and Boonah and were heading NE towards me. As they continued they turned more northerly and a cluster of activity formed ahead of it S and W of Ipswich. It all looked to be tracking towards Brisbane so after some deliberation I bit the bullet and decided on some lightning over the city - if I could make it in time.

I did thankfully arrive in time as the latest storm cluster approached from the SW and produced a stunning lightning display over the city.

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I waited (im)patiently for a huge fork to whack one of the buildings but it never happened. As the storm tracked N I moved to River Tce but by then the lightning was over the NW suburbs.

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