Storm Event 6/7-9-13( Gascoyne, Wheatbelt, Lower West)

The most promising setup for thunderstorm development since last summer was forecast for most of the southern half of Western Australia on the 6th of September, and that prompted a certain trip for myself to again get out and try to capture this magical weather phenomenon on my camera.

Just over a week before the storms arrived I noticed on my daily check of forecasted weather that I should start preparing for a road trip up towards the lower Gascoyne region to capture my favourite part, the development.

My day started at around 1030 with a drive to Coorow via Bindoon and the Bindoon Bakery. No storm chase can start without a stop here. So after enjoying a curry lamb pie, I was off up the Great Northern Highway towards Midlands Rd and on to Coorow via Moora.

I arrived in Coorow just after 1330, and had another look at the radar, and satellite imagery to see if anything looked like it was going to develop in the area. I wasn’t in luck, with storms started to fire a long way east on a low pressure trough line cutting through the state. I didn’t worry to much about it, as the afternoon was young, and it gave me a bit of time to scout the area a bit. I am currently working on a time-lapse project and the fields around here work perfectly for one of the scenes I wanted to capture, so off I went to find one suitable for my project.
I found an incredible site and set my camera up and started my time-lapse of the clouds building and collapsing. I had some more time up my sleeve now as my time-lapse was set for 1hr, so I had a bit of a walk around playing on my iPhone.

Coming close to the end of my time-lapse I noticed some development a long way to my north and north-east, so I opened my laptop and again checked the lightning tracker, and it confirmed a major thunderstorm developing very quickly between 150-200km away. I was in two minds, either packed up my camera, stop the time-lapse and move now, or wait for the time-lapse to finish. I decided to wait, as I only had 10minutes or so remaining, but it was the longest 10minutes ever. I was pacing up and down the road, watching these thunderstorm cells popping up and going crazy. They were too far away to see any lightning, but they were large cauliflower clouds with an every increasing anvil spreading across the sky.

My time-lapse finished, I packed my gear up and raced east towards Latham.
I kept my eyes on the development, and I had to pull over near Latham to capture one of the storms.

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As I got to Latham, I had to turn south and now head towards Wubin for fuel, and to meet with fellow storm chaser and friend Steve Brooks (owner of Perth Weather Live, http://www.perthweatherlive.com).

I arrived in Wubin, and met with Steve. He had been watching the cells to the north as well, so with a quick check of the radar to see the direction these cells were going, we saw that they were going to cross well south of Paynes Find to the north, and so the decision was made to get north, and find a spot to set up and capture these systems as they passed us by.

While we were driving the sun started to set and the thunderclouds become illuminated with incredible colours. It was incredible to witness. We were so focused to get to our spot that we missed the opportunity to capture the sunset at its best, but, we still still got a bit of colour and you can see that how it would’ve been incredible 5-10mins before hand.

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When we arrived at our location, we set up and started to capture the storms in the distance. One was to our North-East, one was t our North-West. Both were firing on all cylinders. Flashing, and sparking everywhere. Every second multiple strikes illuminated the clouds. So what did I do. I set up my time-lapse to capture it. I havent finished processing that yet, but when I do, I will post a link to the page it will be hosted on.

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Then the night really began.

A shot of a meteor flying over first cells of the night to the north.

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As the first cells passed over and headed east, the skies to the west now started to light up. Cells were quickly developing to our west, and were going nuts!!

A shot of the Milky Way with the storms firing underneath.

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Large amounts of rain mixed with hail were falling from incredible formations in the clouds.
Something about the structure I just love underneath thunderstorms.

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Lightning was all around

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One of the final cells that passed over before I had to make the long drive home.

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I had to leave, as I had to get back to Perth. The drive home was very eventful. Large hail, strong winds, lightning all around.

An extremely eventful night, but I am so glad I was able to witness it, and not on my own either. Cheers Steve, it was so great to have someone else there, yelling out as much as I was!! 🙂

I just hope this is an indication of a very active spring/summer storm season in the Midwest and Wheatbelt.

More photos to come.

Till next time.

Wheatbelt & Perth Storms 6&7-1-13

On Sunday I headed out to the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia to again chase down a few thunderstorms that were forecast to develop in the area during the afternoon. And form up they did. I headed off from my place in the northern suburbs of Perth at around 1215pm and drove towards the town of Brookton. As I headed down a highway towards Brookton I encountered very heavy rain about 15km from the town, heavy enough for me to almost come to a complete stop for 30s. It was a crawling pace, but only last for a short while.

