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Observing Sessions Storm Chases & Photo Shoots


Co. Donegal Back-Building Convergence Zone Thunderstorms - May 20th 2024 NEW

May 20th 2024 - This was a day not to be ignored with high instability on a well defined convergence zone over the far west of the country, our area of choice looked to be Co. Donegal for the best action. Nigel McFarland picked me up and together we went chasing into the target area on the Cz where huge cells and towers were constantly erupting. From our scenic elevated vantage point over looking the hills of Donegal we experienced four thunderstorms however the main storm of the day was a rain making back-building machine which produced at least five hours of constant rain/hail with sporadic lightning which caused flash flooding damage on the flank of Errigal. We had the luxury of observing the entire storm under dry air for much of the time and even captured several c-g bolts on camera. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Severe G5 Geomagnetic Storm With Corona Over Beaghmore Fairy Tree - May 10th 2024 NEW

May 10th 2024 - Mega sunspot group unfurling six CMEs and a violent impact at 800km/sec with a Bz of -50, the result was the most severe geomagnetic storm since 2003 and we had perfect clear skies. I was located in a field at Beaghmore in Co. Tyrone beside the famous fairy tree alongside a television film crew. As twilight deepened a truly spectacular aurora manifested covering the entire sky 360 degrees. Pink, green, blue, crimson and purple rays and streamers astonished us while overhead a remarkable corona dominated the sky. This corona took on the forms of birds and even a giant Angel, the display washed most of the stars from the sky, caused birds to sing, and even appeared on the southern horizon. I observed it all night long and obtained my finest astro time lapse of my life. This was easily within my top five aurora experiences ever and a night never to be forgotten! One page report with 34 images and 1 video clip.

Fairy Tree Aurora At Beaghmore & First Observation Of Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) - April 26th 2024

April 26th 2024 - A wonderful clear night over the Sperrins which lured me out into a chilly Spring evening of comet hunting and aurora chasing. I packed my 10" F/5 reflector and drove to Beaghmore and set-up the gear in a lay by under a very dark sky. At 22.45 I made my very first observation of C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS at mag +10 complete with a tail in Virgo, this comet might become our best since Hale-Bopp this October. Then I detected a faint auroral glow so I drove to the fairy tree in the middle of nowhere. Then suddenly at 1am a formation of ghostly pillars appeared in the sky like phantoms all around the fairy tree which made for a surprising photo opportunity and the perfect end to this fun session. One page report with 6 images.

Surprise G1 Aurora Display Over Cookstown Captured By Drone - April 16th 2024

On April 16th 2024 a slow moving CME arrived a full day later than expected generating G1 conditions with a negative Bz component. As darkness fell on a moonlit night the stats didn't look encouraging for anything interesting, especially for inland, however reports began to appear online showing auroral beams readily visible from a wide area which seemed to defy expectations. With clear skies I got the drone in the air and was shocked to easily detect the aurora on camera, then the aurora went into outburst before midnight with red naked eye beams visible above streetlights through Auriga and Perseus. The drone captured this intense cluster of rays beautifully over the Sperrins from near the LP of Cookstown which made for a pleasant surprise. One page report with 3 images.

First Thunderstorms Of Spring Chase Season - March 30th 2024

First storm chase of 2024 which began with a bust day on March 29th then on the 30th I teamed up with Colleen Webb on Glenshane Pass to take advantage of 400 CAPE during prime heating when we hoped lift from the Sperrins would aid with cells. A bowing cluster of red cores arrived over the hills bringing our first gust front of the season while dumping a barrage of hailstones over Glenshane associated with a white core on radar. The cell then gave us several good rumbles of thunder making this our first thunderstorm intercept of Spring. A second chase to Lough Fea resulted in more rumbles making this my earliest Spring thunder since 2009. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Benone Beach Surprise G2 Geomagnetic Storm & Comet Observing - March 3rd 2024

On March 3rd 2024 a CME glancing blow from a filament eruption arrived delivering a G1 geomagnetic storm. At first the potential didn't look good with a slow solar wind speed however a sustained period of southerly Bz at -14 really got my attention. I almost didn't go aurora chasing however a hunch told me to make the effort to drive to the north coast to avoid advancing cloud. After filming an impressive rainbow with the drone I then drove to Benone beach. Upon arrival the aurora went into a dramatic outburst reaching G2 levels with vibrant rays reaching 70 degrees high with green and red colours visible to the naked eye. As the aurora danced I observed comet 12P/Pons-Brooks from the beach, at one stage the aurora was with the comet at same time which made for a fabulous experience. This aurora caught me completely by surprise, an exciting and photogenic event. One page report with 14 images.

Snow Devil Encounter & Lough Fea Ice Patterns - January 18th & 19th 2024

This report covers days two and three of the January 2024 Arctic cold spell across N. Ireland. On the 18th while in Dungiven a snow devil formed and actually impacted us while we stood outside before crossing the road while rotating through a garden then vanishing, this was followed by heavy convective snow showers over Glenshane Pass. On the 19th I discovered that much of Lough Fea was covered in ice for the first time since 2010, the view from the drone revealed beautiful abstract patterns which were fascinating to observe, nature's art. Also on show was an optics display surrounding the sun poised over the frozen lake. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Dramatic Snow Curtains Over Garvagh & Binevenagh Snow With Glory - January 17th 2024

My first chase of the new year. On January 17th 2024 I woke to a frozen world with -4C temps and a layer of snow, trusting model guidance I drove north after sunrise to get into a better location for snow showers and instability. During a break in Garvagh a large convective snow cell approached from the coast and began making its way inland towards me. I got the drone in the air and for the next 30 min's got treated to an impressive sight of this mean cell dropping dramatic snow curtains across the Winter landscape. This was followed by a visit to the north coast where I obtained aerial footage of Binevenagh covered in snow with spectacular low cloud and fog covering the peaks complimented by a glory. This turned out to be a highly rewarding and photogenic Winter chase. One page report with 22 images and 2 video clips.

Spectacular G3 Geomagnetic Storm With Rare STEVE & SARs Structures - Nov 5th 2023

On November 5th 2023 three CMEs impacted Earth with two of them back to back within an hour of each other. The result was a strong solar storm with a BZ of -30 which would peak at G3 (KP7) making it one of the strongest storms of the current solar cycle. After an intense 6 hour wait during daylight and a chess game studying the weather to avoid advancing cloud I decided to head E and watch the event from the wind turbines at Swatragh with Conor McDonald. As the sky cleared we were astonished to witness a rare phenomena called STEVE pulsating in the E near Jupiter which crossed the entire sky with a red beam called SARs. The aurora went into two outbursts with rays reaching almost overhead with red, orange and green colours to the naked eye. Other friends arrived and we watched with awe as nature put on a splendid show - an amazing night! One page report with 25 images and 1 video clip.

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship At Dawn - Largest Ship Ever To Visit Lough Foyle - Oct 11th 2023

On October 11th 2023 a surprise visitor arrived on Lough Foyle in the form of a cruise ship called Norwegian Star. At 294m in length this fifteen deck ship was not only the largest cruise ship ever to grace the Foyle but she was also the largest ship ever in history on these waters. As a ship lover I spent the day in Co. Donegal filming her inbound passage at 07.00 and outbound passage at 16.00, however it was the pre-dawn session which really was an unforgettable experience. The Norwegian Star arrived in the semi dark pre-dawn sky lit-up with golden lights like a floating hotel which made for a spectacular drone flight and the perfect way to experience Lough Foyle history first hand. 14 images and 1 video clip.

Beaghmore Stone Circles Multicell Thunderstorm - September 10th 2023

Sept 10th was the third thunderstorm day within four days over this weekend thanks to an unstable Sly HP plume event which introduced 600-1000 CAPE overlapped with 20 knots of deep layer shear. The set-up was notable for a marked surface trough and very well defined convergence zone which promised convective action across the Sperrins. During the late afternoon of a very warm and humid day the cap broke and a cluster of multicell storms erupted over the W of Mid-Ulster crossing the Sperrins. I chased to the iconic stone circles at Beaghmore with John Fagan and intercepted a large black storm rumbling over the hills for over an hour and a half. The storm then formed a shelf cloud which passed directly over the famous stone circles in lovely evening light which made for a dramatic end to the day. One page report with 17 images and 1 video clip.

Rare Twilight Thunderstorm Over The Sperrins In 28 Degrees C Temps - Sept 8th 2023

Friday Sept 8th was a day with explosive potential with CAPE associated with a heat wave plume remaining inland into the early night. The atmosphere was strongly capped but by late evening temps peaked at a record high of 28 degrees C, the cap broke and an isolated multicell erupted to life in the sunset sky. As twilight deepened the W sky was dominated by this beautiful isolated storm over the Sperrins with dark updraughts lit from within by intra cloud lightning. I even captured six cloud to air bolts shooting into clear sky from the flanking updraught plume. Roisin and I watched this rare event with awe on the most warmest humid Sept night we had ever experienced. One page report with 20 images and 1 drone video.

Epic Thunder Event Over Cookstown From Severe Elevated Storms - Sept 7th 2023

I thought Summer was over, then suddenly we had a return to warm humid weather when a Sly plume with Saharan dust brought temps to 25c and above for days marking a welcome heatwave event. Sept 7th was extremely unstable with 2000 CAPE and strong shear, as a result a severe thunderstorm watch was issued. On this unforgettable day I experienced rare continuous thunder unlike anything I had ever experienced before in my life from elevated storms over Cookstown. I experienced 7-8 thunderstorms and four hours of thunder over the same area making this the most active Sept storm event I've ever experienced. Although not a photogenic day the audio experience was unforgettable! One page report 5 with images and 1 video clip.

Co. Tyrone Thunderstorms With Over Four Hours Of Thunder! - July 9th 2023

July 9th brought to an end our exceptional Summer thundery period and it did so in style. Despite no shear there were substantial CAPE values with strong heating and convergence zones. Roisin and I spent the day chasing, a quiet afternoon made us think the cap at suppressed activity, then a few hours later we were caught off guard when an intense thunderstorm developed over Co. Tyrone and Sperrins. We watched the storm pass over Slieve Gallion and Straw with regular thunder and a nice gust front. Another late evening storm was intercepted over the Cookstown carriageway followed by two more storms which in combination delivered over four hours of thunder in this area. The evening ended with a 9pm mammatus display with two regions of lightning flashing at the same time. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Mt. Slemish Multicell Storms With Beautiful Updraughts & Funnel Cloud - June 25th 2023

On June 25th 2023 another warm humid unstable airmass moved across N. Ireland with 800j/kg of CAPE and sufficient wind shear for multicell thunderstorms on what would be my 6th storm chase within the current thunderstorm outbreak. This time the E of the country looked best so my Wife and I drove to the beautiful Slemish Mountain near Ballymena where we met Colleen Webb and Nigel McFarland. By mid afternoon a striking Cz produced a line of convection which grew into a dramatic rotating base which dropped a funnel cloud, above this was a remarkable rock solid updraught. By evening another big multicell storm moved in with core turning parts of the country white with hail, this mean black storm had more spectacular updraught plumes. A great day out with impressive cloudscapes over beautiful countryside. One page report with 25 images and 1 video vlog.

Beaghmore & Cookstown Strong Thunderstorms With Flash Flooding - June 20th 2023

The impressive 2023 thunderstorm season continues with yet another chase for the fifth day in a row on June 20th when an unstable humid air mass with 1500j/kg of CAPE was expected to produce strong thunderstorms with flooding potential. After watching morning developments on radar and anticipating an area of interest moving into the Mid-Ulster area by late afternoon I drove to the Beaghmore region of the Sperrins to watch convection. By mid afternoon I encountered not one but three active thunderstorms from my position on the scenic route outside Cookstown. I had the privilege of watching several beautiful storms in full sunshine rumbling away over the tranquil countryside at close range with one cell having a very nice updraught base. This was followed by a convective line intercept out the Coagh Rd which made for a fun local chase. One page report with 13 images and 1 video vlog.

Exceptional Structure On Co. Antrim Multicell Thunderstorms June 19th 2023 - Part 2

Part 2 of what I consider to be the most spectacular thunderstorm convection I've ever seen in this country on June 19th during my fourth storm chase in a row. This was the hottest June on record and the most thundery period Ireland has seen for many years. With 1000j/kg of CAPE and 20 knots DLS multicell storms were anticipated. On this solo chase I headed to the north coast and committed to that target area for the day, at first I wasn't impressed with the rubbish skies and pulse cells I was seeing, I almost went home. Suddenly during the late evening the cap broke which resulted in two remarkable thunderstorms which erupted like atmospheric volcanoes with enormous tops and stunning updraught convection. These were the most beautiful thunderstorms we had ever seen in our lives and of a caliber rarely seen in N. Ireland. One page report with 16 images.

Exceptional Structure On Co. Antrim Multicell Thunderstorms June 19th 2023 - Part 1

Part 1 of what I consider to be the most spectacular thunderstorm convection I've ever seen in this country on June 19th during my fourth storm chase in a row. This was the hottest June on record and the most thundery period Ireland has seen for many years. With 1000j/kg of CAPE and 20 knots DLS multicell storms were anticipated. On this solo chase I headed to the north coast and committed to that target area for the day, at first I wasn't impressed with the rubbish skies and pulse cells I was seeing, I almost went home. Suddenly during the late evening the cap broke which resulted in two remarkable thunderstorms which erupted like atmospheric volcanoes with enormous tops and stunning updraught convection. These were the most beautiful thunderstorms we had ever seen in our lives and of a caliber rarely seen in N. Ireland. One page report with 23 images.

More High CAPE Thunderstorms At Mullaghmore Co. Sligo - Day 3 June 18th 2023

June 3rd was my third trip to Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo and the second back to back chase in this area where yet again high humidity and 1700j/kg of CAPE would result in big thunderstorms. I went chasing with my Wife Roisin and after hours of glorious sunshine and a strong cap the atmosphere erupted in the evening time over W Ireland. We got treated to four thunderstorms, three of which were in fairly close range. The highlight were two very strong cells over the ocean and Co. Donegal which sported nice structure in the form of anvils, updraught tops and a beefy shelf cloud as thunder rumbled in the background. For the third chase in a row this region produced yet again. One page report with 10 images and 1 video vlog.

Mullaghmore & Kesh Severe High Precipitation Thunderstorms - June 17th 2023

June 17th was the beginning of a major thunderstorm outbreak across Ireland in the midst of heat wave conditions. For the second time a team of us chased to Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo on an adventure to intercept 2000j/kg severe thunderstorms and we were not disappointed. For much of the day we where surrounded by high based highly electrified storms, at times with three active cells around us at any given moment. We heard more thunder this day than the last few years combined. At dusk a surprise elevated storm moved over Kesh where we got our best images of the day of c-g bolts striking the surface over this scenic landscape. One page report with 12 images and 1 video vlog.

3000 CAPE Mesoscale Convective System Haze Monster - Mullaghmore June 13th 2023

June 13th was the biggest set-up of the year with surface based CAPE values of 3000j/kg with a threat of frequent lightning, 3cm hail and an MCS forming during a very humid heat wave. We chased to Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo on the west coast of Ireland and by evening time intercepted a huge Mesoscale Convective System which emerged from the heat haze like a monster. The storm surged over with very active lightning and the first proper rain in four weeks. This MCS boasted an anvil almost the size of Ireland, tops of 36,000ft with upper temps at -60 degrees C, a remarkable long lived storm which had been producing lightning for more than six hours. Also included is a scenic sunset with wind turbines from Omagh. One page report with 8 images and 1 video clip.

