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Supacell

Storm Chase - NE Lincolnshire - 19th May 2015

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It had been a quiet season so far with very limited chase opportunities. Today looked like being the best day for a while with widespread thundery showers quite likely. The risk of organised storms was low due to very little wind shear and fast storm motion. It was not the best day to attempt chasing, today would require me being in the right place at the right time. My target area was around the Humber, although exactly where I would place myself was not yet decided.

 

I set off just after 1pm, heading north from Derby towards the Humber.

 

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By this time there were already numerous showers around and some of these had already turned thundery around London and much further north towards the borders. I stuck to my original thoughts though and three hours later I was sat just to the south of the Humber near the town of Barton-upon-Humber.

 

For the next hour my disappointment began to grow as there was very little thunderstorm activity around me, but to add to the frustration there were heavy showers close to home in Derby and these had started to show lightning. As I kept refreshing the radar I could see the showers were developing and then falling apart again... today looked like being a disappointment. All I use for internet on the go is my Nokia Lumia mobile, a 3 Network MiFi dongle and a Netweather Extra subscription – it's not an expensive set up.

 

Around 5pm I noticed an area of showers to the west which were developing and showing signs of holding together. I then noticed the first lightning strike being detected and decided to head just a short distance south to intercept. I did not need to travel far but I was aware the showers were moving quickly and so I moved fast. Around half way between Barton-upon-Humber and Brigg I could see the dark clouds moving in with some very unstable looking clouds ahead of me.

 

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As I approached I saw my first flash of lightning to my west and so I came off the main road and found somewhere I could stop and observe away from the distracting sounds of a busy road.

 

Upon finding a decent stopping point I found myself under a dark, billowing storm cloud with some flashes of lightning and growls of thunder being muffled slightly by the strong and gusting wind.

 

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Soon after arriving I saw a nice CG drop from the back end of the gust front which was moving over.

 

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I now decided to set up my camera looking at where most of the lightning was whilst I was able to sit in the dry of the car as the rain and wind moved in. I use a GoPro Hero 3+ camera which can be housed in a waterproof case. I also use an external microphone (bought separately) attached to the outside of the casing.

 

As the storm moved over most of the lightning seemed to be within the clouds and the rain not particularly heavy but the winds were blasting the rain into my windscreen. It was as the rain began to die down that a few pea sized hailstones started dropping and there was a huge flash just behind me (and the camera) with instant ground shaking thunder. It appeared the storm had now moved so I switched my camera to a new position and as I was setting it up a nice bolt struck close in front with more very loud thunder. 

 

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The storm was intensifying and I was treated to some nice lightning and thunder whilst a few more hailstones fell from the sky.

 

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The following are two captures of the same lightning strike

 

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After about 7 or 8 minutes of standing watching the storm I decided to get back in the car and chase. The storm was moving fast and I was never going to catch it but as I drove behind the storm it was clear the core had travelled just a quarter of a mile away from me as the ground was covered by hailstones, making the road icy, and there was a lot of spray and minor flooding. Driving at the rear of the storm I noticed a couple more flashes of lightning but it seemed the activity had began to die down once more. What was interesting was the fact my car thermometer was reading just 4c, some 10c drop from before the storm had come over.

 

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Soon after, the sun peeked out through the departing storm clouds and this allowed a gorgeous double rainbow to appear. I was able to stop and observe this rainbow against a black stormy back drop, listening to the sound of distant thunder rumbling away.

 

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After this storm moved on towards Grimsby I noticed on the radar that there were numerous thundery showers around and so I drove south through Lincolnshire, passing a couple of heavy showers with more hail. There was also a single CG from one of these as I was driving down the A15.

 

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Around an hour later as I was nearby to Coningsby I noticed a nice looking storm cloud with a lowering gust front at its front.

 

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This storm cloud looked very photogenic but never went on to produce thunder, although may have done before I found it. Even so, I parked up just ahead of it and watched it pass overhead. It did produce some gusty winds and hail as it passed directly overhead.

 

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By this time it was getting late in the day and the sun was setting on what ended up in being a good chase day. Just before it ended, the day had one more treat in store, and this was a beautiful sunset behind another heavy shower.

 

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Good read and good photo's!

 

That CG photo, next to the trees is a cracking strike. I know it is still slightly zig zagged, but it is also quite straight for a lightning strike, very nice. :good:

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Thanks Supa, considering the slim pickings on offer so far this spring that was an impressive start!

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Thanks for compiling the details and pics:  all great but I specially like the rainbow one, it epitomises the freshness of spring and has a wonderful light quality.

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Thanks guys. It has been a poor spring for storms and I have not had the number of chases I would've liked by late May. I hope to be seeing uk supercells and night time lightning displays in the next month...fingers crossed.

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That was a decent chase supacell, nice pics/vids too.

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Nice pics Supa.. God I hope this summer gives us some great storms. Its been a few years since ive had a good chase now and not much ever comes this way..

 

Might get back on the road this year.

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