Central Wheatbelt Storms 16-3-13

It’s that time of the year again when thunderstorms start to develop and make their way over the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Today marked my first Autumn trip into the Wheatbelt and with a severe weather warning issued it was set to be a big day.
Initially the storms were forecast to be about the Perth Hills by mid afternoon and then track east. I wanted to capture the development and again some structure so I thought I would base myself away from the movement of the storms and head towards Goomalling, a small country town about 150km NE of Perth. This area is usually the prime spot for development, but it also has good access in all directions, so it’s a good place to re-access your plan of attack.


So I arrived in Goomalling, and storms were already developing and maturing a lot further east then they were forecast to. So I refuelled my car, and headed toward Dowerin, then Wyalkatchem, onto Trayning, then finally ended up in Nungarin, just as the show was really starting to fire up.


Seeing the storms structure during the day is incredible, and I love capturing that, but at dusk as the sun is setting, that twilight time when the lightning is now illuminating the clouds, that is magical. The sky was clear above me with stars starting to appear, but to my east, the best strobe show I have seen for a long time was occurring, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I set up my camera and proceeded to capture my time-lapse that I had come to get.

The lightning was unbelievable, and I even managed my first ever capture of lightning coming out of the top of a cloud.

As the storms moved further to SE they did not loose any momentum, and if anything they might have started to get more active. It was a strobe show, like none other I’ve seen before. A line of thunderstorms in perfect harmony, all linked and firing off. It was incredible to see.

As I moved my camera to face the cells moving further away, I started to notice a feature low on the horizon that looked very suss. To me this looked like a tornado, but it could’ve quite realistically been just low scud cloud that was arranged in a way that made it look like one. Maybe, maybe not. We will never know, because out here luckily, we are very sparsely populated.
Here is the photo, and leave a comment to let me know what you think.

This is my track map for the day, thanks to Google Maps. A total of 650km for the day, not that far by any stretch and definitely not the furthest I have travelled chasing and photographing.
Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 4.01.06 PM
I am currently processing more images, time-lapse and video (I got some rotation in a cloud that looks amazing on GoPro) of the night, and that will be posted in the coming days.

I recorded a live stream while I was out there, and you can hear it here

A small video I created of time-lapse from the day, watch in at least 720p HD

Till next time 🙂