HP Weather & Spectacular Sunset Sunpillar With 'Cross' Formation - May 29th 2023

On May 29th in the midst of an outstanding HP weather pattern I got a message from a mate alerting me to the presence of a spectacular sunpillar above the setting sun. With no time to waste I got the drone in the air for a look, then as the sun began setting over the Sperrins an unusual 'cross' formation appeared within the pillar, it was a most unusual sight and something I've never seen in 25 years of sky watching. A wonderful surprise optics display to end a stunning warm day, watch the drone footage as I zoom into the cross. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

Damaging Multicell Thunderstorm Near Ballymena - May 8th 2023

With CAPE values in excess of 1000j/kg and -50c cloud tops with Cz zones overlapped by 20 knots DLS this looked to be the best chase day of the season. The day began warm and humid, capping looked to be an issue but not wanting to give up my friends and I relocated to a convergence zone outside Ballymena in Co. Antrim. After a very long wait the cap suddenly broke during the evening hours thanks to an approaching cold front. We got treated to a mean dark blue multicell storm line which rumbled menacingly over scenic fields and an isolated farm house. The storm produced dangerous positive c-g bolts which were the closest strikes we have experienced for many years, this lightning also damaged property in the area. A thrilling storm and a real emotional roller coaster ride of a day, this single chase made the month of May. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Spring Chasing & Ballyronan Marina Thunderstorm Gust Front - April 30th 2023

The Spring 2023 convective season is well underway with statistics showing a marked increase in activity in comparison to recent years. This report documents several local chases hunting for funnel clouds, busts, and the quest to find storm structure. The highlight was April 30th with the greatest instability of the year yielding + 1000j/kg of CAPE and a MO yellow warning. My Wife and I spent the day chasing and after having doubts about messy clouds and lack of shear the tables turned when several thunderstorms fired in the vicinity of Lough Neagh. The main storm of the day surged over Ballyronan Marina with torrential rainfall, thunder/lightning, and sported a mean chunky gust front which I captured by drone making this the first structure day of the season. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Sheared Spring Storms & Anti cyclonic LP Supercell Over Lough Neagh - March 29th 2023

March 2023 has turned out be the most impressive start to a storm season I've ever seen with numerous high caliber convective outlooks issued for Ireland and N. Ireland. This report covers several chase days however the highlight took place on the 29th with strong 0-6km shear, 40knots DLS on a warm SWly Summer-style flow with 500-800j/kg of CAPE, TORRO had addressed a tornado and splitting supercell risk. Sheared cells fired rapidly behind the front and by mid afternoon I was at Ballyronan Marina watching these cells crossing the lough. The second cell stole the show exhibiting all the visual hallmarks of an LP supercell with the most solid sheared anvil I've ever seen in March, the cell also boasted a hook echo on radar which made for a very interesting early season chase day. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Beautiful Winter Snowfall & Slemish (Extinct Volcano) Aerial Snowscapes - March 10th 2023

I thought my chances of getting more snow scenes this season were gone until the models presented a potent cold spell on the way for N. Ireland. On March 9th a warm front interacting with Polar air would produce a notable frontal snow event with amber warnings from the Met Office. I was up early on March 10th to take advantage of the frontal clearance. We began on Benbradagh then made our way to Slemish mountain in Ballymena which was the highlight of the chase with perfect sunshine and blue skies in a Winter wonderland. I've always wanted to film this extinct volcano in snow and on this day I made it happen. One page report with 20 images and 2 video clips.

Planet Conjunction & G3 Geomagnetic Storm At Swatragh Wind Turbines - February 26th 2023

I never would have thought that February 2023 would produce the best planet conjunction since 2012 and best aurora since 2014 all within the same week. This report covers a beautiful triple conjunction between Venus, Moon and Jupiter from Beaghmore on the 22nd followed by a stunning G3 geomagnetic storm on the 26th when two CMEs impacted Earth's magnetic field with solar wind speeds over 700km/sec and a Bz of -17. I chased to Ballintoy on the north coast then back inland to experience a beautiful outburst with friends at the wind farm near Swatragh. On show was a twin tiered arc and red beams 50 degrees high which made for the best aurora experience in nine years. One page report with 13 images and 2 time lapse videos.

Binevenagh Snow Storm & DJI Mavic 3 Classic - January 17th 2023

A new year of storm chasing and night sky photography has begun, this first account of 2023 documents two Winter convective chases. The first on Jan 15th at Benone beach where we documented a photogenic Cumulonimbus cell and the second on Jan 17th during a day of heavy shower showers and 400 CAPE with -40c cloud tops. This was a challenging day battling low cloud and relentless snow showers, I almost never got an image until a sudden break before sunset when I got the new Mavic 3 Classic drone in the air and filmed Binevenagh covered in a quilt of snow with cloud scudding across the summit. This dramatic scene made the chase for me. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Spectacular Hoar Frost Formations In Co. Tyrone During Severe Cold Spell - December 13th & 14th 2022

This sudden two week cold spell almost made up for the entire year of weather action thanks to an Arctic high pressure freezer event which brought dry but daily sub zero temperatures across UK and Ireland during a two week period bringing the lowest temperatures for years when Co. Tyrone dropped to -10C. Episodes of freezing fog in dead calm conditions introduced the perfect set-up for widespread and rare hoar frost scenes. This report covers two days of Winter chasing on December 13th & 14th 2022 in the Greencastle and Omagh areas where the best hoar frost scenes I've ever witnessed since 2010 took place. The trees were covered in hoar frost over 2cm thick with needle structures which in conjunction with bright Winter sunshine and blue skies made for perfect photography conditions. Two page report with 29 images and 2 video clips.

Rare December Cold Spell & Eagle's Rock Snow Scenes - December 8th 2022

A potent two week cold spell impacted UK and Ireland bringing with it Arctic air, sub zero daily temps, severe frosts and some of the most beautiful pre-Christmas atmosphere I've seen since 2010. Snow in December is relatively rare in N. Ireland so I was delighted when on the 8th a cluster of wintry showers put down the first high ground snow of the season. I spent the day chasing in the Moneyneany and Birren region of the Sperrins where the snow was much more dramatic than I had expected, as a result I got my first drone images of the Winter season in crisp clean air and great light. This was the beginning of a severe cold spell, part two of this period will be in the next chase report. One page report with 19 images and 2 video clips.

Moonlit Stone Circles & Star Trails - November 4th 2022

November 4th 2022 was a quickly arranged photo shoot at Beaghmore Stone Circles in Co. Tyrone. This was a bright moonlit night with our intentions focused on Taurid fireballs. Despite cold temperatures and a harsh ground frost we ended up having a great night shooting meteor patrol images and star trails over the ancient moonlit stones. A second night on November 18th resulted in a good telescopic session hunting Messier objects and comets with M42 being the finest we have seen it in a long time thanks to superb seeing conditions. A short report with 4 images.

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewed Through the Clouds Over Cookstown - October 25th 2022

On October 25th 2022 a partial solar eclipse was visible across UK and Ireland when over 20% of the solar disk would get covered by the moon during the late morning period. The forecast was for a cloudy day with a chance of a few breaks, I observed from my home in Cookstown and my expectations were low due to the cloud forecast however much to my surprise the solar disk was visible through the mid level cloud. I ended up experiencing much of the eclipse on and off throughout the entire event. In fact, the cloud acted like a filter working to my advantage, as a result I was able to take images using my DSLR and telephoto lens. It was nice to witness two solar eclipses within a year of each other. One page report with 4 images.

Stunning Morning Fog Inversion With Glory Over Cookstown - October 18th 2022

October 18th 2022, in the midst of a period of poor weather, and eager to get my drone in the air for some much needed photography, I targeted the only settled day associated with high pressure, light winds, and good sunshine. The forecast also mentioned fog, by late morning fog conditions were perfect, I drove outside Cookstown and got the drone in the air, when it rose above the fog I was treated to a spectacular view of an extensive fog inversion with sunlit cotton cloud tops, bright sunshine and blue skies. Projecting through the inversion was the solitary form of the chimney belonging to Cookstown Cement Factory, this scene made for an epic morning aerial photo shoot with several surprise Glorys on a tsunami of fog. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Ballintoy Sea Stacks Milky Way & Vivid Airglow With Taurid Meteor - August 31st 2022

August 31st 2022 was the last night shoot of Summer before the Autumn season began to make its presence known. I teamed up with two photography friends and spent the night at Ballintoy on the Co. Antrim coast. It was a beautiful clear dark and tranquil night, we got treated to a surprise aurora, the most vivid airglow we have ever seen, Milky Way structure and a beautiful Taurid meteor with a 20 degree long tail, all this in the company of the 50 million year old sea stacks and arch as airglow turned the smooth ocean green. One page report with 7 images.

Milky Way, Armagh Viaduct, Portglenone Sunflowers, Late Season NLCs, Perseids, Moonlit Mist & Starlink G3-3 Placeholder - August 2022

Detailed image report covering various night sky shoots captured during August 2022. Two nights of Perseid meteor watching, telescopic observations, Messier objects, comet hunting, moonlit mist, Armagh viaduct with Milk Way, a moonlit shoot at Portglenone sunflower field with planets and Milky Way scenes (surreal experience), rare late season Noctilucent Clouds (new personal record) and a UFO sighting which we identified the next day as a Starlink G3-3 Placeholder which was one of the most bizarre phenomena we had ever seen in our lives. All of these adventures are detailed here. One page report with 19 images.

Emyvale Lightning Show (Possible Supercell) During Heat Wave Break Down - Aug 14th 2022

August 14th 2022, after a week long heat wave Ireland experienced a dramatic thunderstorm outbreak when cold and warm air masses clashed with big CAPE and strong wind shear. The result was hours of elevated thunderstorms which began at 5am in the morning in my area and again in the afternoon. However the highlight was a huge highly sheared suspected supercell storm which erupted over Co. Mayo in the evening which produced constant lightning for over four hours. My mates and I arranged a late evening chase to Emyvale near the border and got treated to a fantastic dusk lightning show with regular flashes lighting up the sky for an hour before the target storm went silent. A thrilling late Summer storm chase!. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Rare Structured Supercell Thunderstorm Over Lough Foyle! - July 24th 2022

July 24th 2022 turned out to be a dream storm chase when a severe thunderstorm outlook was issued by CW with 900 CAPE, LIs of -3 and 40 knots DLS. I teamed up with chaser Colleen Webb, we targeted the Co. Antrim storms which turned out to be a grey mess. We were about to give up when through several chance decisions we made our way to the north coast where better solar heating and discrete cells were rapidly forming. We arrived at Gortmore Viewing Point to be greeted by a rare classic supercell thunderstorm over the W side of Lough Foyle. The structure was amazing with mesocyclone, striation rings, vault, wall cloud, RFD slot and accompanied by thunder and lightning. After 15 years chasing I finally captured a structured surface based supercell over N. Ireland! One page report with 26 images and 2 video clips.

Chase Frustrations, Warm Cloud Tops Vs Strong Shear, Funnel Cloud & Cruise Ship With Storm Clouds - June 2022

Don't get me started on the Summer of 2022. At the time of writing this has been the worst Summer I have ever experienced with countless grey days, overcast nights, missed NLCs and very few thunderstorms, and the convective set-ups we did get were either cap busts or had no weak CAPE. June has turned out to be very uneventful and extremely frustrating, that being said I still chased what I could. This report covers several warm sector capped high shear chases, a surprise funnel cloud (4th of the season) with perhaps the most photogenic catch being a storm gust front over a cruise ship on Lough Foyle (29th & 30th). One page report with 19 images.

Spectacular Cirrus Sunset Over Cookstown - June 18th 2022

June 2022 has been a very uneventful month with no storms of value, Autumn-like weather, cloudy nights and a lot of grey skies. On the 18th a clearing front during the late evening suddenly unveiled a dramatic sunset which took many people by surprise. The sun appeared in a clearance and lit up a formation of very swift-moving high level cirrus clouds illuminated red, orange and yellow by the sunset afterglow. The cirrus bands covered the entire sky with beautiful colours and structures where they converged in the SW & NE sky sectors. With no time to waste I ran into a field with the DSLR and took these images from Cookstown. One page report with images and 1 video clip.

Huge Multicell Thunderstorm With 40 knots Shear Impacts The Sperrins - May 16th 2022

May 16th brought ripe conditions for strong storms across N. Ireland with 1000j/kg of CAPE, LIs -4 and 40 knots deep layer shear. After a clearing front temps reached 20c which triggered the onset of rapid convection. By early afternoon a huge thunderstorm had developed over the Sperrins which impacted the Mid-Ulster area with flash flooding, prolific lightning knocking power out, it was the largest multicell storm in years. I intercepted the storm on the Omagh rd and chased it E, the storm exhibited dramatic storm clouds, a menacing gust front and the best whale's mouth I've ever seen. One page report with 21 images and 1 video clip.

Large Funnel Cloud/Possible Tornado Near Cookstown - May 1st 2022

On May 1st 2022 nothing exciting was expected in the skies. By late morning and quite by chance I had spotted dark storm clouds rotating over the fields east of Cookstown in Co. Tyrone. My Wife and I where driving through town and as we emerged through a curtain of rain we were shocked by the presence of a fully formed funnel cloud. The funnel was massive and at fairly close range in the form of a dark grey vertical cylinder spinning over the fields at the edge of town, we were in complete disbelief. I managed to snap a few images with my mobile phone before we lost it from view behind trees then the vortex vanished into thin air. Based on it's close proximity to the ground this may have been a tornado! One page report with 6 images and 1 video clip.

Binevenagh Rapeseed Fields & Wind Server Jack-Up Supply Vessel - April 29th 2022

When high pressure takes charge of the weather I invest a lot of time drone filming and late April was one such great period of dry sunny weather. This report focuses on aerial filming of a beautiful rapeseed field at Binevenagh, a sunspot sunset, and drone filming of specialist ship Wind Server which arrived at Port of Larne on April 29th. A supply jack-up vessel and wind turbine servicing ship with four 77m legs which lift her out of the ocean for aided stability, she arrived in perfect weather carrying turbine blades on deck which made for a thrilling aerial filming sequence. One page report with 11 images and 2 video clips.

HP Sunsets, Lough Fea Funnel Cloud & Ballintoy Sea Stacks Aurora Borealis - March 31st 2022

March 2022 turned out to be a pleasant and active month for sky action and perfect Spring weather thanks to strong high pressure which brought fine sunny days and clear nights. HP haze and Saharan dust resulted in beautiful sunsets when the solar disk was visible to the naked eye. Large sunspots also appeared on the sun with M-class flares unfurling CMEs. I also captured a surprise funnel cloud from Lough Fea which lasted for over 20 min's making it the longest duration vortex I've ever seen. The climax of this month was the all-night aurora watch at Ballintoy with Paul Martin on the 31st when we got rewarded with a photogenic G1 aurora during the pre-dawn hours in perfect dark skies from the famous sea stacks. One page report with 16 images and 1 video clip.

Tyrone Starry Lake Tranquility & Co. Donegal Zodiacal Light With Aurora - March 6th 2022

March 2022 presented us with a bounty of clear starry nights thanks to high pressure weather. This report documents several nights devoted to capturing the Zodiacal Light (ZL), first in west Tyrone where we spent a wonderful night at a lake with spectacular star reflections on the water. Then we went on a road trip to Co. Donegal where we captured the beautiful landscape by drone and experienced the ZL with embedded Moon, the aurora borealis also appeared in the same camera frame thanks to a G1 geostorm from a solar wind stream. A great time spent with friends under truly dark skies. One page report with 16 images and 2 video clips.

Atlantic Storms Eunice & Franklin With Damaging Winds & Snow Squalls - February 2022

February 2022 turned out to be a very active month of weather thanks to the jet stream surging across UK and Ireland with 200mph winds aloft feeding in deep low pressure system drains which had a notable impact on the country. Within seven days we had storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin which brought severe winds, structure damage, countless downed trees and flooding. This report focuses on the convective and cold sector components of two of these storms featuring blowing snow, convective cells, moonlit snow at An Creagan and a beautiful snowfall on Glenshane Pass and Benbradagh for my birthday. The highlight was the menacing squall with blowing hail and snow curtains behind Benbradagh summit which I captured by drone. One page report with 20 images and 2 video clips.

