6th March 2017

Had another great little chase into the wheatbelt this afternoon. I could see cumulus towers popping up out towards Northam, so I headed to a great spot that I like near Meckering that has good views to the east. It was a hot day (37°C+) and the flies were out in swarms. This is not unusual for this time of the year in Australia, but it takes some getting used to when you have lived in the city for a few years.

It was immediately clear that this setup was going to produce something spectacular, but I wasn’t quite expecting it to be this good.

There was a line of storms popping up that stretched from the north west to the south east (left to right in the following pano).

As impressive as the main cell in front of me was, it was the small cell to the right that caught my attention. It shot up rapidly and within an hour had became one of the most spectacular anvils I have ever seen. The following sequence of photos highlights the growth of this cell.

At this point, I made the call to move further east towards Cunderdin to follow this cell in the hope that it might became lightning active after sunset. By then, it had grown into a very large thunderstorm and the setting sun lit up the top in an impressive display of colour.

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There was a fair bit of lighting in this cell, but by now it was moving away to the SE and I didn’t really plan to follow it that far.

Behind me, another thunderstorm was making its way south and this one was very lightning active, but the rain and dust obscured most of it. I did manage to get a shot of some mammatus that had formed.

As darkness fell (and a gazillion mosquitoes came out) I decided to head back to the Great Eastern Highway to find a better location to try and capture some lighting shots. I finally found a spot just west of Cunderdin and set up the camera. The decaying storm that was approaching still had plenty of energy and the gust front pushing out in front of it made it hard to keep the camera and tripod steady. Even so, I managed a few photos as the storm headed my way.

Even though this chase was only a few hours long (380km round trip) I really enjoyed it. The cloud structures I saw were truly amazing. So here is one more of that anvil.

Be sure to check out my photography page at mattfrickerphotography.com where you can  purchase many of my weather images. Enjoy.

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1st March 2017

It’s been a while since Perth saw any decent thunderstorm activity. But Wednesday 1st March broke the TS drought. At 2:45pm, my weather station at home recorded a high temperature of 41.7°C and 78% humidity, so there was plenty of heat and moisture around. The afternoon aerological diagram (T-skew) from the BoM showed plenty of potential for lifting and storm development.

 

And I guess it was hard to miss these babies developing…

 

The growth of this particular cell was impressive, as this short time-lapse shows.

So we set off out along the Brookton Highway to Mount Dale, about 4okm’s east of Kelmscott. Going up the hill, I got stuck behind a slow moving truck, which made the view in front of me all the more tantalising.

The photo above was taken on my dash mounted camera (which needs adjusting up a bit) at 6:15pm. The following radar image show the development of this storm around this time.

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We got to Mount Dale a few minutes before sunset. After parking in the lookout carpark, we climbed the track to the eastern side of the hill. The view is not the best because of the trees, but there are plenty of places where you can get a reasonable view to the east. And what a view it was. I’ll let the following photo’s tell the story…

 

Sometimes it is nice to step back from the camera and just enjoy the show.

The view looking up. By this stage, the massive cloud structure was being lit up by the sun even though it had set, which gives you some perspective as to just how high this thing was.

By this time, a second cell was developing overhead and it was getting a bit too dangerous to stay out in the open, so we made the call to head back home. We hadn’t been home long before another set of storms that had formed north of Perth began making their way toward the city. So I set the camera up on the front porch and managed to get a few photos through the trees.

In this photo you can see the CBD skyline with the lightning hitting somewhere in the western suburbs.

More storms passed over the metro area during the night, but it had been a long day for my so I missed them. You can see some great photos from the team at Perth Weather Live on their Facebook page using the link below.

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12th Feb 2017

Had my first proper chase for the season today. There was a chance of storms firing up a few hundred KM’s north of Perth around Carnamah and Coorow. I headed up the Midlands Road to Moora and found a great vantage point just to the north near Coomberdale. There was a well developed storm to the north and as it moved south I was able to get a few shots of the impressive structure. There was some IC lightning, but I didn’t capture any and I didn’t see any CG’s. I later found out that this storm dumped over 60mm of rain on Carnamah in 20minutes and flooded the town, inundating the local IGA and a couple of other stores in the main street.

As the storm was beginning to decay, I moved south to a spot just west of Moora. The sky turned the most amazing sepia colour. These images have not been altered in any way.

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Favorite Image for 2016

Sometimes it is hard to pick a favourite image.

Especially in a year when there has not been a lot of storm action! But for me, the chase on January 23 would have to be the most memorable. And it is from this chase that my favourite photo for 2016 comes.

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As the light faded in the western sky, a group of chasers had gathered along a fence line to watch the lightning active storm that was sliding away to the SE. The angle of the sun, the right amount of rain and the stunning colors combined to create an almost perfect condition for this image. Add to this the smell of wet grass and the rumble of distant thunder, I could have stayed in this moment for ever. I guess that is one of the reasons I love to chase the weather. It is a soul cleansing, awe-inspiring and humbling experience. And its moments like thee that give me the space and perspective that I so often need. Enjoy.

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24th January 2016

I have been a bit slack lately in posting here. It has been so long since we had a decent chase that I had to dig into the archives to find the photos from the last one. In fact, i can’t even remember when and where most of these were taken, excepting that we were east of Corrigin, Western Australia. Enjoy.

14th November 2015

I don’t recall the exact location of many of these images. Somewhere between Quairading and York and Westdale in Western Australia. So rather than bore you with waffle… I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. From epic structure during the afternoon through to very lightning active nocturnal cells, this day had it all, including multiple fires due to lightning strikes. Enjoy.

2nd February 2015

Went out last night to watch the lightning over Perth from Champion Lakes in Kelmscott, Western Australia. I don’t usually like power lines in my shots, but I didn’t really have a choice on this occasion.