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N. Ireland Storm Chasing - Images Per Year

Believe it or not but N. Ireland gets its fair share of severe weather from violent thunderstorms to near hurricane force gales and tornadoes mixed with hail/snow blizzards and even the odd hot Summer which will come as a surprise to many of the people living here. Severe weather is an area which I am taking an extreme interest in so I have decided to open a new section within nightskyhunter.com to share with you my reports of these interesting events when they happen. I intend to feature T-storms, severe wind storms, tornadoes, funnel clouds and interesting convective events and even unusual cloud formations. I will also include atmospheric optics and even non weather related photography. I hope you enjoy them. Click on the year of interest to see all the reports.



A new year of sky action has begun...





Storm Chasing Reports 2024


2023 had without question the most prolific storm season I've ever witnessed. Many of my personal records were broken for prolific thunder, number of storms encountered, their high caliber, huge CAPE values and their magnificent beauty. In fact, on one particular day I witnessed two multicell storms which I consider to be the most spectacular cells I've ever experienced in 26 years of chasing.

The updraught plumes were spectacular, we even had an MCS with 3000j/kg of CAPE, twilight lightning, and broken temperature records. 2023 was also complimented by beautiful snow scenes, the tallest sunpillar I've ever observed, two beautiful G3 geomagnetic storms with extremely rare STEVE and SARs phenomena. This was a year of countless adventures and road trips which I will always cherish.

2023 Storm Chase Reports


2022 was the most challenging year I've ever seen. That being said it still had some great memories and special moments. The aerial snow scenes on the Sperrins, several G1 auroras with zodiacal light, a close range funnel cloud which may or may not have touched down, milky way & airglow scenes, a great multicell storm, elevated supercell night lightning, a drone fog inversion and moonlit sunflowers with stars.

However the true highlight of the year was the Lough Foyle structured supercell thunderstorm (rare) with mesocyclone and spectacular hoar frost scenes in Co. Tyrone which surpassed anything I had seen since the Winter of 2010, these two events were the star attractions of the year. Why not re-live these chases via the detailed 20 image reports.

2022 Northern Ireland Storm Chasing Reports


2021 was a strange year due its long periods of quiet activity, however between these lulls the year was rich in dramatic transient events and photo opportunities. Of note was the aerial snowscapes from Benbradagh, the Glenshane Pass morning blizzard, the Slaughtneil funnel cloud, Armagh updraught base, the Summer heatwave sunsets and massive thunderstorms, the first decent aurora in years, the remarkable Atlas Rocket Stage De-burn, Ballymena shelf cloud and most memorable of all was the emotional roller coaster ride of the Toome area tornado - the first confirmed tornado I have ever captured since I began chasing. Why not experience these moments with me through these 16 image reports.

2021 N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports


What a year 2020 was with a world wide pandemic which resulted in several lock downs throughout the year. However despite this negativity and many cloudy uneventful nights during Autumn 2020 still had some special moments. The Spring heat wave with back to back clear nights, an abundance of telescopic comets, a complex halo display then the thunderstorms from Mullaghmore and Omagh, the latter producing the largest updraught I've ever seen.

There was one event which made the entire year, this was the surprise visitor comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE. Seeing a naked eye comet with gold coma and tail embedded within complex NLCs on balmy Summer nights was an experience I shall never forget, this one comet saved the year for me. Join me on my adventures through these 20 image reports.




Storm Chasing Reports 2020


2019 had its moments such as the beautiful snowfall earlier in the year which I documented over Binevenagh by drone and the late March thundersnow storm with shelf cloud at Benbradagh not to mention the Lough Neagh distant multicell thunderstorm convection time lapsed at sunset. The Noctilucent Clouds were superb with several exceptional specimens time lapsed from Cookstown and over Mussenden Temple. The year featured other phenomena too such a summer squall line shelf cloud intercept which was the chase of the season, a severe tunderstorm downdraught with hailstones impacting a fisherman on Benone beach, my first encounter with Bears and Wolves at Wild Ireland and even an nocturnal storm surge. You can re-live all these memories with me through the 16 chase reports.

2019 N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports


2018 was the most uneventful year of weather action I have ever experienced. The entire second half of the year was dominated by cloudy nights which resulted in many missed astronomical events, even the storm season ended abruptly with barely any CAPE for much of the year. However even a dire year can produce exciting and unexpected action and it was these events which made the entire year for me. The severe glaze ice event at Ballyronan, the Benbradagh thunderstorm which rumbled continuously for over an hour at close range and the awesome four day gorse fire event on Glenshane Pass combined with night sky time lapse shoots made the first half of 2018 a thrilling period which resulted in unforgettable memories. Check out the chases through these 14 image reports.

2018 Storm Chase Reports


2017 has been one of the most challenging years for storm chasing I have ever experienced to date. Thunderstorms were less frequent than previous years and those which did form were mostly high based grey cells which were unphotogenic. However, despite this complaint there was always something to chase and the adventures themselves from these bust warm days have made for fond memories and great friendships. Two thunderstorm days mid Summer made up for the former with a massive gust front over Coagh which was my best personal chase in years followed by a photogenic day of multicell thunderstorms in perfect light from Gortmore viewing point. 2017 boasted several severe wind events, beautiful aurora and NLC displays and a selection of memorable night sky photo shoots, these adventures and more are documented through these 15 image reports.

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports 2017


My finest storm season to date with a record number of daylight thunderstorms complimented by four night lightning events which is a new personal record of mine. Highlights include the numerous chases, both local and far, the Ballyronan Marina amazing electrical display, the Mullaghmore high CAPE high-shear event which was the biggest set-up in the last decade, the Downhill Beach shelf cloud then the Maghera rope funnel cloud. These storms made for the perfect thundery break down after several hot weather episodes which made for the perfect Summer. Also included are moonlit snow shoots, rare snow devils, big waves & extremely rare Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) which I had witnessed for the first time in more than 20 years of observing. These can be re-lived through the 24 image reports.

