Some good strong inflow today resulted in some of the best supercell structure I've seen. I'm starting to like the BoM's recent mantra of "storms, possibly severe".
Choosing a specific target on the Downs was tricky so I headed W of Allora when the first cells appeared W of Inglewood. As I high-tailed it I was pulled over for speeding and subsequently let off with a warning by a very nice police man. Must be my lucky day.
Views between Leyburn and Inglewood are notoriously awful thanks to a heavily forested and bumpy landscape. I just hoped I could get to Coolmunda (just E of Inglewood) where there was a half decent view W before the storm did. And I did. Just.
A nice little updraft base was evident with a solid rain foot to its S. There was time for a couple of photos before the hail started.
Mainly pea-sized but there were some 3cm stones making a disturbing sound on the car.
As the rain got heavier, the lightning bolts got closer:
I was enjoying the hail and light show but it was time to move to have any chance of staying in front of this storm. I stopped up the road briefly at Oman Ama for some more lightning:
As I sped N, an oncoming car flashed its headlights. It turned out to be the same lovely police man. Whoops. But he let me go without even pulling me over. It WAS my lucky day.
Storms intitially tracked E but then propagated N so I headed up to Yandilla, just NE of Millmerran and watched this thing turn into a beautiful sunset lit ground-scraping monster. Part of the photogenic nature of this storm was the strong SE inflow band, the smooth stretch of mid-level cloud expanding out to the left in these photos:
Watching this storm morph and intensify in front of my eyes is one of the joys of chasing. It's an aspect you don't see unless you're actively following it.
The sun descending in the sky back-lit the inflow band in a sensation rich orange.
This thing was just stunning and one of my biggest challenges is actually getting up and leaving in a timely fashion instead of gawking and taking endless photos.
I finally pried myself away only to pull over again 10 seconds later. I just couldn't leave this spectacle.
I gave it a second go and headed NE, flanking the storm and stopping again outside of the rain:
Another quick hop NE to Mount Tyson. The storm's structure was weaking but the lightning was doing no such thing:
The gust front looked to be recycling as lightning continue to fall underneath it:
Another shift NE to Aubigny:
The rain started again so I moved NE to a spot just S of Oakey:
The rain was now becoming more widespread and difficult to avoid. Ground bolts were also becoming less frequent so it was almost time to head home. I stopped at Yalangur (NE of Oakey) for some crawlers:
There were a couple of cracker bolts landing nearby but they got shy when I pointed the camera their way so I missed them. Still, it was a brilliant day and Nov 22, 2015 will go down as one of the best for storm chasers.