On December 7th/8th 2011 I ended up going on another coastal storm chase at night, I ended up leaving on a split second decision because a few thunderstorms had formed over the N coast after dark so I raced out in pursuit, I ended up seeing 8 flashes of lightning, mostly from distant cells over Scotland and the far NW Atlantic, the highlight was seeing the moonlit back of a cell light up from within by a bright bolt near Rathlin Island, it was a spectacular scene with cb calvus top lit by the moon however I was driving at the time and had to let it go, that single image would have made the entire night. As it turned out the session was a tough one because the fan in my car's heater had malfunctioned so the car was freezing inside and I stayed in there for hours, the gales were so strong that I half-seriously thought the car was going to flip onto its side, I was parked beside a steep cliff again looking at the ocean while getting battered by sleet and hail, all the clouds were moving too fast and it stayed too cloudy so it was not a photogenic night, I got a few images however they are hardly worth posting, this is one of them looking out to the NW with a narrow cb anvil to the L and towering cumulus to the R all lit by the moon during one of the few clear moments, these moved in during the wake of the thunderstorm I saw, White Park Bay beach can be seen below.
However at one stage I was deeply impressed by the convection which was by the far the best coastal updraught development I have ever seen so far, the base of the cells where over the sea miles away however the tops of the moonlit updraught towers and calvus tops where directly above my head seemingly miles high against the stars and leaning forward with wind shear, they must have been exploding up due to great lapse rates, I just stood outside the car and cranked my neck back as I starred with disbelief at the zenith and shouted out loud...''holy s**t!!!'', it was just me, the storm clouds, the stars at night, and all on my own with that strong feeling that lightning could hit me any sec, now that was a memory worth taking home with me!. These last three days and nights have been action packed and have produced new fond memories which I shall always cherish, read the full image report from this night here. * All images are available for sale in the form of photo prints, canvas or digital files for licensing, if you are interested in a purchase simply drop me an email.