Low Topped +40 Knot Sheared Winter Cbs At Benone Beach - February 5th 2022

February 4th 2022 was my first storm chase of the year. A 5am rise to make it to the north coast for first light to shoot cells associated with a cold unstable post-frontal air mass overlayed with more than 40 knots deep layer shear. I spent the day on Benone beach with chaser friends shooting and time lapsing cells with dramatic hail curtains, the highlight was a line of low topped tilted towering cumulus with well defined updraught base, this convection would spawn a waterspout off Runkerry Head. That night I captured my first aurora of the season at Beaghmore when a sub storm produced naked eye beams for a fleeting moment. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Cable Laying Vessel C S SOVEREIGN At Drains Bay N. Ireland - January 11th 2022

On January 10th/11th 2022 I embarked on an overnight adventure to capture drone footage of cable laying vessel C S Sovereign which was undergoing a fibre optics undersea laying operation on Drains Bay between Ballygally and Larne. I drove through the night, did three night flights to the ship lit up on the bay, did an eerie walk to haunted Cairndu House in pitch darkness then waited in the van under the stars until sunrise to capture this most unusual vessel in golden hour sunshine. Something different, a road trip and adventure of a drone pilot, I hope you enjoy the read. One page report with 14 images and 2 video clips.

Sperrins Winter Wonderland, Birren Snowman & Moneyneany Blowing Snow - January 7th 2022

2022 got off to a great start with a huge change in the weather pattern bringing clear nights and our first snow chase of the new year. On January 1st we celebrated the start of the year with a BBQ and fire pit in the Sperrins under a canopy of stars, it was from there that we witnessed distant lightning flashing over the ocean. On January 6th/7th a nocturnal coastal chase resulted in more distant lightning then a wonderful daylight snow chase from Glenshane Pass, over the Birren Road and climaxing at Moneyneany. The snow was 9cm deep and the sunshine and blue skies made for a very photogenic day. The highlight was building a snowman on the Birren then drone filming of dramatic blowing snow back-lit by the setting sun at Monenyneany and a BBQ on the snow to end the chase. One page report with 15 images and 3 video clips.

MPI Adventure Wind Turbine Installation Vessel & Port Of Larne At Night - Dec 16th 2021

Something a little different. Under cover of darkness on December 15th/16th 2021 I drove to Larne to film a famous wind turbine installation vessel called the MPI Adventure. The trip was a gamble, I arrived under stars & captured Port of Larne and the berthed MPI lit with lights. Then without warning the vessel left her berth and sailed out into the Irish Sea in perfect conditions with a tranquil ocean, calm winds, clear sky and golden hour light with the rising Winter sun. After seeking this vessel for two years I finally captured drone footage of her and had a great adventure doing so. One page report with 11 images and 2 video clips.

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard - Brightest Comet Of 2021

C/2021 A1 Leonard was the brightest comet of the year. Even though the comet was no NEOWISE and never become an obvious sight for the public it still put on a nice show as seen through telescopes during December. This report documents a battle with inclement weather and the only three nights on which I observed this long period comet. On two occasions I spied it with the naked eye, in the scope it had a ghostly tail 1 & 1/4 degrees in length filled with streamers. The highlight was a night at Davagh Forest under pristine dark skies where I got my only image of Leonard using a star tracker mount thanks to the generosity of a mate. One page report with 4 images.

Spectacular Atlas V Rocket Stage Deorbit Burn Over Beaghmore! - September 27th 2021

On September 27th 2021 I was planning a random night shoot when suddenly I saw a post from Will Gater on twitter about an Atlas V rocket stage deburn at 22.10 BST visible from the UK. Not expecting to see much I decided to drive out under the dark skies of Beaghmore and set up my cameras and do a watch with low expectations. What I saw completely blew me away when both stages appeared as two bright naked eye comets with fanning tails casting shadows on the ground as they rapidly moved from the NE into the N like two ghostly apparitions in the sky. I managed to capture several images of this rare spectacle on camera making this an unforgettable experience. One page report with 8 images.

Magheracross G2 Geomagnetic Storm - Portrush September 17th 2021

On September 17th 2021 we were taken completely by surprise when the best aurora in four years suddenly manifested in the skies over the north coast when a weak slow moving CME combined with a Bz of -12 generated a sudden G2 geomagnetic storm. After filming the lights of Portrush by drone we relocated to the newly re-vamped Magheracross car park near Portrush where we watched the spectacle in a bright moonlit sky. We were shocked to observe twin and even triple tiers with green and red vertical beams +40 degrees high all easily visible with the naked eye, no one had expected an aurora of this caliber at all. One page report with 14 images and 2 video clips.

EF0 Tornado Over Toome & Impressive Lough Neagh Convection - August 9th 2021

August 9th 2021 was the day my dream came true. After many hours spent watching convection and chasing my tail for miles across the country I came home about to give up when I spotted huge updraughts erupting up into the evening sky to the NE. I gave chase, when I crested a hill I was astonished to witness the best funnel cloud of my life in the form of a huge solid white stove pipe seemingly going all the way to the ground, this would turn out to be over Toome and touched down as a EF0 tornado, this would be my first ever tornado in over 14 years of storm chasing. The cells which spawned it then put on a dramatic sight over Lough Neagh where I bagged another smaller funnel cloud, this was an historic day. One page report with 20 images and 1 video clip.

Dramatic Shelf Cloud On Ballymena Thunderstorm - August 4th 2021

August 4th 2021 brought a risk of flooding and slow moving thunderstorms. After a 03.30 rise and early morning photo shoot along the Co. Antrim coast I headed inland during the afternoon and teamed up with Nigel McFarland and Colleen Webb chasing a front which was breaking up unto multicellular clusters. We intercepted our first storm of the day near Kilrea which produced prolific thunder however the real prize came in the evening when a second storm approached Clady then Ballymena sporting an impressive Shelf Cloud spanning across 180 degrees of sky, we chased ahead of it to keep the structure in view and got rewarded with our the best Arcus Cloud in years, the drone images captured made my day. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Record Breaking Heatwave, Dramatic Sunsets, Intense Thunderstorms & Rare Wet Microburst - July 2021

A remarkable period of hot weather with a rare amber warning heat advisory from the Met Office for a risk to health and infrastructure. During the course of a week N. Ireland broke its all time temp record three times with a new historic temp of 31.3 degrees C. The heatwave brought beautiful sunsets, drought & on July 21st the most intense thunderstorms of the year. The cap broke releasing 1400j/kg of CAPE which generated Cbs 11km tall producing constant thunder for almost an hour each. A storm over Swatragh wind turbines formed a rare wet microburst, in total I intercepted six intense storms on this memorable day. One page report with 22 images and video 4 clips.

Noctilucent Clouds With Fairy Tree & Rare Red NLCs From Beaghmore - July 12th 2021

July 12th turned out to be an action packed day, after chasing an intense thunderstorm in Co. Armagh the sky cleared that same night. Following a tip off from a fellow observer I drove out to Beaghmore and witnessed the best Noctilucent Cloud display of the season. The display was type 4 in brightness and exhibited beautiful structure in the form of large whirls, knots and waves glowing electric blue and gold during the darkest hour of the Summer night. I photographed and time lapsed the display over a lone fairy tree. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Spectacular Rain Free Updraught Base On Co. Armagh Thunderstorm - July 12th 2021

July 12th would see the best instability of the current season with up to 1000j/kg under hot humid skies with the influence of high pressure. During the late afternoon Roisin and I went chasing in our target area of Co. Armagh and after a long wait the cap finally broke with explosive thunderstorm development. After a period of core punching and navigating narrow and twisting country roads we intercepted a thunderstorm at close range in the countryside west of Armagh. This storm had the best rain free updraught base I have ever seen on a N. Ireland storm with churning and twisting clouds under its inflow area, we captured the scene from a field with close range lightning and over 30 rumbles of thunder. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Damaging Pulse Thunderstorms & Storm Over Wheat Field At Myroe - July 4th 2021

After a complete storm drought during June we finally got our first chase day on July 4th 2021. The initial evaluation was not encouraging with concerns of grey skies and no shear however the atmosphere soon responded and took us by surprise. My Wife and I targeted the north coast where we watched convection and developing storms from Benone and Magilligan, we joined up with Nigel McFarland and Colleen Webb and ended up experiencing five thunderstorms. The highlight was standing within a beautiful wheat field near Myroe with dark storm clouds flashing and rumbling in front of us, at one stage three storms surrounded us. We witnessed in-cloud & c-g lightning including a terrific positive bolt. We heard more thunder this day than the entire year combined. These storms damaged roads and even struck a coffin factory in Strabane causing a huge fire. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Beautiful Single Cell Thunderstorm & Partial Solar Eclipse At OM - May & June 2021

This report covers two storm chases and a partial solar eclipse which I observed from the newly opened OM Dark Sky Park & Observatory with the staff and IAA when we successfully captured the eclipse through cloud during the 30% peak. The highlight of this report was an unexpected local chase when strong solar heating broke the cap resulting in rapid convection by late afternoon. I chased a growing cell from Maghera to a scenic vantage point near Knockloughrim and got rewarded with a beautiful single cell thunderstorm in full sunshine surrounded by blue skies rumbling away over the Co. Antrim countryside. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

May Storm Chasing - Lough Foyle & Slaughtneil Funnel Cloud Outbreaks - N. Ireland May 1st & 12th 2021

Storm season has arrived and as we entered May the synoptic outlook took on a more unsettled and unstable pattern which produced over a week of convective potential. This report documents five chase days which resulted on the capture of a funnel cloud outbreak. On May 1st I captured 2 funnel clouds over Lough Foyle five minutes apart then May 12th I got treated to two more funnels over Carntogher outside Slaughtneil, the first funnel lasted for five minutes and was a dramatic sight has it hung in the sky like a dagger. These recent funnel sightings also broke several personal records by being the earliest and latest funnels I've ever seen. One page report with 21 images.

Broughderg Crucifixion Nightscapes, Lady Of Wayside Chapel, Zodiacal Light, Beaghmore Stone Circles, Nova V1405 Cass, Asteroid 4 Vesta & Convection - April 2021

Detailed report covering a range of night shoots in April 2021 - Astronomical telescopic observations, Zodiacal Light, Nova V1405 Cass and Asteroid 4 Vesta. First official meet up and night shoot of the year with mates shooting nightscapes and star trails at the Crucifixion scene and Lady of Wayside chapel in Broughderg as well as the Milky Way with mag +8 Nova over Beaghmore Stone Circles. This report also documents deep sky and comet observing with the 10" F/5 Reflector including the first convective skies and lowering of the Spring season. One page report with 19 images.

RRS Sir David Afternoon Polar Research Vessel Visits Portrush - Feb 15th 2021

Those who follow me on youtube will know that I have a fascination for filming ships on the north coast of N. Ireland. I seldom mention this passion on here as I like to keep the content on the site orientated towards Astronomy and Storm Chasing. However this vessel makes an exception and is more than worthy of inclusion. On Feb 15th 2021 the brand new 'Sir David Attenborough' Polar research vessel was due to visit Portrush for sea trials in preparation for months of exploration and scientific research in Antarctica. This report documents my attempts to track her down while battling inclement weather to capture her by drone. The early rise and long wait was worth it when all the elements came together for a great day. One page report with 11 images and 2 video clips.

Easterly Cold Spell, Icicles, Glaze Ice & Glenshane Pass Blizzard - February 2021

During February 2021 a week long cold spell affected UK and Ireland in the form of an Ely flow from Siberia as a result of a large scale high pressure set-up. For N. Ireland this resulted in a very cold exceptionally dry week and with negative daytime temps in the wind chill it looked like ice formations were possible. On three different days I documented glaze ice and icicles on Lough Fea and Glenshane Pass, some of which were 6ft in length. The cold spell ended with a climatic blizzard which my Dad and I chased on Glenshane Pass which resulted in dramatic blowing snow scenes, a jack-knifed lorry and the best daytime blizzard action since 2010. One page report with 29 images and 2 video clips.

First Snow Of 2021, Polar Air Mass Convection & Benbradagh Aerial Scenes - January 2021

First image report of 2021 covering three days of local Winter chasing during late January 2021 covering a beautiful cold spell which brought several days of snow and even the first convection of the season. The chase began with impressive cold air convection over the ocean at Downhill Beach with cells dropping hail and snow then moves inland to cover two memorable days on Benbradagh mountain near Dungiven. The mountain was covered in snow and looked its finest in bright sunshine surrounded by a deep blue Polar sky. I also captured the waxing gibbous Moon rising over the snow-covered summit. This is a combination of DSLR and drone imagery. One page report with 20 images and 2 video clips.

Various Photo Shoots Of 2020

Last image report of the year showcasing a selection of miscellaneous images captured from Spring to Winter 2020 covering night shoots to snow adventures. Included is comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, star trails, meteor watches, the close approach of planet Mars, north coast night shoots, Milky Way, Churches, NLCs and the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn. One page report with 32 images.

First Snow Of Winter, Mullaghmore & Moneyneany Aerial Winter Scenes - December 3rd 2020

After a very uneventful October and November for weather action December arrived in style turning the atmospheric tables and delivering our first cold spell of the season on the 3rd with temps as low as -5C in places for several days. I didn't expect snow at all however I was pleasantly surprised by a beautiful covering of snow on the summits of Mullaghmore and Moneyneany in the Sperrins. I was on the scene from 7am with Nigel McFarland and spent the day documenting the snow via DSLR and drone which produced a bounty of beautiful scenes which made the day highly rewarding. One page report with 16 images and 4 video clips.

Benone Beach Intense Hail Shower & Rare Reflection Rainbow - November 4th 2020

After a quiet Autumn my long wait for convection was finally over on November 4th 2020 with an unstable NWly cold air mass flow bringing over 100j/kg of CAPE and a risk of convective showers and ocean thunderstorms. I spent the day chasing at the north coast where I got rewarded with a photogenic cell with gust front which delivered an intense hail shower over Benone beach. Later in the day I witnessed a beautiful sunset rainbow featuring a rare reflection rainbow between the primary and secondary arcs. One page report with 17 images and 1 video clip.

Bar Mouth Storm Surge & Large Swells Captured By Drone - October 28th 2020

October 28th 2020 turned into an unexpected filming session when a deep low pressure system generated active sea conditions at the north coast of N. Ireland. After a tip-off from a mate I arrived at Castlerock Beach two hours before sunset where I experienced a wonderful stormy seascape with trains of large waves, swells and a high storm surge which impacted both piers at the famous Bar Mouth. Due to rare conditions rarely seen with large waves - no rain and no wind - I was able to obtain dramatic drone footage of the spectacle in great light just in time before the next frontal system arrived. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Milky Way Over Fairy Tree & Beaghmore Stone Circle Moonbows - September 2020

New report documenting three night shoots in Co. Tyrone on September 23rd, 24th and 25th 2020. During this period I was rewarded with superb transparent skies with stars below mag +6 and even the Gegenschein on view. After moonset I shot the Milky Way and star trails over a recently discovered fairy tree, the same location also spawned our first aurora display of the current season. On the third night I was treated to a gorgeous moonbow arching over the famous standing stones at Beaghmore Stone Circles which made my night. I chat a little about moonbow formation and current focusing issues with the Irix Blackstone 15mm F/2.4 lens. One page report with 11 images.

Sunset Shelf Cloud Approaches Cookstown - September 25th 2020

September 25th 2020, a convective outlook had been issued for parts of Ireland & N. Ireland however models indicated nothing inland so instead I got prepared for a night shoot. I glanced out the window and observed this wonderful sight. A thunderstorm to the NE of the country had generated a line of convective hail showers & along the leading edge was a long Shelf Cloud. The structure looked dramatic in the beautiful golden hour light just before sunset, I captured the scene using the Mavic 2 Pro as the Shelf posed over a lush country foreground with fields and a local farm. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

An Creagan Milky Way & Quarry Nightscapes & Star Trails - Late Summer 2020

Report documenting four nights in Co. Tyrone on Aug 24th, Aug 29th, Sept 6th & Sept 19th 2020 covering superb clear skies and vivid Milky Way scenes over the 10,000 year old bog lands at An Creagan visitor's centre on the Omagh Road. Then an unusual subject matter when I visited a local quarry on three different nights with various photographers under bright moonlight then dark skies shooting nightscapes, star trails and time lapse over the alien-looking quarry machinery which made for a most unusual subject matter. One page report with 20 images and 1 time lapse video.