I got to Brookton at around 1445, and refuelled. I had received a call just prior to arriving from fellow chaser Tom, who said that he was going to try and get in front of a system that was already forming just SE of town, so after refuelling I checked the radar and realised that Tom was on the money, the system that he was chasing was developing quickly.
Not one to wait around, I headed south towards Pingelly, and then east towards the town on Yealearing. I found myself about 5-10 minutes too late, the storm was already over the town, and I had no other choice but to try and core punch the system to get to the other side (something I do not recommend trying, and something I always try to avoid). The result would’ve been a few spectacular photos. I know this because Tom was able to get in front of this cell and capture the most defined wall/shelf cloud I have seen for a long time.

Feeling a bit down because I had driven a few hours to get here and missing the shot, I was still very keen to stay out and try to get a few shots. The forecast wasn’t the best, so I had made the decision to head towards the town of York and try my luck at some star trail time-lapse for the night. Though my luck was about to change. As I was heading towards York, I could see on the northern horizon a series of cumulonimbus clouds exploding into the air. So I pulled over for a quick look at the radar, and it confirmed a thunderstorm was in fact starting to build to my north by about 75km. So that is where I headed, towards the town of Goomalling, and then onto Wongan Hills.

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I didn’t make it to Wongan Hills as the storm was well and truly firing by the time I got close. The lightning was very frequent, and when I got my camera set up, I was capturing at least 2-3 strikes per 20sec in frame, (out of frame easily 5 more). It was an incredible lightshow and it was going to fly directly over me.

I set my camera up as quick as I could and hopped back into my car, just in case a stray bolt decided that I was going to be a target on this night. As the storm got closer the winds picked up tremendously, with gusts easily in excess of 100kmh, I struggled to get the camera back into my car. My car was shaking around, and I knew I had to get further up the road and away from these gusts.

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As I pulled out from the edge of a farmers paddock, I was lucky enough to bump into fellow chasers who were chasing this particular system earlier on.
We all headed back towards Goomalling and watched this system fire of lightning like there was no tomorrow. An incredible sight.

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The system continued for another 45 minutes or so towards Goomalling, before tracking slightly more to the SE towards Cunderdin, the storm weakened rapidly and we headed off.

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On the way home, I checked the radar one more time, and low and behold another couple of cells were moving down the coast from Geraldton. Knowing I had the Monday off work, I got in contact with another chaser/photographer who was out in the wheatbelt to see whether he wanted to stay out and wait for these storms to come to us. We met up in Yanchep, and the cells tracked straight down the coast passed Jurien Bay, Lancelin, Guilderton and then onto Yanchep. I didn’t have my telephoto lens, so I decided that I would time-lapse the approaching storms.

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The second and final cell went over our heads at around 0530am.

The radar showed not too much more development was in behind these cells, so I headed home exhausted, but with a card full of very cool shots.

I travelled a total of 890km for the day chasing around the Wheatbelt and back into Perth. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it.

A video I put together of the chase, it features a couple of short time-lapse sequences, as well as a few photos found in this post

YouTube (Video Link)
Vimeo (Video Link)

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All photos used on this site severewatherphotography.wordpress.comsevereweatherphotography.com.au, jordancantelophotography.wordpress.com & http://www.jordancantelo.com are copyright and are the property of Jordan Cantelo. Strictly no reproduction or commercial use allowed without prior approval.

Photography website limitations.

Please Note: The best care has been taken to accurately represent the finished photograph in the online gallery, however due to web limitations and differences in individual user’s monitor settings, printed photograph colours may differ slightly from the photographs viewed on this website.

Geminids Meteor Shower – Short Time-Lapse

Watch in HD

Geminids Meteor Shower – Time-lapse

The annual Geminids meteor shower once again graced our skies. I decided that I would head up to the Pinnacles, about 1 1/2 hrs north of Perth to get away from the city lights, and to capture the show in amongst the famous limestone rocks.

The sequence captures a couple of interesting features, most noticeably a couple of meteors, but also the trail of smoke/dust left behind as the rocks rip through the upper atmosphere.
At 0:10 you can see this in the upper left hand corner.

The images afterwards were from the night itself
First image: Milky Way facing south towards Perth.
Second: A composite of a few meteors captured throughout the night.
Third: A dawn shot over looking a section of the Pinnacle desert.

http://www.jordancantelo.com

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All photos used on this site severewatherphotography.wordpress.comsevereweatherphotography.com.au, jordancantelophotography.wordpress.com & http://www.jordancantelo.com are copyright and are the property of Jordan Cantelo. Strictly no reproduction or commercial use allowed without prior approval.

Photography website limitations.

Please Note: The best care has been taken to accurately represent the finished photograph in the online gallery, however due to web limitations and differences in individual user’s monitor settings, printed photograph colours may differ slightly from the photographs viewed on this website.