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Field Notes – Storm Chase 7/2/19

Anvil forming on Storm
Anvil Forming on Storm. Photo taken outside of Richmond
15:17 Feb 07 TAS Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Large Hail, Heavy Rain. Sheffield, Deloraine, Oatlands, Campbell Town, Swansea, Orford

Leaving work at 3.30, travelling home and looking east it was clear some big weather was developing with thunderheads going up and an anvil forming towards Orford. dBZ readings in the area were 40+.
Chase commenced at 4.40pm, Taking B32 North then heading East on C234, B31, C350 before joining Tasman Highway A3 To Orford.

Storm as seen from outside Buckland, Tasmania

Arrived in Orford around 6.15pm only watch storm head east out to sea just north of Triabunna. Travelled north to Triabunna to get a view for future cells, which did not appear promising.

Back to Orford around 6.50pm , bought a wood fired pizza for dinner, while reviewing weather conditions. It appeared that a cell was forming around the Little Swanport area, and looking out the window north, the situation looked promising.

Sunset over Storm, Little Swanport

Recommenced Chase around 7.20pm and arrived in the area of Little Swanport around 8pm. A large cell with a shelf cloud forming showed great promise. It unfortunately dissipated and there was little more to do than to head home, taking photos of the clouds in the setting sun along the way.

Severe Weather Australia

Lightning over Mt Direction
Lightning to the North of Hobart

I am extremely proud to announce that I have joined the staff of Severe Weather Australia (SWA) as their Tasmanian Chief of Staff.

I have been a enthusiastic supporter of SWA National News Director, Daniel Shaw, for a number of years, in awe of his annual USA Storm Chases. When he started SWA in 2016, Tasmania was the only state lacking any registered storm chasers and in 2018 I become the first registered SWA chaser in Tasmania.

Photo on Front Page of Newspaper

Fast forward to January 15 and Tasmania experienced a dry lightning event, with a fast moving storm passing over Hobart. I was lucky enough to capture the above photo from near my home as this storm was moving too fast to chase. Promptly submitting the photo to SWA and Daniel’s fast work, as the photo was successfully licensed to the Mercury as the front page picture the next day.

Continue reading “Severe Weather Australia”

Hands on with Sirui T-005SK Tripod

I’ve had a Manfrotto 055-XPROB tripod for a good decade now, and it is a great tripod, however weighing in at 3kg with a ball head is quite significant, particularly when you consider that’s 3kg of a 11kg bushwalking pack – over 25% of the weight. It was time to buy something a bit lighter.

Manfrotto XPRO-055B vs Sirui T-005SK
Continue reading “Hands on with Sirui T-005SK Tripod”

Revisiting Strickland Falls

Strickland Falls Aug 2018
Strickland Falls Aug 2018

Today I visited Strickland Falls on the foothills of Mt Wellington. This is the first time I have been actually there with camera gear since 2009, which was 2 cameras ago – my 2009 photos were taken on an EOS 400D, and I have since owned a 60D and more currently a 6D.

Below is a 2009-2018 slider. The first image on the “left” was taken in 2009 with my EOS 400D and the image on the right my EOS 6D.

Strickland Falls Aug 2018

In terms of the location itself, I am rather surprised how little has changed after recent storm events. Today the water was obviously a little lower, and the silt and small rock has built up as a result of the flooding in May, but this will wash down in due course, however most structures appear intact. Downstream is a bit more disastrous which much debris still visible.

A notable feature missing is the valve which sat atop the waterfall made famous by the Cascade Brewery. Whether is was dislodged by debris, removed by council, or “souvineered” by someone I’ll never know.

In terms of photo quality, an EOS 400D was a 12MP camera, whereas the EOS 6D is 20.2MP. I think for me the most notable difference is the depth of colour from the 6D, albeit the white balance is slightly warmer. Those MP count too, and at the larger sizes the 6D has a much sharper image.