Moonlit Sunflower Field & Scare Crow Fun - September 5th & 6th 2020

On September 5th and 6th 2020 I spent two nights in a sunflower field shooting nightscapes, something I have always wanted to do. I spotted the field on the Omagh road outside Cookstown in Co. Tyrone quite by chance and followed this up with a daylight visit which resulted in permission from the owners for a night shoot. The first night was a solo experience and the second was with two other photographers. The brilliant light from the waning full moon illuminated the yellow flowers perfectly, I shot time lapse, stills and even short star trails which resulted in a subtle moonbow over the field, a really fun and unexpected shoot. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE From Northern Ireland - June 11th To June 28th 2020

Two page comet chasing report covering nine nights observing and shooting comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE from various locations in N. Ireland from June 11th to June 28th 2020. NEOWISE surprised the world when it suddenly surged in brightness during perihelion passage then emerged into the northern circumpolar sky as the brightest naked eye comet since Hale-Bopp 23 years ago. NEOWISE astonished me with its rapidly changing form and tail displays, the comet was notable for it's striking gold DC:9 coma and sweeping golden dust tail perched in the Summer twilight sky, the telescopic view of the coma looked similar to renditions of great comet Donati. I observed a search light beam tail of 20 degrees with the naked eye and during one unforgettable night I watched this golden comet embedded within a complex electric blue NLC display which was a dream come true. I documented the comet from Ballintoy Harbour, Dunluce Castle, Cookstown, Beaghmore Stone Circles, near a fairy tree and from inside a graveyard near Omagh, my final sighting of this rare visitor was over the tree tops at Davagh Forest. From a visual perspective this ranks as one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen in nature. Two page report with 41 images & 1 video clip - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Night Lightning Over Scotland, Sperrins Storm Chase, Horseshoe Vortex, Suspect Wall Cloud & Funnel Cloud - June 25th & 26th 2020

Chase report covering two days of action beginning on June 25th when I drove to Cushendun at night to watch lightning from elevated storms and a likely supercell over Scotland in the company of Nigel McFarland and Colleen Webb. The following day brought big CAPE and this time I had a wonderful solo chase from west to north from Co. Tyrone, through the Sperrins and across beautiful countryside as I tracked a sheared thunderstorm which produced a rare Horseshoe Vortex, a suspect wall cloud, a funnel cloud then two more storm intercepts on the way home, what began as a look at the sky ended in an eight hour chase with three storms. One page report with 17 images and 1 video clip.

Impressive Co. Tyrone Thunderstorms & Omagh Updraught Beast - June 15th 2020

June 15th 2020, second day in a row of big thunderstorms across N. Ireland with high CAPE, strong shear and convergence which produced an outbreak of HP storms. I chased all day through Co. Tyrone and intercepted 7 storms, encountered intense cores and flash flooding then two more storms on the way home. The climax was the amazing sheared storm near Omagh which I watched from Pigeon Top with Paul Martin, this storm had the largest updraught plume I have ever experienced in my entire life with rock solid clouds and explosive formation. The storm itself had an intense core with rain foot and huge back rain free base with rotation and possible RFD slot with supercellular traits, an amazing day. One page report with 20 images and 2 video clips.

Intense Multicell Thunderstorms At Mullaghmore Co. Sligo! - June 14th 2020

June 14th 2020, lock down restrictions lifted which coincided with the first big thunderstorm outbreak of the season. 1300 CAPE, strong humidity and solar heating, sea breeze convergence zone and 40 knots DLS in the west would fire intense organized thunderstorms. Models indicated the best potential would be in a target area between Omagh & Sligo. This was an historic chase day as five car loads of us chased west in a coordinated storm chase with Nigel McFarland, Paul Martin, John Fagan & Colleen Webb. We got treated to eight storms, the most explosive convection I've ever seen and climaxing with a fantastic photogenic multicell storm with shelf cloud over the fields at Mullaghmore accompanied by two hours of thunder. What a fantastic day with 13.5 hours spent on the road. One page report with 23 images and 2 videos.

Complex Sun Halo Phenomena During Lock Down - Sundogs, UTA, CZA, Supralateral Arc, Circumscribed Halo, 8 Degree Halo & 360 Degree Parhelic Circle - April 22nd & 23rd 2020

Its lock down during the Covid-19 pandemic here in N. Ireland and we have been experiencing our finest period of weather for a very long time. Strong high pressure brought back to back days of sunshine, blue skies, warm temps and no rain for two weeks which also presented me with many clear nights during which I have been tracking three comets as they moved among the stars from night to night. If this wasn't good enough I experienced two days in a row of complex sun halo displays with sundogs, UTA, CZA, parry arcs, supralateral arc and even a full 360 degree parhelic circle. These were among my finest halo captures to date due to so many forms being present during a single apparition, what a wonderful period this was. One page report with 21 images and 3 video clips.

Zodiacal Light, Planet Venus, Comet Observing & Faint Aurora - Beaghmore Stones Circles & Ballintoy Harbour - March 18th, 19th & 20th 2020

Detailed image report documenting three back to back nights of superb clear skies to observe and shoot the Zodiacal Light, planet Venus and hunt down Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS by telescope. I spent the first two nights at Beaghmore Stone Circles where we met lovely people and observed through my 8" telescope. On the third night Roisin and I went to Ballintoy on the north coast and documented the ZL with John Fagan, Paul Martin and Tracy Sharkey where we got treated to amazing skies and even a faint aurora display. These were three memorable and special nights before the Covid-19 lock down arrived. One page report with 18 images and 1 video clip.

GPO Light Pollution Protest & Beautiful Moonlit Snow On Glenshane Pass - March 12th 2020

Report documenting aerial filming of a light pollution protest at the Greencastle GPO then on March 12th 2020 I was treated to a surprise night snowfall which resulted in a late night solo Winter chase on Glenshane Pass. The night began filming cars and trucks spinning out on their way up the mountain then the drama evolved into peace and beauty when the clouds parted and the fresh snow was illuminated by bright moonlight. I shot stills and time lapse footage using two DSLRs and captured my old favourite derelict house in moonlit snow. The best scene of the night, and perhaps the season, was a moonlit snow star trail over an old gate. One page report with 9 images and 2 video clips.

Moneyneany Winter Wonderland, Thundersnow, Drone Snowscapes & Vivid Diamond Dust Sundog Optics Display - February 2020

After a long Winter battling wet snow set-ups we finally got rewarded with beautiful snow scenes. Between February 25th and 27th 2020 I spent three days snow chasing in the Sperrins which resulted in my finest scenes of the season, from morning thundersnow to stunning snow landscapes on Glenshane Pass, Birren Road, Mullaghmore and Moneyneany by drone and climaxing with a vivid diamond dust optics display in the form of striking Sundogs and a Parhelic Circle over snow complimented by strongly sheared snow cells which made for a very photogenic and rewarding period. One page report with 27 images and 4 video clips.

Storm Dennis, Thunderstorms, Tidal Surge & Gortmore Severe Squall - Feb 16th 2020

After storm Ciara it wasn't long before a new storm arrived in the form of Dennis on February 16th 2020 which would bring gales and convective potential. Roisin and I got up early and went chasing for the day with the intention of targeting unstable skies to the NW. We arrived on Benone Strand where we got treated to a very dynamic ocean with beautiful swells and rolling waves crashing close to shore in nice light. Many people came to watch the sea, several got trapped in the sand (including us) with several tidal surges and an ocean thunderstorm. Later from Gortmore we experienced +70mph winds from a severe squall with hail which shook the van so badly we thought we were going to tip over, a very exciting day indeed. One page report with 17 images and 2 video clips.

Storm Ciara, Power Line Sparks, Winter Thunderstorms & Twilight Cbs - February 2020

Detailed image report beginning with a moonlit shoot at Swatragh Church then evolving into three days and two nights of Winter chasing during the cold unstable air mass behind storm Ciara from Feb 10th to Feb 13th 2020. During this busy period I chased both inland and at the coast, I experienced snow and hail showers, severe squalls, ocean lightning, superb Winter convection, damaged live power lines, photogenic Cbs over the ocean during twilight with stars and wonderful aerial scenes of snow on Benbradagh by drone. One page report with 33 images and 4 video clips.

Epic Cookstown Sunset Sky Show - January 19th 2020

On January 19th 2020 I was chilling out after Sunday dinner when I casually glanced out the window and was astonished by a remarkable sunset skyscape taking place. I drove out the road into the countryside and launched my drone to get a better perspective and got treated to the best sunset sky show I have ever experienced in my life. The horizon was burning with an intense yellow afterglow while sections of highly structured mid level cloud were painted an intense red colour which lasted for a long time after sunset, during one glorious moment I could see overhead stars while the sky was on fire. The view of this stunning sky over the distant lights of Cookstown made for a magical memory. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

Sperrin View Glamping Night Sky Photography - January 2020

My first photo shoot of 2020, on three different nights I was joined by mates to shoot the night sky at Sperrin View Glamping located near Beaghmore Stone circles within the Sperrins. With only two weeks until this new venture officially opened to the public we were given permission to document the site during several frosty nights in January. We shot starscapes, star trails and time lapse over the four glamping pods and large communal hub while allowed access to the facility to take shelter when needed. As a result we got a behind the scenes experience at this location under the stars complimented by Orion the Hunter with Betelgeuse undergoing a record breaking dimming event. A wonderful experience and a great shoot to get the new year underway. One page report with 29 images and 1 video clip.

Bears & Wolves At Wild Ireland - November 2019

I have always wanted to photograph Bears, I never thought it would happen unless I flew to Canada, however a dream suddenly came true when 'Wild Ireland' appeared on the television news. An animal sanctuary located in Burnfoot within Co. Donegal featuring rescued animals by Solicitor and Zoologist Killian McLaughlin. Roisin and I spent four hours at Wild Ireland on November 5th 2019 and had a wonderful time. This report features imagery of the three Brown Bears and Wolf Pack which was a dream come true for me. I will be visiting this place again in the future but for now these images document my first look at these marvelous animals. One page report with 24 images.

Beautiful Sunrise Full Circle Rainbow At Magilligan Point - Sept 2019

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.

Various Imagery - Nightscapes & Convection 2019

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.

Return To Fanad Head Lighthouse - Aerial & Time Lapse Shoot - September 20th 2019

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.

Broighter Gold Barely Harvest , NLCs & Thunderstorm Outbreak - August 2019

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.

Shelf Cloud On Co. Tyrone Squall Line With Funnel Cloud & Strong Rotation - June 29th 2019

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.

Mussenden Temple Noctilucent Clouds - June 27th 2019

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.

Cookstown Type 5 Noctilucent Cloud Storm - June 17th/18th 2019

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.

Beautiful Evening Cell Chased From Lough Neagh To Maghera - June 6th 2019

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.

Portstewart NW200 Fireworks Display By Drone - May 17th 2019

I have always wanted to film a fireworks display by drone however I always put off the event for various reasons due to weather or drone regulations. However after hearing about the Portstewart NW200 fireworks display on May 17th 2019 I finally decided I would tick it off my bucket list. The location and take off point satisfied all CAA regulations and I would be flying over the ocean which would be extra atmospheric. At 22.30 the fireworks erupted into life and from the rocks on the sea shore I launched my Phantom 3 Advanced and commenced aerial filming. The flight was a complete success, I was thrilled and satisfied with the experience in equal measure. Read more about how I went about the filming and my course of action pre-flight on the report. One page report with 4 stills and 1 video clip.

Storm Gareth High Precip Thunderstorms & Benone Storm Surge - March 12th 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.

Severe Thunderstorm Outflow Event At Benone Beach - March 10th 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.

Gortin Glen & Seven Sisters Aerial Winter Scenes - February 2nd 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.

Beautiful Winter Scenes At Binevenagh & Aerial Snow Photography - Jan 30th 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.

Dramatic Thundersnow Gust Front Approaches Benbradagh - Jan 22nd 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.

Winter Cumulonimbus Time-Lapse Shoot At Benone Beach - January 16th 2019

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.

Night Sky Photo Shoots - September to November 2018

A selection of photo shoots from September to November 2018 covering two visits to the moonlit waterfall at Dunservick along the Antrim coast, an observation of a newly discovered comet from Maghera and a cave with transient waterfall at Ballintoy harbour and moonlit convection. A combination of moonlit and dark night shoots covering still exposures and star trail photography and time lapse shooting. One page report with 22 images and 2 video clips.

Funnel Cloud Over Binevenagh Mountain & Possible Touch Down? - August 25th 2018

On August 25th 2018 I was driving along the north coast under showers, my intention was to seek clear skies for aerial filming that afternoon. Once I passed under the core and made a turn onto the Point Road I was astonished to observe an unexpected funnel cloud clearly visible from the flanking area of the cell. I pulled over and made a dash for my camera, this beautiful white funnel cloud rotated and changed shape over the dramatic sunlit countryside against a backdrop of Binevenagh Mountain for 10 min's. During the latter stages of it's apparition the vortex took on the form of a long rope, at which stage it was very close to the summit of Binevenagh. There's a possibility this may have briefly touched down, details of this surprise visitor can be read in the report along with thoughts on how it formed in such a weak set-up along with funnel spotting tips and lessons learned. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Moonbow Hunting & Moonlit Convection At Swatragh Wind Turbines - Aug 24th 2018

On August 24th 2018 I spent a pleasant night hunting for lunar rainbows or 'moonbows' at the wind turbines above Swatragh with John Fagan. It was a night of heavy showers with clear periods from an unstable NWly flow due to a post frontal maritime air mass. The set up presented a rare opportunity to catch moonbows from a waxing gibbous moon two days from full thanks to the low ecliptic angle which meant the moon stayed below 42 degrees in altitude all night long at this phase. We ended up observing nine different moonbows throughout the night, several of which had various colours visible to the naked eye. Here are several of the better bows, however it was the moonlit convective cloudscapes which really made the night for us. One page report with 13 images and 1 time lapse video.

Ballintoy Perseid Meteor Watch, Star Trails & Late Season NLCs - August 2018

The 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower looked to be clouded out for the peak so two clear nights were arranged for a watch during the build up to maximum. On Aug 8th/9th three of us undertook a nightly vigil at Ballintoy under superb clear skies where we had a BBQ and encountered 56 Perseids, a mag -6 fireball and were surprised by a pre-dawn late season NLC display, in fact, this was the latest NLCs I have ever observed in my life. On Aug 10th/11th six of us teamed up for another watch at Ballintoy two days before maximum, after another BBQ inside a bat cave we spent the night sky watching from the 50 million year old Ballintoy stacks under a vibrant Milky Way where we observed 134 Perseids, this report documents both these nights with star trail imagery. One page report with 10 images and 1 time lapse video.

Dramatic Golden Hour Peat Wild Fire Near Rasharkin - July 4th 2018

July 4th 2018, N. Ireland still in the middle of a heat wave and drought conditions. My mate Conor McDonald called around for a chat during the evening, we casually looked to the east and were shocked to see a massive gorse fire in the distance. We gave chase from Maghera, got a sudden tire blow out on the back roads, raced to get it replaced, then made our way through Kilrea when we spotted the fire up close outside Rasharkin originating from peat land. We found a field, launched the drone and flew out to get an aerial perspective on what was going on. The drone view was absolutely incredible with the lowering sun shining through a quivering wall of ascending smoke, the filtered sunshine through the smoke and golden hour light generated a dramatic yellow and orange fiery vista which left us awestruck. This was a short and entirely unexpected last minute shoot, one page report with 4 images and 1 video clip.