2016 Storm Chasing Reports


2015 was a challenging year due to unseasonal weather patterns however I gave it my best covering hundreds of miles during the day and night chasing natures best transient phenomena. This is also the year that I began serious time lapse photography which will feature greatly in my future work. The highlights of the year include the Tyrone Stags in snow, the Enniskillen low topped supercell which came close to dropping a wedge tornado, two episodes of gorgeous sunset mammatus clouds from Maghera, the many storm chases and beautiful aurora displays from castles in Fermanagh and along the Antrim coastline. View the images and relive the adventures through these 22 reports which document my finest moments of 2015.


2015 N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports


2014 was an action packed year with new personal storm chasing records. I spent hundreds of miles on the road in the hunt for storms in N. Ireland and the Republic within Co. Sligo and Leitrim. Highlights include the Mullaghmore off-shore storms, a probable HP supercell over Moneymore, high CAPE pulse storms in Co. Tyrone and a nasty hail storm on the Omagh Road. The year also provided other delights including an all night shoot at Monea Castle, star trails over Fanad Head lighthouse, a rare lunar fogbow, stunning sunsets, moonlit snow scenes, an epic aurora from Beaghmore and climaxing with an engagement proposal during a Christmas Eve aurora display at the Giant's Causeway. Check out all the action through these 19 reports which document my finest thrills and memories of 2014.

N. Ireland 2014 Storm Chasing Reports


This was an epic year for me with my longest and most dedicated storm chasing to date. I drove hundreds of miles on back to back days and spent a lot of time and money in pursuit of storms. Highlights include a severe thunderstorm chase all across N. Ireland, storms and funnel cloud intercepts in Co. Fermanagh, storm chasing with TV crew and an unforgettable night at Mullaghmore (longest chase) watching an astounding lightning display among the stars from supercell thunderstorms over the ocean. Add to this an epic coastal sunrise, heat wave, wild fires, comet C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS, aurora outbursts, insane blizzard, 20ft snow drifts, massive icicles, moonlit snow scenes and an all-night storm chase filming for 'The Longest Night' television program with Alleycats productions to end the year. Amazing memories packed into 19 reports on here.

2013 Storm Chasing Reports


2012 was a roller coaster ride with several tornadoes and many funnel clouds. The storm season began early with impressive storms and funnels near coastal regions then the activity moved inland during Spring and Summer making for an action-packed season. Highlights for me where several funnels and one possible tornado in Antrim and the amazing multicell storms during the same period. The year also includes coastal shoots, moonlit storm cells, Venus & Jupiter conjunction, Portrush Airshow, moon halos and stunning aurora displays from the north coast including the Giant's Causeway and Mussenden Temple and climaxing with a two night aurora hunt with the BBC's 'The One Show'. 19 reports here featuring the best images of the year.

Storm Chasing - 2012 Reports


2011 was an action-packed year with the greatest amount of storm rotation I have ever seen in my life in conjunction with the largest amount of storm chasing I have done to date. This page features 16 chase reports covering a wide range of subject matter including geomagnetic storms, huge snow flakes, the biggest gorse fire outbreak in living memory, severe multicell thunderstorms, funnel clouds, NLCs over Dunluce Castle, fireworks over Lough Neagh, the finest moonbows I have ever seen, numerous day and night coastal chases and ending with winter squalls and fierce Atlantic storms. This year brought me that one step closer to catching my dream shot of a tornado over N. Ireland. I hope you enjoy reading these reports as much as I enjoyed living them.

2011 Storm Chase Reports


This was my most action packed year to date. Despite being rather low in thunderstorms I managed to do my most intense storm chasing and countless photography shoots. This section features two extreme Winters, an epic Glenshane Pass blizzard, thunderstorms, thundersnow, funnel clouds and an adrenaline inducing multi vortex event which came close to a touch down. Also a great mammatus display, coastal night storms, Noctilucent Clouds, the Zodiacal Light, several mesocyclones, frozen rivers and Loughs. 17 image reports on here.

Storm Chasing Reports 2010


The 2009 thunderstorm season was one of my finest years to date with high instability during the Spring and Summer months producing huge multicell storms, two possible supercells, the best shelf cloud I have seen, 7 funnel clouds, and a frightening severe squall line with produced damaging winds which sounded like an approaching tornado complete with night time lightning. Combined with the best Noctilucent Cloud displays I have ever seen I would place 2009 as the benchmark in standard for future years!. 15 image reports.

2009 Storm Reports


2008 was a busy year for convective weather events and rare atmospheric optical phenomena. On here is a wide range of subject matter, some of it non-weather related which sums up the best events of the year from my area of N. Ireland. Thunderstorms, funnel clouds, rare Moonbows, floods, Noctilucent clouds, severe winds, and even astronomical events which include an attractive planet conjunction to end the year - 15 reports.

2008 Storm Chasing Reports


My favourite storm year to date and the very year which got me hooked on storms and weather photography. Includes 5 full reports. This section includes several thunderstorms, crisp convection, mammatus displays and a direct link to the 2007 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery. The main highlights were 5 funnel clouds, including one which came close to touching down as a tornado which warranted a site investigation by TORRO.

Storm Chasing Reports 2007



Two sets of reports documenting my first attempts at convective photography covering a selection of events during 2006 featuring mammatus clouds of which the December 1st and September 18th displays were most spectacular.


2006 Reports


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