January 16th 2009
Michael Bath and I decided to head out yesterday with the possibility of storms forming. Instability and shear was better further south around the southern Northern Rivers and Northern Mid North Coast area. An area of convection was apparent near Casino so we decided to investigate. Surprisingly a small cell had developed near Casino, so we decided to observe this for a while.
This proceeded to dump a pretty substantial microburst SW of our position, but with the lack of shear it collapsed on itself a little later on.
After watching this weaken we decided to head to our original target area around Grafton. We stopped near Whiporie to get an idea of what was going on. There was cells evident but nothing appeared very strong looking. The earlier cell looked nice to the north but after a radar check it was clear it was just about dead.
After standing in oppresive heat we decided to head south. We ended stopping near Junction Hill just north of Grafton to check out a cell that was to the west of Grafton. We noticed somebody setting up a camera just up the road from us so we decided to have a look and see who it was. It turned out it was Flip who had decided to come to the NR's to check out some of our storm action.
The cell near Grafton was spitting out some nice CGs and also had a microburst look to it. We hung here for about 30mins or so, but it looked like it had weakened so we moved back north again to Whiporie to grab a quick feed and consider our options.
After a quick feed it looked like there was activity coming up from the south again so MB mentioned going to Lawrence which has great views over the water and provides a nice backdrop to any lightning that would occur. While waiting for dark to come we observed some impressive crespucular rays.
It seemed like ages before it got fully dark enough for the lightning to reveal itself, but soon enough it became visible although a bit distant.
More lightning to our SW caught our attention so we decided to check this out. This looked far more impressive and closer so we looked for a place to set up. While we were looking a very bright stacatto smashed down ahead of us. This was what we had been waiting for. We set up and proceeded to click away watching the awesome show and commenting on the brilliance of the lightning. At one stage a bolt must have hit a transformer or telegraph pole as there was a crazy blue/green glow after the bolt touched down. Heres a selection of some of my better pics.
We watched the show for about an hr or more, before noticing more action to our NW so we decided to have a look at that. It was approaching the Whiporie area so we headed that way but rain forced even further north back towards Coraki and that is where we ended the chase watching the cell south of us move off the coast. Tried to get some pics of the retreating cell but had some issues of getting a decent focus so most of my pics turned out a bit blurry. Didn't really bother me that much as I had plenty to keep me satisfied from earlier in the evening.
In all a pretty good, but tiring, chase. Very happy with the outcome, with some nice cells in the afternoon followed by an awesome lightning show. Can't ask for more than that!
Big thanks to MB for driving, its always a pleasure to watch natures show with someone else.
Hope you enjoy,