Historic Glenshane Pass Three Day Gorse Fire - June 2018

N. Ireland is in the midst of a long heat wave with hot sunny days and a new June record max temp of 30.8C on June 27th. This same morning I got a phone call from a mate tipping me off to a gorse fire on Glenshane Pass, I drove up for a look, the fire soon turned into an historic event for this area and raged for two nights and three days. I spent all three days documenting the event on camera and by drone. Due to multiple fires on the mountain fire crews had to be dropped off by helicopter to battle the flames, the chopper against the late evening smoke plumes looked like a scene from a war movie. This report documents all three days, a fire sunset, the forest itself on fire on day 2 and an aftermath trip on day 3 to document the widespread damage. Two page report with 41 images and 4 video clips.

Heat Wave Thunderstorm Outbreak & Funnel Clouds - June 2018

New report documenting a remarkable period of high pressure hot weather which lasted for four weeks and ended up in a thunderstorm outbreak over a week long in the W of N. Ireland. I chased on June 7th, 8th and 9th and succeeded in intercepting storms on all three days. Highlights include a funnel cloud over Omagh, standing on the Sperrins between two close range thunderstorms and bagging another funnel from Glenshane. All days were hot and humid, I chased many miles and ended up on roads I have never been on before in my life surrounded by beautiful countryside. This report showcases images from these chases and my efforts to capture time lapse of storms. One page report with 19 images, 1 Vlog & 1 time lapse video.

Benbradagh Thunderstorm Produces One Hour Of Continuous Thunder! - June 1st 2018

June 1st 2018, 1000 CAPE, LIs -4, high humidity and heat in the midst of a wonderful four week HP heat wave. I began my chase at Benbradagh outside Dungiven as a base of operations and ended up getting two thunderstorms. The main storm turned out to be the most prolific daylight thunder/lightning producer I have ever experienced. Due to the slack flow storm motion was the slowest I have encountered and from a sunny vantage point on the mountain we watched the entire life cycle of this intense thunderstorm which had solid updraughts and mean structure. The storm produced constant thunder for over 1 hour in close proximity while we watched in awe under sunshine which made for a memorable storm experience. Also a storm at Desertmartin and big convection spotting on the Sperrins on June 2nd. One page report with 15 images, 1 Vlog & 2 time lapse videos.

Drone View Of Hot Air Balloons Over Maghera - May 28th & 29th 2018

Two days of chasing hot air balloons around the countryside outside Maghera on May 28th and 29th 2018 as part of the 20th anniversary of the Sperrins Balloon Festival. Warm humid high pressure days complimented by formations of majestic hot air balloons, this report documents two days of chasing along back roads with other photographers to document the event and capture drone footage in the process. On page report with 4 images & 2 aerial video clips.

Surprise Thunderstorm At Swatragh Wind Turbines & Cap Bust - May 11th 2018

On May 11th 2018 a strong cold front crossed the country bringing heavy rainfall associated with a broken squall line which produced rotation over Co. Tyrone. That evening the front cleared leaving low end instability in it's wake. Unknown to me at the time a cell had evolved and crossed the Sperrins, aided by convergence, wind shear and orographic lift a thunderstorm erupted to life to the W of Dungiven, I got tipped off within min's by my mates, checked radar, then raced out the road. I intercepted the storm on the hills above Swatragh in the form of a large and impressive shelf cloud which crept over the local wind turbines in the late evening light, this surprise storm presented me with the first structure event of 2018, one page report with 8 images.

Rare Frozen Waterfall At Downhill Beach - March 4th 2018

The Beast From The East generated another rare event when the famous waterfall near Downhill Beach had frozen solid. On March 4th Roisin and I decided to check it out fully expecting to see the water flowing again however much to our shock the waterfall was still frozen for days on end, slabs of ice encased the flowing water while huge icicles hung from the cliff wall coated in white the entire way up the vertical face, we documented the event while cars galore arrived on the scene with families and children marveling at this wonderful spectacle from nature. Locals confirmed they had never seen this happen in their lives before making this yet another exceptional ice event thanks to this action packed Winter, 1 page report with 6 images and 1 video clip.

Co. Armagh Blizzards & Epic Rare Ice Event At Ballyronan Marina! - March 2018

New report documenting three days of Winter action in response to a major set-up from 'The Beast From The East' when sustained Siberian air advected across all of UK and Ireland generating the most significant cold spell in years. On feb 28th Conor McDonald and I chased to Co. Armagh inside a Met Office amber warned area which was getting affected by non stop Irish Sea snow streamers where we encountered 8" of snow and local blizzard conditions. March 2nd produced the most epic Winter sight of our lives when Paul Martin, Nigel Mcfarland and I visited Ballyronan Marina where a remarkable ice event had formed. 3" to 6" of glaze ice encased all the trees and branches on the lough shore sporting jaw dropping structure, the results were the most dramatic ice formations we have seen in our entire lives! One page report with 26 images and 2 video clips.

Wind Turbine Snow Storm & Photogenic Golden Hour Clearance - Feb 11th 2018

On February 11th 2018 during the sixth cold spell of the season my Wife and I spent the entire day winter chasing after waking up to a stunning snow fall in Co. Tyrone. We drove all day across Glenshane and Benbradagh, had a sliding adventure on the Birren road and encountered local blizzard conditions. However despite widespread snow the sky was cloudy and light was bad and I never found any photo opportunities. After 17.00 during last light we drove to the wind farm on the hills above Garvagh and got bombarded by a sustained squall of hail and snow, when the cell passed the sky cleared revealing a stunning scene with cell and anvil surrounded by blue sky above the turbines over a winter landscape all lit by golden hour sunlight which made for a sublime convective snow scene to end the day. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Glenshane Pass Night Blizzard, Winter Chasing & Jack Knifed Truck - Jan 16th To 19th 2018

First report of 2018 documenting a week of winter chasing when cold spell number of five produced the best snow falls of the season to date. Featuring trucks jack knifing on the Birren road, beautiful snow curtains and drone flying over the winter landscape. The highlight was the epic night blizzard on Glenshane Pass when Conor McDonald and I encountered a terrific high speed snow event with severe winds and snow drifts on the exposed mountain road on parallel with the famous 2010 blizzard in the same area making for the most thrilling snow event we have experienced for years. One page report with 17 images and 3 video clips.

Impressive Winter Convective Cells At Benone Beach - Dec 27th 2017

December 27th was my final storm chase of 2017 when after a relaxing Christmas my Wife and I decided to chase to the north coast to intercept cells forming on an unstable post frontal air mass, the trip was also mainly an excuse for a day of fresh air and exercise. Not expecting much we were surprised to be greeted by a stunning winter multicell cb dominating the ocean horizon, this cell exhibited impressive structure sporting dramatic curtains of cascading hail and wet snow falling over the sea making for some of the finest convective scenes of the year. The day ended with more cells at sunset which I documented via DSLR and by drone making for the perfect end to the year. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Winter Snowfalls & Beautiful Glenshane Moonlit Snow Scenes - Dec 9th 2017

New account documenting two potent cold spells which impacted N. Ireland during late November and again on mid December. These events produced multiple Glenshane Pass documenting twilight snow landscapes, traffic battling snow, seven drone flights, then climaxing with an epic moonlit snow shoot on Glenshane during the early hours of November 9th when Paul Martin and I stood within knee deep snow lit by moonlight complimented by crisp winter stars, and snow events, thundersnow, four waterspouts and temps to -10C. I spent six days in total from pre-dawn through to afternoon shooting and filming the snow ona return visit to the derelict house which resulted in another unforgettable night of photogenic rewards. One page report with 19 images and 5 video clips.

Cabin Tree Star Trails & Moonlit Causeway Cliff Aurora Display - November 7th 2017

New image report documenting two night sky shoots on November 5th & 7th 2017. The first on the shore of Lough Neagh when I shot two moonlit star trails around the locally famous 'Cabin Tree' near Doss, a rare 400-600 year old ash tree of great form used as a visual aid for fishermen on the Lough. Night two was a shoot on the Causeway cliffs at the north coast where we were treated to the best aurora in years when a CIR CH event dipped to Bz -20 generating a stunning aurora which dominated the sky. The aurora boasted a three tier arc, multiple high altitude oval forms, and was so intense it washed out bright naked eye stars completely. This was followed by a thrilling cliff top shoot with moonlit waves complimented by a vibrant green aurora arc. One page report with 20 images and 1 time lapse video.

Ex-Hurricane/Extra TS Ophelia Intercept At Co. Down Coast - October 16th 2017

October 16th 2017 was a date in which I met the most unusual and hyped storm of my life when Extra Tropical Storm or Ex-Hurricane Ophelia impacted Ireland. Met Eireann had issued an extremely rare countrywide red alert for widespread severe gales with hurricane force winds, phenomenal seas and even storm surges. Schools all over the country where shut for two days, many shops closed at midday and public warned to avoid travel and coastal areas. The S and SE of the country would be worst hit with 3 fatalities and a storm surge with 100,000 homes without power. My Wife and I targeted the SE coast of N. Ireland in Co. Down at St. John's where we experienced severe wind gusts and a sea in a state of fast moving churning chaos, this report documents this day. One page report with 6 images and 1 video clip.

Gortmore 70 Mile Range Night Thunderstorm & Manannan Mac Lir Star Trail - Sept 21st 2017

September 21st 2017 presented a rare clear night and a welcome change to indulge in night sky photography so a shoot was arranged. I met up with Nigel McFarland and together we shot several star trails around the Manannan Mac Lir statue at Gortmore Viewing Point on Binevenagh mountain. During the course of this shoot several flashes of lightning got our attention and soon we were watching a lively multicell thunderstorm at 70 miles range over the ocean illuminating its structure with lightning flashes with anvil and even an overshooting top visible with stars surrounding the cell. While all this was going on a faint aurora manifested on camera producing subtle green rays while the storm lit up in the same frame which made for an unexpected surprise and highly rewarding night. One page report with 11 images.

Historic Thunderstorm Flood Event & Claudy Bridge Collapse - August 22nd 2017

On August 22nd 2017 warm moist unstable air clashed with an inbound cold front in an environment of strong vertical wind shear which generated numerous elevated thunderstorms of a back building nature which dumped monsoon style rainfall over N. Ireland during daylight and night time hours accompanied by vigorous lightning activity. Parts of Derry, Donegal, Mid-Ulster, Tyrone and Antrim experienced a months rainfall within a few hours resulting in the worst thunderstorm flooding event in living memory with untold damage. This report details a visit to two sites in Claudy the following day where a severe flood wiped out a bridge and road documented by both ground based and drone imagery. One page report with 13 images and 3 video clips.

Beautiful Multicell Storms From Gortmore Viewing Point - August 1st 2017

August 1st 2017 looked like a good day for chasing with moderate CAPE overlapped by decent wind shear. Cloud killed inland convection during prime heating time so I decided on a chase to the N coast where blue skies and hot sunshine might trigger convection. During the late afternoon sea breeze convergence generated a beautiful multicell thunderstorm which built over Co. Donegal before moving out to open sea. The sheared updraughts on this storm were huge and catching full sunshine while being surrounded by blue skies. This cell sported explosive updraught development and even formed a shallow wall cloud over the sea while producing distant rumbles of thunder making for a very photogenic day. The sight of this storm from Gortmore Viewing Point against a backdrop of Lough Foyle, Donegal, Benone Beach and Magilligan Point was simply stunning. One page report with 16 images and 1 video clip.

Benone Beach Downpours & Stunning Coagh Multicell Gust Front - July 30th & 31st 2017

Detailed report documenting two chase days on July 30th and 31st 2017 with my Wife Roisin. Day 1 was a pulse storm day when we intercepted mean looking convective cells at Benone beach bringing heavy downpours and time lapse opportunities. Day 2 was the climax of the season when we got under the core of a midday storm over Glenshane Road which produced the best mammatus display I have seen in years. By late evening a new organized storm moved into Co. Tyrone with 40 knots of deep layer shear which we chased all through the back roads from Cookstown to Coagh then to the shore of Lough Neagh, this chase produced the best storm structure I have witnessed in two years with a massive solid gust front lit by the low evening sun passing over the fields and a farm house while rumbling with thunder offering us a perfect photogenic treat. One page report with 22 images and 1 video clip.

Beautiful Lough Beg Noctilucent Clouds & Magilligan Golden Sunset - June & July 2017

New report documenting two nights of NLCs on June 30th and July 2nd 2017 and a beautiful golden hour sunset across Lough Foyle from Magilligan Point. The June 30th NLC display is the main focus of this report when Paul Martin, John Fagan and I teamed up on a beautiful clear night and got treated to a stunning all-night long type 4.5 NLC display which we captured from a country road near Lough Beg then over Toomebridge. The NLCs boasted beautiful herringbone, band, and whirl structure which could be seen moving in real time with the naked eye illuminated in electric blue contrasting against the twilight sky above a bed of yellow horizon haze making this the best NLC display we have witnessed in the last two years. One page report with 11 images and 1 time lapse video.

Lough Neagh HP Storms & Possible LP Mesocyclone - June 27th 2017

An unexpected set-up on June 27th 2017 produced the best surface based storms of the year so far in N. Ireland. 400 CAPE with DLS, low LCLs and convergence all combined to generated a number of discrete intense thunderstorms. Cells fired in S. N. Ireland and moved N into the midlands and W at a slow pace with back building updraughts. I chased to Lough Neagh at Battery Harbour where I intercepted a massive cell crossing the lough overhead which dropped torrential rainfall with tail end charlie cell sporting a huge updraught with swirling rotation. One hour later by complete chance I encountered this same cell again near Castledawson roundabout, this time with rotating updraught complete with striation bands and sheared precip which looked very similar to an LP mesocyclone making this my first structure day of 2017. One report with 10 images.

Storm Chasing, Convergence Zones & Funnel Clouds - May & June 2017

Report detailing six days of storm chasing between May and June 2017 featuring a selection of local chases along Glenshane Pass and Benbradagh mountain where I spotted two funnel clouds followed by the biggest set-up of the year with 2000 CAPE which resulted in a long drive to Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo. The account then gathers pace with several marginal events which produced a storm cell with strong outflow winds and time lapsed convection at Lough Foyle then climaxing with my third funnel cloud catch of the season outside Cookstown from Tuyllhogue Ring Fort followed by a rotating storm base over the town itself, all from low CAPE but slack convergence zone set-ups. One page report with 16 images and 4 video clips.

Beautiful Sea Fog Inversion On Binevenagh Mountain - May 7th 2017

On May 7th 2017 My Wife, Mother and I decided to head to the north coast for what looked to be yet another stunning sunny day with clear skies. Upon arrival on the NW coast we were shocked to find ourselves in a world of low fog, dark skies, poor visibility and cold temps with no ocean in sight. A NEly breeze had formed a sea fog temperature inversion which blew inland covering local coastal regions. We decided to drive to the top of Binevenagh mountain where we emerged on top in a clearance and had a spectacular experience looking down on the white fog blanket covering the valleys and Lough Foyle. The view was beautiful and almost heavenly. One page report with 11 images & 1 video clip.

Arctic Winds & Sand Blizzard At Benone Beach - April 24th 2017

On April 24th 2017 an unstable Arctic air mass advected over N. Ireland bringing with it a nocturnal threat of hail and snow showers with a risk of thunderstorms along coastal areas. I teamed up with John Fagan and Nigel McFarland on Benone beach where we spent hours watching the skies. The convection refused to spark however the real action was happening all around us. 50mph Nly winds with convective gusts produced an impressive sustained display of blowing sand which looked like a desert dust storm which was extremely dramatic to watch. The report documents this aspect of the chase with video footage and stills to compliment the written account. Quite an exciting night of wind driven weather lasting until 02.30. One page report with 9 images and 2 video clips.

