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LATEST SKY EVENTS

Updated October 4th 2019

Beautiful Sunrise Full Circle Rainbow At Magilligan Point - REPORT

Full Circle Rainbow At Magilligan Point

Early on a September morning I woke early to a dark sky full of pre-dawn stars, my intention was to head to the north coast for aerial filming at the ocean and to catch the sunrise light. Quite by chance I ended up at Magilligan Point at the entrance to Lough Foyle, the day got off to a challenging start with a lot of cloud and showers hampering the light. Suddenly a rainbow formed over the lough and the sun broke free of cloud, I got my Mavic 2 Pro in the air and was amazed to capture a 360 degree full circle rainbow on the surface of the sea. This in combination with the low sun angle, swirling sand and tides, made for a stunning scene which validated my early morning rise. One page report with 5 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT.

Various Imagery - Nightscapes & Convection 2019 - REPORT

New Report

A new report featuring a selection of random imagery taken during 2019 which didn't make entry into my recent updates but which deserve showcasing. This is a combination of convective and nightscape scenes featured in no particular order, however all of which bring back fine memories which I wanted to document. This report includes stars & star trails from a Co. Tyrone church, An-Creagans mock up Bronze-age settlement, Swatragh church, Davagh forest and daytime ground and aerial scenes of north coast convection and inland storms and rainbows including robust updraughts over Belfast. One page report with 21 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

Return To Fanad Head Lighthouse - Aerial & Time Lapse Shoot - NEW REPORT

Return To fanad Head Lighthouse

It has been too long, on September 20th 2019 it was time for a return visit to the iconic Fanad Head Lighthouse on the north coast of Co. Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way with Paul Martin and Nigel McFarland. We arrived just in time to enjoy the location during golden hour during which time I filmed the lighthouse by drone, we then got treated to a glorious volcanic sunset afterglow with fanning crepuscular rays. At nightfall I shot time lapse with two cameras and captured the lighthouse from darkness through moonrise. After a much needed BBQ we then documented the derelict custom buildings in moonlight while battling strong gusts of wind which made for a memorable night under the superb skies of Donegal. One page report with 16 images and 3 video clips. - REPORT.

Summer Storm Chasing - NEW REPORT

A detailed report documenting drone filming of a barely cut with combine harvester at Broighter Gold, a Cookstown NLC display then four days of storm chasing from an outbreak of unstable weather on August 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th which resulted in ten thunderstorms intercepted, a beautiful discrete country storm with funnel suspect, intense rainfall, strong rotation over Bellaghy Church, storm clouds over bales of hay at Cranfield and climaxing with a sudden late evening storm over Lough Neagh which we watched evolving from a cumulus to full cb. This was the storm which impacted Belfast and from which I acquired my finest convective time-lapse to date with the entire storm documented from birth to sunset with dramatic explosive updraughts in the last light of day. One page report with 26 images and 2 time lapse videos. - REPORT.

Mussenden Temple Noctilucent Cloud Display - REPORT

NLC Report

On June 27th 2019 I decided to take a gamble and head to the north coast in the hope of capturing an NLC display over the famous foreground this place has to offer, after all, it would be the last clear night for a while. I left earlier and teamed up with Nigel McFarland, we documented a pleasant summer sunset from Binevenagh by drone, soon after we got shocked by a striking NLC display at the zenith in twilight. This faded however a new display rapidly formed which became one of the most photogenic of the season. We shot the NLCs over Mussenden Temple and Downhill Estate until dawn and I acquired my finest NLC time-lapse sequences to date which made for a great summer memory. One page report with 13 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

Shelf Cloud On Co. Tyrone Squall Line With Funnel Cloud & Strong Rotation - REPORT

Tyrone Squall Line Report

June 29th brought the convective event of the summer when unstable air overlapping 80 knots of deep layer shear triggered an organized evening thunderstorm over the west of NI. On a hunch and after detailed personal forecasting Paul Martin and I chased into Co. Fermanagh and intercepted a rapid moving squall line which traversed NE across much of the country. We battled traffic and torrential rain to stay ahead of the system and got rewarded with an embedded funnel cloud and strong long-lived rotation over the Omagh road, followed by thunder, and climaxing with a beautiful late evening shelf cloud over the countryside to the west of Lough Neagh which made for our most exciting chase in years. One page report with 26 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT.

Cookstown Type 5 Noctilucent Cloud Storm - NEW REPORT

NLC Show

This report begins with a local chase on June 13th to intercept a gust front near Toome, progresses to a lament about recent storm busts in the 2019 chase season, then climaxes with the most spectacular NLC display I have seen since 2019. I documented the entire show from a road side near Cookstown where I watched in awe as an extensive type 5 display dominated the northern sky, illuminating objects, sporting real time motion, and unearthly structure with bizarre shapes and motion. A truly unforgettable night in the middle of the most active NLC season for over a decade. One page report with 15 images and 3 video clips. - REPORT.

Beautiful Cell From Maghera - NEW REPORT

New Chase Report

After a long drought the 2019 Summer storm season finally relented with a day of 600 CAPE and a risk of pulse storms. The odds were not great due to a lack of shear, cooler temps and cloud cover concerns with rain bands potentially killing the day. After a mid afternoon bust chase in Tyrone I returned home to be greeted by better solar heating and taller late evening towers. Radar showed a line of storms approaching Lough Neagh so I raced out the road, I battled frustrating roads and finally intercepted the line of cells S of Ballyonan, I followed them N through Gulladuff with nice gust front structure then finally I got treated to a beautiful late evening show from the Maghera countryside with sunlit cell sporting mammatus which I time-lapse departing into the distance at sunset. Also includes a missed funnel on camera and beautiful coastal sunset. One page report with 20 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Image Reports - Archive

Astronomy is not the only subject I'm interested in, check out my N. Ireland Storm Chasing section and view the chase reports and images which detail not only storms but other phenomena such as a moonbows, noctilucent clouds, aurora displays and exciting nature related photo shoots.

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Martin McKenna

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