August 29th 2012. 1200 CAPE, LI's -4 in a SWly flow, Sky Warn UK had issued a severe thunderstorm watch and TORRO had a convective discussion released followed by a tornado watch. I recall being up all night watching the radar for night storms and eventually got to sleep at 06.00 then by 07.00 I was up again for round two monitoring the follow up daytime storms. Things had kicked of early, by midday a cluster of showers below the border exploded to life and turned into a line of thunderstorms once they crossed into N. Ireland as they slowly moved NE, I knew they would hit the mid Ulster area by early afternoon and I was ready for them. This line of storms was severe with huge tops because once the storm crossed the border I could see its various anvils and towers well up in the sky from Maghera!. I headed out chasing and targeted Glenshane Pass then took a minor road I had never been on before to seek a more quiet location, this road was just small enough for one car with very tall hedges on each side which blocked the sky, at one stage I parked and stood on the car roof so I could check the sky, I then found an opening in the ditch beside an old iron gate which was just about large enough to fit my car so I took a chance and parked there despite all the thorns visible around the wheels.

I climbed the gate and set up my gear in this huge field of wheat which felt absolutely awesome, this atmospheric experience instantly puts a smile on my face even now as I write this. The smell of the field was strong as I stood waist deep within a sea of orange and brown stalks which gently stirred in the breeze then as the storm approached the wind swept an invisible hand across the grass like a gust across the ocean, it was pure magic as sweat dripped down my face in the heat and humidity. Here is the storm, that big line had split into two sections, the left section lacked any cloud structure however the sky was pitch black in that direction and I saw a lot of lightning and heard a shocking amount of thunder as that storm passed over Lough Neagh, Maghera and further NE into Antrim. The Right side was directly in front of me with it's dark base and heavy precip core over Slieve Gallion and rain free base behind, above you can see towers and an anvil as the storm moved past from left to right disturbing the wheat even more with thunder before it finally crossed the Sperrins heading for Co. Derry where it delivered more c-g lightning. This part of the line had the best structure and the view of it over the field made for a fantastic memory. My car roof still has a dent where I stood on it from this chase! * 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.