Nocturnal Storm Chasing, Causeway & Ballintoy Aurora - March 20th & 31st

New report detailing two days and nights on the north coast storm chasing and aurora hunting on March 20th and 21st 2017 with John Fagan and Glen Miles. The first shoot documented daytime hail showers from Portstewart followed by an after dark storm watch on Downhill beach in the midst of clouds, wind, sleet and snow showers, the highlight was an nocturnal back sheared anvil with mammatus followed by a severe snow squall which produced blizzard conditions on the beach. Night two was a glorious clear moonless night when a 600km/sec solar wind stream and CIR region generated a beautiful aurora display with several outbursts captured from the Giant's Causeway and Ballintoy Church making this the best aurora in almost a year of sky watching. One page report with 12 images & 1 time lapse video.

Giant's Causeway Triple Conjunction & Moonlit Cliff Star Trails - Jan & Feb 2017

First image report of 2017 documenting three night shoots along the Co. Antrim coast shooting nightscapes, star trails and the a beautiful evening conjunction between Venus, Mars and the crescent Moon. A combination of solo and joint photography with John Fagan, Glen Miles and Nigel McFarland. The highlight was a breathtaking moonlit star trail shoot from the high cliff tops above the Giant's Causeway which ranks as the most dangerous night landscape location I have shot from to date, the report ends with a nice moonless night at Ballintoy with star trails around the famous church. One page report with 14 images and 2 time lapse videos.

Violent Fire At Higgin's Car Dismantlers Outside Garvagh - Sept 13th 2016

On Sept 25th I was heading to the coast for a day of drone filming when I suddenly saw a massive fire in the distance. I changed my plans and made my way in the direction of the smoke and discovered a violent fire in progress at Higgin's Car Dismantlers on the hills outside Garvagh. This fire raged in the afternoon heat with vast billowing smoke plumes blowing for miles down range at spectacular speed while the fire engulfed cars accompanied by loud popping and cracking sounds from tires, oil, and petrol erupting in the blaze. In total 600 cars were destroyed, the following report is a combination of ground based DSLR stills and drone aerial video. The fire was eventually brought under control thanks to numerous fire fighters and police at the scene. One page report with 8 images and 1 video clip.

Downhill Beach Organized Thunderstorm With Stacked Shelf Cloud - August 25th 2016

The 2016 storm season ended in spectacular fashion on Aug 25th when John Fagan and I chased a huge organized multicell thunderstorm in a highly sheared set up which allowed for explosive thunderstorm development after a late afternoon cap break. We intercepted the storm at Downhill Beach where we had the luxury of watching the storm build from the west while crawling towards us forming a spectacular stacked shelf cloud with pink lightning flashing away. This storm became our fourth night time thunderstorm of the season with a bombardment of c-g and in-cloud bolts lighting up the sky over the sea from the beach. This storm would become famous for sporting the best shelf cloud ever seen from N. Ireland. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Carrick-a-Reed & Ballintoy Church Star Trails & Moonlit Barely Shoot - Aug 15th 2016

Brand new night shoot on the Co. Antrim coast with John Fagan using the light of the waxing gibbous moon to shoot sky and landscape imagery with star trails over Carrick-a-Reed rope bridge then climaxing with a surreal photo shoot in the middle of the night of Ballintoy church and stars from inside a vast moonlit barely field which made for a fun and atmospheric night under the stars. The report includes drone footage of Ballintoy church and the barely field during the magic light of golden hour. One page report with 9 images and 2 video clips.

Mullaghmore Electrified Storms In 2000 CAPE & Hottest Day Of Year - July 19th 2016

July 19th 2016 was the not only the hottest day of the year with temps peaking at 30 degrees C however it was also the best thunderstorm set-up I have ever seen in this country. An unstable SEly plume of warm and humid air advected N across the country boasting more than 2000 CAPE and a lifted index of -8 with strong wind shear generating the risk of severe thunderstorms, 3cm hail stones, supercells and even an MCS. The cap broke late in the afternoon and eight of us chased to the west coast converging on Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo where we got treated to multiple rounds of elevated storms climaxing in an epic dusk lightning display with pink flashes and in-cloud bolts lighting up a massive sheared storm in three places across 180 degrees of sky. This storm produced the most prolific lightning rates I had ever witnessed with sferic rates akin to flashing lights on a Christmas tree. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Beautiful Rope Funnel Cloud - June 24th 2016

After years of chasing, hundreds of miles on the road, and countless hours scanning the skies I finally captured my first decent funnel cloud in years during the late morning hours on Friday June 24th 2016 from near home in Maghera. Unstable air with 700+ CAPE with a slack flow and localised convergence zones produced a beautiful well defined rope funnel cloud from the base of a mean cell sitting over the hills outside of town. The funnel rotated in perfect view for 10 min's sporting a lovely curved profile with translucent condensation funnel composed of two vortices embedded inside. I obtained a selection of images and video clips with the DSLR and 400mm lens as the funnel performed its silent dance in the skies while I watched in complete comfort in warm sunshine in the company of beautiful storm clouds building over the vibrant fields near home which made for a perfect day. One page report with 11 images and 2 video clips.

Glenshane Road Mean Storm Structure - June 23rd 2016

The atmosphere looked energetic on June 23rd 2016 with 700 CAPE, LIs of -5 with soundings indicating low cloud bases accompanied by a moist SWly flow with 30 knots of speed shear producing a risk of heavy showers and organised thunderstorms with a chance of hail to 1.5cm and funnel clouds/weak tornadoes. This turned into a very rewarding day involving three chases in my local area beginning with a high precip convective line from Maghera then getting high rewards in the form of the most dramatic storm structure I have captured in years over the Glenshane Road in the form of a huge sheared updraught base complimentd by a dramatic line of storm clouds extending for miles across the sky in the late evening light sporting rare globular cloud structures as multiple sunlit updraughts rapidly expanded in real time aloft. One page report with 18 images and 2 video clips.

Drone Filming Of Golden Hour Balloon Flight Over Drumlamph Woodland - June 2016

I have always wanted to film hot air balloons with a drone and that chance finally appeared one beautiful warm Summer's evening on June 8th 2016 when in the process of walking through Drumlamph Woodland near Maghera. By chance and with amazing luck a formation of seven hot air balloons rose from a field adjacent to the woods close beside me, I got my Phantom 3 Adv in the air and managed to obtain beautiful footage of the balloons in transit across the western sky at golden hour. The climax happened when one of the balloons eclipsed the sun over a backdrop of the Sperrins and ancient Drumlamph woodland. One page report with 1 image and 1 video clip.

Multiple Thunderstorm Intercepts Near Home - Maghera June 7th 2016

One of two reports covering three days of storm chasing during a dramatic thundery outbreak producing high CAPE and active electrical thunderstorms across N. Ireland for several days in a row. On June 7th 2016 the cap broke during the early afternoon resulting in explosive updraught development across my home area. Conor McDonald and I went chasing locally and made multiple thunderstorm intercepts across Benbradagh mountain, Maghera and Knockloughrim. The storms were slow moving and producing rich lightning strike rates with many rumbles of thunder tapping into over 1000 CAPE of energy on a warm and humid Summer's day. One page report with 11 images and 1 video clip.

Ballintra Thunderstorms & Lough Neagh Epic Lightning Display - June 6th 2016

On June 6th I did a solo chase to Co. fermanagh then into Ballintra where I intercepted two lively thunderstorms with high sferics rates and rich thunder on the hills in the middle of nowhere with the second storm sporting a nice shelf cloud, I arrived back home after 10 hours on the road only to be hitting the road once again to intercept a plume-type elevated thunderstorm which originated in Wales, crossed the Irish Sea, then impacted E. N. Ireland after dark. I met Conor McDonald ad John Fagan at Ballyronan Marina and three of watched the best night time lightning display since 2005 with three hours of lightning ending in close range bolts over the water which delivered monsoon style rainfall and a freak audio phenomena through the darkness which left us all thrilled. One page report with 17 images and 2 video clips.

Weekend Storm Chasing & Cookstown Night Lightning By Drone - May 21st 2016

I chased storms during the weekend of May 21st and 22nd which produced an abundance of cells and several thunderstorms however the weakly capped atmosphere developed too much convection early in the day resulting in messy high precipitation storms. All that changed at dusk on May 21st when a massive storm formed over the S side of Cookstown with huge billowing solid updraughts, I launched my Phantom 3 Advanced drone and obtained aerial video of this impressive storm with lowerings in the eerie blue glow of twilight above the lights of Cookstown followed by a sudden night time lightning show of which I recorded several episodes of stunning pink lightning over Lough Neagh and Antrim which was spectacular to watch above the horizon from the air in the darkness. One page report with 11 images & 1 video clip.

Stunning Cumulonimbus Incus & Mammatus Over Cookstown - May 2nd 2016

On May 2nd 2016 I was in Cookstown watching convection all day from my Dad's house while working on my lap top when radar showed a formation of heavy convective showers out west heading for the Co. Tyrone area. After 19.00 UT we could hit by heavy rain and blustery winds then just as the cell passed the house we got treated to a stunning primary and secondary rainbow and a huge solid anvil with mammatus passing over the estate all lit into brilliant high contrast white by the low sun and surrounded by blue sky. The cell looked beautiful and dramatic towering over the houses while I took DSLR images from the estate and road to document the scene, I also obtained aerial video of the departing cell using the Phantom 3 Advanced. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Drone Quarry Exploration With Phantom 3 Advanced - April 2016

With the arrival of high pressure and an entire week of warm and dry weather ahead I decided to get airborne and spend the entire week flying and filming with the Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopter/drone spending long hours outside filming and training from a variety of interesting locations. This report documents the filming and aerial exploration of five different quarries throughout this period which was a fascinating experience, the highlights were McCann's, Creagh and Northstone Materials quarries including the visual observation of several dust devils and the appearance of a beautiful and complex sun halo with intense upper tanget and parry arcs near Lough Fea. One page report with 17 images and 5 video clips.

Fermanagh Storm Chase & Omagh Road Sunset Hail Storm - April 9th 2016

I went storm chasing on April 9th 2016 with my wife Roisin and photographer Paul Martin to hunt for funnels and thunderstorms in Co. Fermanagh where slack air and local convergence looked favourable during afternoon heating hours despite the low end instability. We encountered a short lived funnel cloud embedded within precip upon arrival over Lower Lough Erne then drove through the aftermath of a strong hail core in Belleek which left deposits of hail on the fields and roadsides like snow. During the evening hours we relocated to Pigeon Top mountain outside Omagh where we took drone footage of a large cell over Strabane to our N with anvil and sweeping hail curtains. The day ended during the drive home when Roisin and I met a beautiful cell with dense hail curtain lit by sunset colours as it passed over the main Omagh Road near An Creagan. One page report with 8 images and 2 video clips.

Beaghmore Stone Circles Convection - March 29th 2016

Third storm chase of the 2016 season on March 29th on a day of unstable air with -35 degree C cloud tops and good visibility. Based on model data we decided to chase to the southern Sperrins in Co. Tyrone at Beaghmore Stone Circles. Roisin and I were joined by Paul Martin, Tracy Sharkey and John Fagan and together the five of us spent the day storm spotting from this infamous megalithic site. We got treated to the passage of beautiful convection and cells in full sunlight and surrounded by clear air adjacent to the stone circles themselves where we shot still imagery and time lapse video which made for a very rewarding day. Also included are images of dramatic storm clouds at sunset from Glenshane Road the following day during another chase of March 30th. 1 page report 13 with images and 1 video clip.

Killyleagh Lough G1 Aurora Display, Maghera - April 7th 2016

An unexpected surprise manifested after dark on April 7th 2016 when a heliospheric current sheet generated a G1 geomagnetic storm. Long time aurora observing friend Conor McDonald and I watched the event from Killyleagh Lough outside Maghera under a beautiful clear and dark moonless sky. The aurora went into three outbursts with a vivid green arc displaying pillars which were so bright they blocked out the stars and reflected upon the lake. Half a dozen or more rays punctuated the sky as the rainbow-like arc pulsated in brightness with beautiful pink and purple colours on camera which made for a stunning night under the stars. One page report with 6 images, 1 time lapse video and 1 aerial video of the lake filmed using a drone.

Spring Storm Chasing - Ballyronan Marina Cells - March 27th 2016

March 27th brought the first true inland convection of the season across Ireland with 400-500 CAPE in an unstable SWly flow with good lapse rates and no cap which promised a fine day of storm chasing with heavy showers of hail and isolated thunderstorms. My Wife Roisin and I went chasing together then met up with John Fagan at Ballyronan Marina where we spent the entire day shooting cells crossing Lough Neagh with particularly large cells being invigorated by their passage across the lough during golden hour which made for a satisfying day of convective photography with 8 hours on location taking stills, DSLR and video time lapse and even a quadcopter flight to film a cell from the air. One page report with 8 images and 1 video clip.

Mullaghmore Severe Weather & Sunsets, Co. Sligo - March 26th 2016

First storm chase of Spring on March 26th 2016 when Roisin and I chased to Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo to take advantage of afternoon unstable skies in a stormy SWly flow. We encountered sustained severe winds which rocked the van forcing us to stay inside for the duration of the shoot with rough seas, big swells and sheared wave tops. The highlights were the fast moving continuous barrage of convective showers accompanied by strong squalls and horizontal hail stones complimented with moody storm clouds and a stunning sunset over the ocean horizon. One page report with 8 images and 1 video clip.

Lissan House 360 Degree Full Circle Rainbow - Phantom 3 Aerial Footage

On March 7th 2016 I went for a walk with my Wife and Dad through the woodland near Lissan House outside Cookstown with the intention of doing a routine test flight of the Phantom 3 quadcopter. Suddenly the clouds parted then a magnificent rainbow appeared on the departing shower generating a rich primary and secondary bow with supernumerary arcs. Despite precip falling from the sky I got the P3 airborne and managed to film an incredible rare 360 degree full circle rainbow with the coloured bow projected onto the fields and treetops below with Lissan House in the frame making this the first aerial rainbow all of us had ever seen. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Stunning G2 Aurora Over Toomebridge - March 6th 2016

Mother's Day will be long remembered for the stunning aurora display which manifested in the frosty night sky after dark on March 6th 2016. NOAA had issued a G1 storm watched however thanks to a southerly Bz and CIR effects this aurora intensified into a beautiful G2 geomagnetic storm. My Wife and I, by chance, happened to catch it inland from Co. Antrim just as it was going into outburst and watched in awe as the sky turned green and red as a multitude of pillars danced across the sky beside the famous Toomebridge with rays penetrating straight through the lights and over the carriageway which made for a spectacular and unique visual scene to shoot. One page report with 7 images.

Slieve Gallion Snow - Phantom 3 Aerial Footage - Feb 17th 2016

During the previous two weeks I had been the proud owner of the Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopter and had been training on fair weather days to improve my flying and filming methods. One of my main reasons for wanting the P3 was because I have always wanted to film snow from the air. On Feb 17th that chance presented itself when a frontal system clashing with cold air produced an isolated high ground snowfall. I spent that afternoon on the summit of Slieve Gallion which was covered in pristine snow with sunshine and blue skies aloft and made my dream come true. I filmed the snow from a great height then close to the surface during golden hour in perfect light getting the kind of aerial footage I have always wanted which was a thrilling experience. The report also includes DSLR still images from the 17th and 18th. One page report with 14 images and 1 video clip.

Extremely Rare Type II PSCs - Mother Of Pearl - Nacreous Clouds! - Feb 2nd 2016

An extremely rare outbreak of Polar Stratospheric Clouds known as 'Mother of Pearl' or 'Nacreous' formed in the skies over UK and Ireland thanks to a combination of the southward displacement of the Polar Vortex and seeding from storms Gertrude and Frank which produced stratospheric temps of -80 degrees C. For the first time in 19 years of observing I had the privilege of photographing these rarest of clouds on Feb 2nd 2016 in the pre-dawn sky from Cookstown then after sunrise from Castledawson roundabout. These alien lenticular shaped iridescent clouds glowed vividly in the sky adjacent to the rising sun making for one of the rarest atmospheric phenomena I have ever seen. Also included is a beautiful sunrise from Glenshane Pass on Feb 3rd and my maiden flight of the Phantom 3 Advanced drone. One page report with 14 images and 2 video clips.

