Author Topic: NSW / VIC Storms: 2 - 5 Feb 2009  (Read 13806 times)

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Offline Shaun Galman

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Re: NSW / VIC Storms: 2 - 5 Feb 2009
« Reply #15 on: 07 February 2009, 06:43:18 AM »
Upper Western / North West NSW. Storm Report And Photos 3rd February 2009
G'day all,
Well continuing on from my previous post I will share a few photos of a great night of severe electrical action! This storm system, I'd like to say squall line but it was to organized?, was amazingly active and had very nice structure in the form of 40 square kilometers of RFB pushing out in front of the rain cores! There was a nice little shelf forming on a cell that went to our west (over Cumborah/Grawin opal fields) anyway I will throw the photos up and explain further. These were all taken with the Sigma 10-20mm except the first two so the bolts were somewhat closer than they appear here.


We had initially positioned ourselves to the S of town at Kangaroo Hill to watch the storms approach from 40k's S of Walgett. We got a few shots from there but nothing worth showing really? This one is taken from Snowy Browns / Deep 4Mile opal field just as the storms encroached. We had been under that RFB for a couple hours. The inflow banding on that base cloud was stunning (I pushed the levels in this photo a bit to bring them out) and this shows the little shelf forming on the cell heading across the Cumborah plains. *In case you are wondering, yes that is a large steel tower in the photo! It was built by a guy specifically for his wife to photograph lightning while staying at their camp. needless to say I don't think they get along too well lol!


The CG were approaching quickly now and as you can see some were staccato-ing 6-10times! These storms were highly active for over 6hours! We were really surprised to see the nice blue colouring in the lower cloud base of this cell. I guess the wind shear was really favourable this evening by the look of the cloud bases!

 
We repositioned ourselves back along the 4Mile ridge ready to escape the heavy rains. The larger bolt in this photo pulsed at least 9times and I easily had enough time to react without panic in order to catch it lol. You could have pointed your camera anywhere and got unreal CG photos.
What Russ and I weren't suspecting was the strong wind gusts that were about to hit! It's the first time my tripod and camera had ever been blown over, luckily I caught it before the worst happened! Russ however wasn't so fortunate as his camera hit the dirt when his tripod slipped on the small hill we were on. It escaped without damage luckily! We were both blown over several times while sitting on the ground and it made seeing unbearable due to the dust in our eyes but we persisted luckily as the lightning was now only a few hundred metres from us.


This strange hole formed overhead (possibly and FFD notch of sorts?) and gave a nice structural contrast as the lightning illuminated everything all the time. The dust is what's causing the strange reddish look here. It was really ridiculous in the very high winds.




CG getting VERY close now.


I remember saying to Russ while taking this shot- HOLY [email protected]#%! That was close! It's time to leave! I think Russ was already getting in the car before this exposure had finished lol.


We repositioned out at Bald Hill to grab a few shots looking back over town (on the left of this photo). We headed back into town around 1am and the lightning decided to REALLY kick off once again. I drove home near on 1:30am to drop a few things off (and somehow dropping my lens out of my backpack in the meantime, luckily only smashing my Hoya UV filter! Phew!) I headed back into town driving around looking for shelter as MONSTER CG reigned down in town. Russ captured a few of these which I will persuade him to post asap as they are stunning photographs! I missed out as the rain poured down killing off my chances of getting set up in time? We captured a few crawlers but the rain was just coming down enough to again hinder any decent view around town. I'm going to build a decent camera cover for this reason as we lose too many amazing photo opportunities in the rain?

I would liked to have seen this storm system on the VIS image as it was definitely one of the more impressive storm set-ups I've seen come through from the South/South West. It was still very active once I had retired at 2:15AM! Over 6hrs of full on constant CG and crawler lightning and what rain there was, was very minimal!
All in all very interesting :D
Take care and kindest regards,
Shauno       
Chasing Region: Lightning Ridge. N.S.W.
Website: www.ridgelightning.com