STORM CHASING 2015-2016

Storms "possibly severe" were again pegged for SE Qld yet Brisbane barely received a drop of rain. Which is lucky as I was shooting a venue in Cannon Hill and I needed exteriors at sunset. So while storms thankfully didn't interupt the shoot, they did have the bonus of producing a brilliant sunset for the photos. Nice.

At around 6:30pm when I was free to chase there was a stunning line of silhouetted anvils against the dying light to the SW. They seemed pretty far off with no lightning visible so I prepared to head home and spend a night with my wife for a change.

I'm not a religious man but I reckon my thoughts can be heard by whatever flying spaghetti monster is controlling the storms because shortly thereafter lightning started firing. A NW/SE line was forming so I figured I'd just drive towards it then surf it back to the outskirts of Brisbane.

I continued along the Logan Mwy past my usual Beaudesert Rd turn-off and pulled up at Purga for what was now a very lightning active line towards Boonah:

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Most of the action was clearly at the S end of the line towards Boonah. The line was fast approaching so I wondered how far I'd get before I ran into it. Somehow I made it to the spot just N of the Beaudesert Rd turn-off and was stunned to see no-one else here. The storm was making a strong outflow push and was looking sharp on the radar. The sky was black outside of the piercing lightning, which was the only way to make out the rather nice shelf cloud.

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Outflow winds were cold and strong and it was time to go. The storm was moving NE so I couldn't decide whether to head N or E. I chose N which turned out to be a good idea as it spared me some rain. The Boonah-Beaudesert Rd option was quickly overtaken by a strong push of precip E.

I stopped at Milbong as frequent lightning fell in front of the rain core:

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Then it was another quick dash N to Washpool:

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And another to just S of Peak Crossing for a better view:

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There were a number of occurences of ribbon lightning: where multiple strokes of the same lightning bolt are displaced due to strong winds giving a ribbon appearance:

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Gentle rain had fallen for the last little while as I managed to escape the heavy stuff. I was under a weaker section of the line sparing me the worst of it as cells to the N of me became more lightning active. I moved on to a spot with a better N view just SW of Peak Crossing:

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Rain increased again forcing me into my car:

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All of this was moving E so I tucked in behind it stopping for a better E view back again near Purga:

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As this activity retreated E, a new weak line was forming between Marburg and Crows Nest. Lightning was a bit too distant to make great photos but I did eye an interesting solid-looking formation of low cloud over the mountains somewhere between Ravensbourne and Crows Nest to the NW:

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This activity was also tracking E dropping occasional closer bolts, when this ripper landed over Ipswich just to my NE:

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Things then went pretty quiet besides the lightning to the distant NW, so I hung around for one more...

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...then went home at around 11pm. So the evening with Michelle never did quite turn out. Again. But I'm not complaining.