Tsunami Waves From Storm Henry - Portstewart - Feb 1st 2016

A deep and explosive Atlantic depression christened 'Henry' was due to impact the N and NW coastline of N. Ireland during the afternoon hours of Feb 1st 2016. Severe weather warnings were issued for 80+ mph winds with ''sustained hurricane force winds'' across the ocean, ''50ft waves'' and ''phenomenal sea conditions''. These warnings could not be ignored so I went chasing to the Co. Antrim coast with my Dad and Wife where we spent the day in awe shooting the incredible waves battering the Portstewart coastline. The ocean was a visual spectacle with massive breakers and trains of tsunami-like walls of water relentlessly thundering towards shore in what was for me the best Atlantic storm I have witnessed in years. One page report with 15 images and 2 video clips.

Sperrin Mountain Snow Devils - January 31st 2016

On January 31st 2016 a routine snow drive across the Sperrin Mountains took a dramatic turn when Roisin, my Dad and I encountered snow devils rotating across the mountain peak near the Glenedra road above Draperstown. We ended up watching at least a dozen snow devils of all sizes from compact highly concentrated whirlwinds to broad areas of circulation. The highlight was when a large snow devil formed near the mountain summit, raced down slope, crossed the field in which I stood, impacted me, passed over the car causing Dad to duck then reform as a white vortex in the fields behind us which made for an unforgettable day of Winter action. If this wasn't exciting enough a lost video camera adventure ensued then Dad had his maiden flight of the Phantom 3 quadcopter over the snowy landscape during last light. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Glenshane Pass Night Snow Photography - January 14th 2016

On January 24th 2016 I enjoyed my first photo shoot of the year on Glenshane Pass due to a short cold spell event which introduced Arctic air across N. Ireland generating several days of frosts, pristine air and periodic snow showers. I spent several hours on the mountain roads shooting night snow scenes with car trails using my window mounted DSLR in the company of passing snow showers, soft moonlight and beautiful starry skies which made for a fun night out under the heavens to get my first winter scenes of the new season. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

Glenshane & Benbradagh Snow Showers - Nov 20th 2015

November 20th 2015 brought the first taste of Winter to N. Ireland. I spent the afternoon doing a solo chase across Glenshane Pass where I encountered my first snow showers of the season complimented by mammatus clouds followed by further snow, hail and mammatus observations from the summit of Benbradagh where I had three video cameras documenting the action. After dark I met up with John Fagan and together we battled the elements back on Glenshane in a deadly wind chill as we attempted time lapse photography in strong squalls and acquired our first moonlit snow images of the season at an old favourite derelict house on the mountain. On page report with 6 images and 1 video clip.

Taurid & Leonid Fireballs, Aurora, Star Trails & Autumn Thunderstorms - Nov 2015

Detailed report documenting a number of photo shoots on Nov 6th, 11th, 12th and 19th 2015 shooting Autumn storms at the Co. Antrim coast, daytime ocean sheared convection, night time thunderstorms over Donegal, time lapse shooting, star trails, aurora activity, Taurid fireballs then ending with a stunning Leonid fireball over Lough Fea which produced a smoke train visible to the naked eye for 15 min's. One page report with 11 images and 3 video clips featuring time lapse footage.

Halloween Triple Planet Conjunction At Ballintoy - Oct 31st 2015

On October 31st 2015 John Fagan and I spent Halloween night doing a photo shoot at the Co. Antrim coast shooting star trails, time lapse video and patrolling for Taurid fireballs. The first half of the night was spent at Dunseverick waterfall which looked spectacular under the brilliant moonlight with stars aloft, then at 02.00 UT we relocated to the Ballintoy coastline and time lapsed the rise of the impressive triple planet conjunction between Venus, Jupiter and Mars using four DSLRs and various lenses as the planets rose above a flat sea horizon only 7 degrees apart sporting halos and glitter paths upon the beautiful moonlit ocean in the pre-dawn sky. One page report with 10 images and 1 time lapse video.

Ballintoy Church, Elephant Rock, Dunlewey & Mt Errigal Star Trails & Time Lapse

On September 30th 2015 during moonrise I photographed star trails over Ballintoy church then met up with John Fagan and spent the night shooting star trails and time lapse of the 60 million year old coastline at Elephant Rock between Ballintoy and White Park Bay beach under bright moonlight with multiple cameras on a beautiful starry night along the Co. Antrim coast. On the following night October 1st I joined Paul Martin and together we ventured into Co. Donegal and spent a very atmospheric night shooting the Milky Way and moonlit star trails around and within legendary Dunlewey church at Poisoned Glen followed by a stunning moonlit fog scene shoot late in the night at Mt. Errigal. One page report with 21 images and 1 time lapse video.

Elephant Rock Geomagnetic Storm, Star Trails & Time Lapse - Oct 7th 2015

On October 7th 2015 two solar wind streams in conjunction with a co-rotating interaction region generated a strong G2 geomagnetic storm which showed itself to the naked eye at dusk even before the sky got dark. I met up with photographer John Fagan and together we shot the aurora from 60 million year old Elephant Rock near Ballintoy on the Co. Antrim coast with five cameras shooting time lapse footage and star trails with various lenses. The aurora went into an early outburst producing a twin tier band with vivid green colours illuminating the ocean complimented by a multitude of fast moving rays and spikes which completely blew us away. The report also documents two more aurora hunts along the coast on October 8th and 13th. One page report with 14 images and 2 time lapse videos.

Cookstown Perigee Total Lunar Eclipse - September 28th 2015

During the early morning hours of September 28th 2015 a rare perigee total lunar eclipse occurred in N. Ireland skies in conjunction with an even more rare clear night. After setting the alarm my fiance Roisin and I woke at 02.30 in the morning and watched the spectacle together from my Dad's garden in Cookstown where we got treated to a sublime visual show. This was the darkest totality I had ever witnessed and during the climax of the umbral passage the landscape turned exceptionally dark with Milky Way and M31 easily visible to the naked eye, the eclipsed moon itself looked like a dark 3-D globe within Pisces with subtle red, orange, blue and black colour hues. The night was silent, exceedingly atmospheric and a great memory which we shall never forget. One page report with 6 images and 1 video clip.

Dunluce Castle Night Photography & Time Lapse - September 2015

New report documenting a series of late night photo shoots spread over a two week period at Dunluce Castle with photographer John Fagan shooting hours of time lapse footage and star trails at the Co. Antrim coast during September 2015 using several cameras and lenses on location. These shoots took place under dark skies then ended in bright moonlight with a surprise aurora outburst witnessed during the course of one such castle shoot. One page report with 8 images and 2 time lapse videos.

Giant's Causeway Aurora Display - September 9th 2015

On September 9th 2015 I spent a serene night and solo shoot at the Giant's Causeway on the Co. Antrim coast photographing a beautiful G1 aurora display from this famous 60 million year old location. The aurora exhibited several outbursts with wonderful purple and red rays reaching over 30 degrees high from a vibrant green glowing band surrounded by stars. The night was very dark, moonless and 100% clear with barely a cloud in sight allowing me to shoot several star trails and time lapse footage with my DSLR and Go Pro cameras. One page report with 9 images and 1 time lapse video clip.

Portglenone-Ballymena Thunderstorm - August 29th 2015

A fun afternoon chase through the country roads on August 29th 2015 near Ballymena. A storm was spotted far away to the SW so we moved to a strategic position deep in the countryside on a hill and had the luxury of watching a developing thunderstorm form over Moyola then trek NE over the River Bann, Portglenone then clipping Ballymena town. The storm looked mean and majestic over the lush fields with a compact but strong precip core with red and white echoes on radar. When the storm hit it delivered heavy rainfall, overhead bolts and very loud long duration rumbles of thunder. We chased the cell further NE and watched its flanking area pass over Slemish mountain with new daughter cells bubbling up in the warm afternoon sun. The report also includes a beautiful cell with segmented rainbow from Maghera on the 27th. One page report with 9 images and 2 video clips.

Lough Erne All Night Perseid Meteor Watch - Aug 12th 2015

On August 12th 2015 we did an all night Perseid meteor shower watch from a jetty located at a terrific viewing location across Lower Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh. Despite weather concerns earlier in the evening we got treated to pristine clear skies for the entire event and logged an astonishing 477 Perseids including several fireballs making this the best Perseid meteor shower we have ever observed to date, the thrilling night was complimented by a vibrant Milky Way and even a surprise faint aurora with rays across a lake covered in a blanket of mist. One page report with 12 images.

Co. Tyrone Storm Gust Front & Whales Mouth - August 5th 2015

August 5th 2015 storm chase in a low CAPE-high shear set-up through parts of Co. Fermanagh and Co. Tyrone. During the evening hours an intense N-S convective line formed across a large area of the country sporting torrential rainfall containing red and white radar echoes. After hours of waiting and changing position we finally emerged from the vast precip core in Co. Tyrone into dry air and encountered a massive gust front with an impressive all-sky whale's mouth display with lightning and loud thunder which made for a dramatic sight as the storm swept across the lush countryside near Omagh in the evening light. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

Enniskillen Low Topped Supercell & Tornado Attempt - July 6th 2015

July 6th 2015 turned out to be the most thrilling chase day of the season to date when a warm sector low-CAPE high-shear set-up generated a risk of tornadoes across Ireland and even low topped supercells. I took my Mother chasing and between 17.30 and 17.45 UT we encountered a low topped supercell with incredible large scale rotation with a tornado in the form of a rotating wedge trying to plant on the edge of Enniskillen, as we watched in awe a hook echo formed on radar as cloud and precip with a possible wet RFD swept across our field of view. The chase then took us to Omagh where we encountered a dramatic rotating updraught base and punched a core of intense rainfall with weak ground circulation embedded within. Over 8 hours chasing this day and the closest I have ever come to a strong tornado forming in this country, a day I will never forget. Mostly video grabs used to document this chase. One page report with 25 images & 2 video clips.

Benbradagh & Garvagh Thunderstorms & Close Range Lightning Bolts - July 5th 2015

A fun storm chase with Roisin on July 5th 2015 watching two thunderstorms from the top of Benbradagh near Dungiven. The second storm was observed from birth as it built cloud by cloud into a cell with a large textured updraught base which then began rumbling and producing lightning. We chased the storm N and punched through its strong precip core of rain and hail then encountered twin close range rapid fire lightning bolts striking the ground outside Garvagh, the cell then went on to cause flooding and damage to a bridge in Ballycastle. A 7 & 1/2 hour storm hunt which finally broke the long thunder drought. One page report with 12 images and 2 video clips with time lapse footage.

Extremely Rare Summer Twilight Aurora From Maghera - June 23rd 2015

On June 22nd/23rd 2015 multiple CMEs impacted the Earth's magnetosphere generating a freak G5 geomagnetic storm peaking at KP9 with a Bz tilt of almost minus 40. Despite the severe challenge of seeing anything at all through the intense Summer twilight sky this close to the Solstice I was astonished to witness several naked eye aurora beams over 40 degrees tall slowly meandering through the twilight arch in ghostly fashion from a hill in the Maghera countryside. This was an extremely rare event which I haven't witnessed in over 18 years of aurora watching and to also get it on camera made this an unforgettable memory and the highlight of the Summer night sky this season to date. Also included is a wall-cloud type lowering under the base of a storm cell over the fields adjacent to Maghera on June 24th exhibiting keen inflow motion. One page report with 4 images and 1 time lapse video.

Exceptional Sunset Mammatus Display Over Maghera - May 18th 2015

During the late evening of May 18th 2015 I was working on video editing in my room after a local chase earlier in the day when between 20.30 and 21.00 UT I felt a sudden impulse to glance out my window which revealed a stunning sunset sky show unfolding. I ran into my front garden and was instantly treated to the best mammatus cloud display I have ever seen with large udders arranged in streamers on a fanning wispy anvil all lit into glorious gold and yellow colours by the setting sun. For ten delightful minutes I watched and photographed the cell as it passed over Slieve Gallion with US-style mammatus hanging over Maghera before it passed over Lough Neagh and vanished into the darkness of dusk accompanied by several departing rumbles of thunder marking the second time a sunset mammatus display passed over my home area within a week. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Dramatic Sunset Mammatus Display Over Maghera - May 11th 2015

A sudden and unexpected treat happened on May 11th 2015 when a cell passed over my home town of Maghera at 21.00 which produced a stunning widespread mammatus display on the back of a sheared anvil all it into vivid orange and golden colours by the setting sun which extended across 180 degrees of sky. After a last minute drive into the Maghera countryside adjacent to the Crewe Road I captured a succession of dramatic wide angle images of the display in perfect light with the clouds surrounded by clear blue sky in conjunction with Go Pro footage which made for spectacular end to the day. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Monea Castle G2 Aurora Display - Co. Fermanagh - April 16th 2015

The grand finale of the 2015 Spring aurora season happened on April 16th when a G2 geomagnetic storm was generated by a fast moving solar wind stream which took everyone by surprise. I met up with photographer Paul Martin and together we drove into the beautiful countryside of Co. Fermanagh and photographed the stunning aurora over the ancient ruins of Monea castle near Derrygonnelly, the first time this has ever been done, and watched in awe as a vibrant pink and purple aurora surrounded the castle with angelic beams of light up to 40 degrees high. This night made the entire aurora season for me on both a personal and photographic level. This detailed report also documents a fox encounter, a faint aurora from Downhill beach the previous night and a wonderful sunset from Kildress church outside Cookstown. One page report with 16 images and 3 time lapse videos.

St. Patrick's Night G4 Geomagnetic Storm - March 17th 2015

The skies turned green on St. Patrick's night March 17th 2015 when a CME impact generated an unexpected severe G4 geomagnetic storm peaking with a KP level of 8. This report documents the lead up to this event including images of the aurora itself captured from Ballintoy Harbour on the Co. Antrim coast as we battled with mist and haze to witness the finest aurora storm of the current solar cycle. We experienced three outbursts however the climax took place after 23.00 UT when the aurora turned epic sporting multi-coloured rays streaming past the zenith into the southern sky followed by the formation of a rare corona which I have not observed since the extreme aurora storms of 2002-2003 followed by another 02.00 outburst from the Giant's Causeway which made for an unforgettable night. One page report with 11 images and 1 time lapse video.

Moonlit Snow Star Trails & Epic Birren Road Blizzard - March 2015

The third cold spell of the season affected N. Ireland on March 2nd and 3rd 2015 with a cold and very unstable Wly/NWly air mass from Canada which generated numerous snow storms and a great variety of Winter phenomena. I hunted for inland snow scenes during daylight hours and for convective ocean storms during the night on both days. Highlights were the surreal moonlit snow scenes at the north coast, the moonlit star trail imagery over Downhill and Mussenden Temple in pristine snow, the sheared moonlit ocean convection and an insane blizzard encounter on Brieen road where my Dad and I experienced severe winds, white outs and fast blowing snow so dense that my van vanished from view before my very eyes. One page report with 19 images and 2 video clips.

Epic Winter View From Benbradagh Summit - February 2nd 2015

A wonderful Winter memory on February 2nd 2015 when my Fiance and I hiked up Benbradagh mountain outside Dungiven in the snow and reached the 1500ft summit to be treated to an epic view across pristine snow fields with drifts and rime ice lit into surreal brilliance by a blazing Winter sun surrounded by an orange corona and all contrasting against a deep blue sky in the freezing Polar air. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Ballybriest Snow Squalls & Severe Wind Chill - Jan 31st 2015

A nice Winter memory and local snow chase with my Fiance on the mountain roads between Draperstown and Moneymore on January 31st 2015 when we experienced a selection of beautiful and severe weather on a day of Polar air and strong Nly flow which produced a wind chill of -15C. A walk in the area lead to the discovery of Ballybriest stone tomb and a thrilling venture across snow covered fields like the Arctic, the snow blanket itself was covered with millions of frozen hail stones. The landscape was lit by a bright sun with a deep blue sky aloft with periodic bombardment from cells producing squalls of hail and snow into local blizzard-like conditions. One page report with images 7 and 1 video clip.

