Not a bad effort last night, nearly missed out on it all too! Was anticipating storms yesterday and there was a little bit of build up in the afternoon but by late afternoon it had all died again. Going by the spectacular lack of thunderstorm prospects in the sky, I decided it wasnt gunna be worth checking the internet when I got home from work for any activity. Went to footy training and thought nothing more of it. Had a few hopeful looks at the sky while at footy training and all that could be seen was clear starry sky. Got home from footy and was watching some crap on tv when got a phone call from my old chook in Cowell, 100k's further south down the ep. She said she could see lightning to her south and that my brother in Coffin Bay had just rung saying he had got a cracker storm! WTF I thought! Flew into computer room, arc'ed up the computer, dialled and hells bells there was lightning and cells all over the shop belting the SA coastline from kingscote to nullarbor! Lightning everywhere to - tonnes on both trackers! Dusted off camera gear (literally) and flew out to my look out hill. Sure enough, lightning all across western horizon - gaps in the flashes greater than 5 seconds were very very hard to come by! But this is where the story takes a tragic turn. Lightning just stayed out west all night. It gradually grew less frequent as well. Only thing that entertained me for about an hour was a nice storm that I could see about 30 to 70 km to the south. Then after the storm to the south moved to the south east the cloud sort of cleared out and in the light of the full moon I could see the shape of the massive thunderhead to the south. Would have looked awesome in daylight. Now the tragic story has a happy ending. In the moonlight I could see some approaching very nice looking cells to the west and northwest - the direction I need them to come from for me to get them. Although initially the lightning from the cells to the north west was infrequent they fired up quite nicely as they approached! The storm to the SE was also still photoworthy as well. Storm to north was really beginning to crank. Some very nice CG's dropping from it as well. With the light of the flashes I could see a very nice gust front forming out to the south west as well and it was clear it was coming towards me. The storm continued to close in, and the lightning although still 15-20km away was very impressive to watch (and photograph). Gust front was impressive as well - was illuminated by lights of city. Started to rain about now, left camera out for the approach of the northern storm, but unfortuneately all it would spit out as it got close was CC or rain curtain hidden CG oh well. Started to pour so packed the camera up (there was also a freezing cold roaring north wind for most of the night) and just watched the show. A number of strikes dropped down less than 3km away. A couple less than 1km away. Thunder wasnt that loud. Got a quick couple of mm. After storm front had passed it was very summery. Real warm clear calm moist air, with the odd large drop falling, and lots of thunder cloud around, illuminated by the moonlight. Went home and crashed.
Woke up this morning to sound of rain. Went to work and soon as I got away from the town, spied a ripper thunderhead to the east.
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