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Storms of Summer

It's been a stormy week on Australia's Gold Coast. The term Supercell has been used to describe the nature of this week's storms and upon looking at the definition of what constitutes a Supercell, well, it's certainly fitting to what we've been experiencing here. The science behind a Supercell is technical with a lot of jargon and what not, so I'll digress, but essentially what it equates to is Mother Nature giving us an absolute, destructive ass-kicking. For those of us in the photographic community, it also means excitement beyond our wildest dreams. My blood was definitely pumping as I set myself up on Greenmount Beach this week to witness something extraordinary.

I began my afternoon driving around the southern reaches of the Gold Coast watching the dark clouds build out west in the hinterland. It was extremely humid and uncomfortable. There was a prediction of a powerful storm to hit the coastal region in the afternoon, but looking at what was building early on, it looked that it may stay out west and pass around the coast. I persevered with what was predicted and decided to set up at Greenmount Beach and simply watch. As the afternoon went by, the storm continued to build and get closer, enveloping the entire 40 kilometre length of the Gold Coast. This was going to be epic.

Sheet and fork lightning illuminated the dark sky as the clouds formed an extremely ominous presence. I very nervously monitored the distance between myself and the lightning strikes. Standing next to a metal object, my tripod, was asking for trouble. The strikes and the booming crack of thunder were getting closer and closer by the second. I fired off a few more shots until it was right above me. I grabbed everything and sprinted for cover as a deluge of rain hammered the beach where I stood only seconds before. This was one of the fiercest storms I've witnessed.

Right before the storm really took shape, the setting sun lit up the sky like a furnace. It was an unbelievable sight and it had this photographer's jaw drop in utter awe.

As I drove home in the torrential rain (fortunately and surprisingly there was no hail), I couldn't wait to see what I'd captured. Even if I didn't capture anything, I had just witnessed something truly amazing. Getting to photograph it was simply a bonus:)