Day 186. Lightning at last!

Lightning to the west of Mandurah, Western Australia.

After months of waiting, through the second longest dry spell on record, we finally got a storm close to Fremantle overnight. A small cell had passed through the north east of Perth on friday morning, catching most people of guard (except Peter and Brayden of Perth weather Live, and Jordan Cantello) and I thought that was that for the weekend. But then a small blue dot appeared out to the north west of Rottnest island, which then grew on the radar as it tracked slowly to the south west.

It was a saturday evening and with nothing to lose I raced down to a little spot between Fremantle and Kwinana and caught my first WA lightning for months as the storm passed over Garden island. It wasn’t a great picture, but it was my first of 2014! Before the rain arrived I captured the cool tree-like bolt, and the lookout with a CG in the distance.

The rain then hit so off I went again southwards, past Rockingham and overtaking the rain, and onto another great spot in Mandurah. A proper storm chaser, Steve Brooks who runs Perth Weather Live was already there and it was good to have a natter with him.

Steve was having tripod dramas and the storm had hooked back inland south of Rockingham, so I set off north again. I was able to park at a nice spot I know with a bit of high ground and watched as the storm moved very slowly inland. The CG’s were partly obscured by bush, but I got some nice pictures, including the first shot above and the one here.

As it was past midnight I started to head back up north, but then I  got tempted to follow the cell as it was still very lightning active and headed west. The CG’s were eventually crashing down all around me and the rain was heavy, so I stayed in the car. Below is my favourite shot of the night. Technically it isn’t great, as my camera was balanced on my steering wheel (you can make out the wiper on the left and rain on the glass) but the CG was very close and the thunder was almost instantaneous and very, very loud. A great end to a fun chase!

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