24 march 2013
It was one of those days where it was either going to be BIG or nothing. Keeping an eye on this forecast for a few days before. Every day the system looked like it was weakening. This being possibly the last chase of the season we decided to risk it anyways. We left a little late around 1pm and decided to go for the cells near the NSW border. There was talk of huge cells that were going to develop out west but in the end decided to go for something that was already established. The cell near urbenville was the target and we were happy when we saw the cell tighten up on radar. Location goal was around springbrook. As we approached spring brook the cell decided to change direction slightly.
Caught this early and moved to beechmont instead. We hit the cell head on. It had weakened by then but an INSANE rain band was on the way. Took a few pics just before that happened. This is where as i was taking a photo in the valley and Shaun and i was out of the car, a MASSIVE lightning bolt comes out of the sky and hits the field next to us about 50 meters away. We get in the car and haul ass but get caught so we hid at the servo at nerang for a little bit while we decide to chase the cell near beaudersert.
It would be a close call if we get dominated or not. We get into the cell and Shaun decided to track along side it. From then we could not get in front of the cell to get the images of the wall cloud that formed. For the next 40 minutes we drove in blinding rain and roads with power outages. We could barely even see the front of the car for most of the way home. Near home the power was out along the road and there were trees all over the road. Incredible lightning all the way home but out of the blue lightning hits a tree next to our car and moves the car sideways a bit and rocked the whole thing. Feeling it through the bottom of the seat.
Not a bad chase for something that only had a small chance of happening.
Location screenshot gallery
Web cam Time lapse (click to open)