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N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports - 2019


A new year of sky action has begun!

January 16th was my first storm chase of 2019 thanks to the arrival of unstable Arctic air with CAPE and wind shear increasing from 20 to 60 knots throughout the period which would generate convective showers of hail and snow with coastal areas indicating the greatest potential. I spent the entire day and night at the north coast with photographer Nigel McFarland shooting Winter cbs, DSLR time-lapse sequences & even drone footage of convection. After dark we captured sheared moonlit cells, time-lapse and even a surprise military flare exercise. We spent 12 hours on location and I acquired 2700 DSLR images to render. One page report with 16 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT. Winter cbs & Moonlit Convection - Jan 2019
January 22nd 2019 brought a much anticipated episode of Winter action to the hills of N. Ireland when an unstable air mass advected across the country bringing convective hail and snow showers. I drove to Benbradagh mountain near Dungiven where a fresh snowfall had taken place and for the next hour I got treated to sunshine and glorious blue skies which I documented by obtaining aerial video and imagery using the drone. Suddenly the sky darkened announcing the arrival of a huge cell with a sheared anvil that began moving rapidly in my direction. As the cell advanced it formed a spectacular shelf cloud almost touching the ground which provided the best Winter storm structure I have ever experienced. The cell impacted the area with frozen pea-sized hailstones, snow and rare thundersnow which made for a thrilling experience. One page report with 16 images and 3 videos. - REPORT. Benbradagh Thundersnow Shelf Cloud - Jan 22nd 2019
A surprise phone call from a mate alerted me to a good snowfall event on the morning of January 30th 2019 so I dedicated this day to aerial snowscapes with the Mavic 2 Pro. I spent the day filming snow scenes at Swatragh wind farm and Mussenden Temple however it was the Magilligan area which offered the greatest show surrounded by widespread snow to sea level reminding me of scenes from 2010. The highlight of the day was the spectacular Binevenagh mountain covered in deep snow complimented by polar blue skies and perfect sunshine which I documented by drone. This mountain provided me with epic scenes and my finest Winter reveal aerial footage to date, I captured panos and video footage making this an unforgettable snow shoot. One page report with 15 images and 3 video clips. - REPORT Beautiful Binevenagh Snowfall - Drone View - Jan 30th 2019
On February 2nd 2019 a cancelled night shoot turned into an early morning Winter shoot. Three friends and I spent 8 hours exploring the Sperrins in Co. Tyrone after a cluster of overnight snow showers had passed through leaving a beautiful sunny Winter's day in their wake. We spent much of the day obtaining drone imagery and aerial footage of the beautiful scenes on this area had to offer. The adventure began in the -3C snow-covered Beaghmore Stone Circles then relocated to Gortin Glen lakes, the stunning Gortin Forest route, then climaxing with beautiful ice patterns on the frozen Seven Sisters lakes on the Omagh road during Golden Hour. One page report with 15 images and 3 video clips. - REPORT. Gortin Glen Drone Snow Scenes -  February 2019
March 10th 2019 provided me with a chase day I couldn't ignore with decent instability for so early in the season with -40C upper air in the wake of a cold front. It would be a day of convection, hail and snow showers with a risk of thunderstorms. I chased to the north coast as a base of operations and hooked up with John fagan on Benone beach. By mid afternoon a large thunderstorm fired over Donegal then made its way to our position, as it overtook us the storm turned severe delivering a spectacular downdraught at 58.6mph with a barrage of hailstones and sand flying across the beach at high speed engulfing a fisherman who braved the onslaught, by definition this was a severe thunderstorm and a thrilling encounter. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT. Severe Thunderstorm Outflow At Benone Beach - March 10th 2019
March 12th 2019 introduced a deep low pressure system named storm Gareth which would bring 80mph winds to the coast, high seas, and convective potential in a strongly sheared set-up with tornado potential. I spend 12 hours on location at the north coast where we got treated to non stop squally showers, ocean thunderstorms with active c-g rates and a dramatic cell before sunset. When darkness fell sporadic lightning flashes lit up the sky however the highlight of the event was a dramatic storm surge on Benone beach when the sea suddenly covered the beach and propagated across the concrete road like a tsunami. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT. Storm Gareth Thunderstorms & Benone Beach Storm Surge - March 12th 2019





Martin McKenna

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