Another year of chasing arrives...* October to April 2013




 (Lightning investigations and analysis for this season remain on the lightning research page)


 The season started very quickly with thunderstorms about mid November.  Although the build up transition appeared a little late in the season as the major storms really ramped up during December, the weeks of 20-31Dec really delivered some wonderful storms at night, something that has been lacking for quite some time!

Filming with Kyodo Television was a fantastic experience and we all learned a lot.  Having Professor Masara Ishii for a day or two was a humbling and rewarding meeting.  We chatted about lightning and aspects of lightning and reviewed high speed footage that the crew had taken during our chases.

I had also chased into Western Australia to a town called Kununurra, which is approx 840km west of Darwin.  The temperature was a stifling 43C every day, and the obs forecast storms each day.  We saw a few further inland, but our final night there was a memorable one.  The storms that came through were vicious.  The lightning was something I will never forget.  It was prolific and aggressive, with multiples of 5 sets of CG's at any one time.  Just about every type of lightning was seen and I will be returning there next season for sure.

Chasing thus far has been quite good.  I've captured various daytime lightning and also some upward lightning.  Nighttime storms had been a little scarce during the first month or so of the season, but lately just prior to new year's eve they have been coming through late at night.  Darwin recorded about 6500 strokes two nights ago and the storms were being pushed by inland forcing winds and aided by the sea breeze, something was going to fire that night.

I have located several destroyed trees during the past couple of months, these trees have been obliterated by strokes - t he damage is incredible, but not as incredible as a recent find on 30Dec 2012 of scarring in the earth from a lightning strike to a tree...the length of the scar is 4meters and was a total surprise and bonus for me during the investigation.


The season continues and photos will be posted on this page regularly until season's end in April.