Stags In Snow Telephoto Images & Winter Lightning - Jan 29th 2015

On January 29th 2015 I woke to a beautiful snow fall then spent the day chasing over the hills of Co. Tyrone driving over snow-covered mountain roads and drifts before encountering a field of stunning Stags and Sika Deer in deep snow for the second time this Winter. The Stags with their majestic antlers against a backdrop of pristine snow in perfect light looked like a scene straight from Canada. Following this we got hit by chunks of falling ice from the tree tops impacting the van roof during a forest drive to Lissan House in Cookstown. After sunset I relocated to the north coast and spent the first part of the night hunting lightning over the ocean in wild weather conditions with squalls, sleet and hail stones accompanied by horizontal sand and foam making for a thrilling day and night of non stop weather action and photography. One page report with 20 images and 1 video clip.

Early Winter, Snow BBQ, Sunset & Snow Deer - Dec 27th & 29th 2014

Final image report of 2014 documenting early Winter snow adventures and photography across the Sperrins on December 27th and 28th. Highlights include a freezing mountain BBQ in the snow half way up Slieve Gallion at night, a hike to the summit of Benbradagh where we witnessed a stunning sunset and paraglider jump then climaxing with a wonderful scene on the back of the Sperrins outside Cookstown when we encountered a field full of Deer and Stags grazing in the snow in perfect light on the coldest day of the year. One page report with 17 images and 1 video clip.

Christmas Eve Aurora Engagement - December 24th 2014

December 23rd/24th 2014 was the best Christmas Eve of my life when I proposed to my partner Roisin Laverty at the 60 million year old Giant's Causeway in the company of the stars and Milky Way while a bright aurora display bathed us in it's surreal light. After a year of planning and against all odds an aurora appeared which was not forecast sporting green, red and pink colours on the very night I had planned my proposal, this all took place during the early morning hours of Christmas Eve exactly when Roisin wanted to get engaged which made for a truly magical night which we will never forget. One page report with 5 images.

Epic Sunset Sky Show From Creggan - November 30th 2014

An unexpected sunset sky show unfolded during the afternoon of November 30th 2014 while I was visiting in-laws within the Creggan countryside near Lough Neagh. A remarkable long duration sunset with rich orange, red, and yellow colours manifested in the dusk sky complimented by a complex formation of altocumulus clouds. The sunset remained into evening twilight accompanied by the moon and brighter stars which was something I had never experienced before. It was a personal thrill to photograph this amazing sight standing within a pitch black field in crisp frosty air with a country house covered with Christmas lights for company. This sunset may have been 'volcanic' in nature due to rich Sulphur concentrations near the UK associated with a recent eruption in Iceland. One page report with 7 images.

Hazlett House Night Photography - November 5th 2014

What began as a late night aurora hunt at the Co. Antrim coast on November 5th 2014 turned into a moonlit photo shoot of the famous and haunted 17th century Hazlett House in Castlerock. I had a wonderful solo 2am photo shoot and star trail session of this beautiful thatch roof cottage with stars and convective clouds aloft and dramatic natural lighting. I also did several time lapse sequences at Downhill Beach with two cameras in operation under the surreal light of a near full moon. One page report with 8 images & 1 video clip.

Lunar Fog Bow Encounter On Glenshane Pass - October 9th 2014

At 03.00 on October 9th 2014 I drove to the top of Glenshane Pass in the hope of seeing lightning from distant storms over the Irish Sea however what I didn't expect was the manifestation of a beautiful and rare lunar fog bow. This was the first time I had ever captured a true lunar fog bow on camera and much to my great surprise the phenomena remained visible for almost one hour. I ended up having a thrilling night observing and photographing this ghostly bow all to myself from a field on this vast mountain with the surreal moonlit hills, stars and planet Jupiter for company. One page report with 6 images.

Fanad Head Lighthouse Star Trails - September 27th 2014

Our first trip and night time photo shoot at the famous Fanad Head Lighthouse on the Co. Donegal coastline with my girlfriend Roisin Laverty and photography mate Paul Martin on Sept 27th 2014. We spent hours at this beautiful location doing photography and observing the exceptional dark and transparent night sky which boasted stunning views of the Milky Way, green airglow and even a faint aurora complimented by night landscape imagery of the lighthouse with three star trail captures. Fantastic night with 4 hours and 180 miles on the road. One page report with 12 images & 1 video clip.

Moneymore Flooding & Ballyronan Storm Rotation - August 5th 2014

Detailed report documenting 9 hours of storm chasing, first in Omagh then a second evening chase intercepting the strongest thunderstorm of the year in N. Ireland in a well sheared environment with 1300 CAPE & LIs of -6. This organised storm with supercell traits made an impression over Co. Tyrone where I intercepted it's high precipitation core in Moneymore where it produced flash flooding which affected traffic and property. I chased the storm, punched the core & encountered incredible rotation & wrapping under the updraught base in Ballyronan then ended this 4 hour storm hunt near Toome watching lightning as dusk arrived. One page report with 12 images & 1 video clip.

Sheared High Precipitation Mid-Ulster Thunderstorm - August 3rd 2014

An early afternoon intercept of a high precipitation organised thunderstorm in a sheared environment over the Sperrins featuring dramatic cloud structure captured from a freshly cut hay field outside Desertmartin on a warm and humid August 3rd 2014 . My girlfriend and I chased the storm then punched the core between Tobermore and Maghera where it produced monsoon-like rainfall with flooded roads and lightning. A very successful, fun and highly photogenic local storm chase. One page report with 7 images and 1 video clip.

Lough Neagh Thunderstorm - June 10th 2014

June 10th 2014 was the final of four days in a row storm chasing with 1300 CAPE and LIs of -4. Storms fired early in the day and we watched several rumble away over Glenshane Pass then during the afternoon we intercepted an intense and beautiful surface based thunderstorm crossing Lough Neagh at Antrim Marina. The storm boasted rock solid cloud structure and large scale rotation before coming onshore and hitting Antrim town were it made an impression on many with its frequent lightning and hail stones. One page report with 11 images & 2 video clips including time lapse footage.

Three County High Precipitation Storm Chase - June 9th 2014

Third day in a row of storm chasing on June 9th 2014 when we chased across three counties with over 8 hours on the road. The day began with an early afternoon storm intercept with large wall cloud in Co. Fermanagh then multiple storms in Bundoran, Donegal, and ending the day to the S of Omagh, the storms we encountered were back-building very high precip cells which produced hours of intense torrential rainfall, road flooding, and frequent thunder and lightning then climaxing with significant rotation and an all-sky whale's mouth display. One page report with 16 images & 1 video clip.

Omagh Road High Instability Thunderstorms & Large Hail - June 8th 2014

June 8th 2014 was the second of four days in a row of storm chasing with high instability storms boasting 1300-1500 CAPE and LIs of -4 and -5. We ended up chasing across the midlands of N. Ireland with particular focus on the lines of nasty storms between Cookstown and Omagh in Co. Tyrone which produced torrential rain, dangerous and frequent close range cloud to ground lightning and an all-sky whale's mouth display. The highlight of the day was the big storm over the Omagh Road with green precip core which dropped hail stones larger than marbles accompanied by pink c-gs which made for a thrilling chase across the countryside. One page report with 15 images & 1 video clip.

Mullaghmore Sunlit Thunderstorms & Funnel Cloud - June 7th 2014

June 7th 2014 was the first of four days in a row of thunderstorms across parts of Ireland and N. Ireland. This was a very successful storm chase day with 12 & 1/2 hours on the road in a very unstable environment loaded with 1300-1500 CAPE and LIs between -4 and -5 which produced intense thunderstorms which we intercepted at the Mullaghmore coastline in Co. Sligo. We got treated to beautiful thunderstorms over the ocean in full sunshine with close range lightning followed by a high based funnel cloud. I also caught my first ever daytime lightning bolt on camera making this a thrilling day to remember. One page report with 13 images & time lapse video footage.

Stunning Dungiven Thunderstorm & Funnel Cloud - May 26th 2014

Best chase of the 2014 season to date when my girlfriend and I documented a spectacular convergence zone thunderstorm from Brenbradagh Mountain outside Dungiven on May 26th. We experienced the entire life cycle of this strong thunderstorm for over two hours without having to move position once while staying completely dry in sunshine as the storm grew and evolved rite before our eyes producing a funnel cloud, close c-g lightning, and the best shelf cloud and storm structure I have seen for years. Also included is a funnel cloud over Donegal Bay captured by my Dad from Rossnowlagh on the very same day. Report with 21 images & 2 video clips.

Local Storm Chases & Maghera Funnel Cloud - May 13th 2014

Account covering several storm chases in the local area starting on May 10th 2014 when my girlfriend and I chased in Cookstown intercepting a storm near the carriageway which moved over Lough Neagh producing lightning, the day was notable for its widespread convection, dramatic cloudscapes & HP showers. The report continues from May 13th on a day when nothing significant was anticipated until I was surprised by a slender funnel cloud which appeared at close range near my home while spinning over the Coleraine road from a tall updraught which grew over the Maghera area marking my first funnel catch of 2014. One page report with 16 images & 2 video clips.

Southern Storm Chasing & Omagh Road Sun Pillar Sunset - April 2014

Detailed report documenting four days of long distance storm chasing between April 23rd and April 30th 2014 covering 40 hours of chasing to Fermanagh, Leitrim & Sligo in pursuit of early season thunderstorms. The report documents various road scenes including several busts, however highlights include the high based hail producing cell in Fermanagh and the stunning unexpected sun pillar and sunset event on the Omagh road outside Cookstown which made the trip a success. One page report with 15 images & 3 video clips.

Monea Castle In Moonlight - March 11th 2014

Awesome all-night photo shoot in Co. Fermanagh on March 11th 2014 photographing the beautiful 17th century Monea castle located on the W side of Lower Lough Erne along with photographer Paul Martin. The castle provided an excellent photo opportunity on the clearest night of the year bathed in brilliant moonlight and surrounded with stars aloft before becoming engulfed in eerie pre-dawn moonlit fog. Wonderful photo shoot on an extremely atmospheric night and a location in which we will no doubt be visiting again in the future. One page report with 15 images.

Beaghmore Stone Circles & Lough Fea Crimson Aurora - February 27th 2014

The finest aurora display I have witnessed in over a decade announced itself in the evening sky after sunset on Feb 27th 2014 when a CME delivered a glancing blow which generated a stunning G2 geomagnetic storm. The aurora almost reached the zenith with striking green and red colours with extremely rare orange rays which gave the impression of a crimson veil or glowing fire in the sky, even the frost on the ground was glowing red. This report documents in detail the events leading up to this storm beginning with a storm chase to the Antrim coast then the rapid dash south where I met up with Paul Martin and Jude Browne at Beaghmore stone circles and Lough Fea in Co. Tyrone where we watched in awe as the aurora went into outburst, this was a night we will never forget. One page report with 14 images.

Glenshane Pass Winter Road & Glenariff Moonlit Waterfalls - February 14th 2014

Feb 14th 2014 was an action-packed afternoon on Glenshane Pass when my Dad and I were involved in a que packed with several hundred vehicles with spun-out trucks trapped in the snow and ice on this famous winter road. This was quickly followed that very same night by a photo shoot to Glenariff Forest Park in Co. Antrim where photographer Paul Martin and I photographed the beautiful waterfalls under the surreal light of an almost full moon which made for a magical and eerie experience. One page report with 14 images.

Glenshane Pass & Swatragh Church Moonlit Snow Adventure - February 11th 2014

Epic 13 hour Winter photo shoot with Paul Martin documenting beautiful moonlit snow scenes on Glenshane Pass where we photographed an old derelict stone house covered in glorious moonlit snow with stars accompanied by a 5ft snow drift. This was followed by an adventure through the stunning snow-covered Coleraine Road outside Maghera then ending the night shooting the famous Swatragh church and graveyard covered in magical pre-dawn snow. Two page report with 31 images & 1 video clip. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2

Christmas Storms & 'The Longest Night' TV Filming - December 21st 2013

My longest write up to date documenting three night time storm chases along the Co. Antrim coast On Dec 16th and 19th then climaxing on Dec 21st with an epic all-night dusk to dawn photo shoot with a film crew from Alleycats TV recording my every move for a new BBC television program called 'The Longest Night'. The report documents this thrilling adventure from Downhill Beach to Dunluce Castle then peaking before dawn at Ballintoy Harbour as we battled with the wind, rain, sleet & snow to get rewarded with wonderful scenes of moonlit waves, convection and a shadow-casting Iridium Flare with stunning episodes of ocean lightning as the Atlantic raged all night long making for a truly unforgettable night. One page report with 35 images.

Beautiful Glenshane Pass & Benbradagh Moonlit Snow - November 18th 2013

Stunning all night photo shoot on Glenshane Pass and Benbradagh mountain in Dungiven on November 18th/19th 2013 where Paul Martin and I spent over 9 hours photographing moonlit snow and stars during the first taste of Winter when a brief Arctic blast brought the first high level snow of the season to N. Ireland. Visually it was an epic night standing under the stars in a -8 degree C wind chill with constant snow showers, convection, and even rare thundersnow while the white mountain landscape glowed like Narnia under the surreal moonlight.

Mussenden Temple Halloween Aurora Outburst - October 30th 2013

Thrilling aurora shoot at the north coast of N. Ireland on Halloween Eve 2013 when a CME associated with an M-class solar flare hit Earth's magnetic field a glancing blow increasing geomagnetic activity. However once the IMF tilted south a major aurora outburst unfolded across the ocean horizon which last for 15-20 min's, the outburst was over 40 degrees high and exhibited remarkable ray activity which I observed with Paul Martin and another photographer. I photographed the stunning visual apparition over the famous Mussenden Temple above Downhill Beach. This outburst made up for the entire year making for an unforgettable Halloween experience. One page report with 5 images & 1 video blog.

Mussenden Temple Aurora & Wild Night - October 9th 2013

A fun and challenging night on the north coast of N. Ireland on October 9th/10th 2013 with photographer Paul Martin shooting a CME-induced faint aurora display over the famous ruins of Mussenden Temple near Downhill Beach captured in harsh conditions due to gale force winds. This was my 114th aurora sighting and although it was faint it was still lovely to witness from this magical location up close and personal with this historic building at night. One page report with 3 images.

Epic Sligo Coast Severe Thunderstorm Lightning Display - August 1st 2013

One of the most thrilling and rewarding storm chases I have ever experienced on August 1st 2013 in the hunt for supercells and tornadoes. Paul Martin and I chased to the W coast of Ireland in Co. Sligo and as darkness fell over Mullaghmore we got treated to an epic 2 hour lightning display from a line of massive severe thunderstorm cells located over 80 miles away over the ocean. We counted more than 500 lightning bolts of every variety and were stunned by anvil crawlers which illuminated mammatus, anvils and overshooting tops with the entire storm structures lit up from within and surrounded by stars making for an incredible night of action. This was the climax of the current thundery breakdown with 1175 miles covered and 22 hours on location. One page report with 28 images & 1 video slide show.

Belfast Thunderstorms & Dramatic Updraught Base - July 29th 2013

Short report covering thunderstorm encounters over Belfast city on the weekend of July 28th and 29th 2013. The report documents a massive storm on the 28th which we attempted to chase, this storm went on to produce severe flooding in Magherafelt and Draperstown. The highlight however was the late evening thunderstorm over S. Belfast on the 29th which sported the most dramatic thunderstorm updraught base I have ever seen as it passed over the rooftops of city homes before sunset with churning motion and thunder. One page report with 9 images and 2 extensive video clips.

Beautiful Single Cell Storm, Rain Foot & Funnel Cloud - July 26th 2013

A fun local storm chase on July 26th 2013 when my Dad and I chased a beautiful single cell thunderstorm through the countryside between Swatragh and Garvagh which had lovely cloud structure while sporting a very concentrated and intense precip core with rare 'rain foot' outflow feature which looked fantastic over the sunlit fields. The chase ended with a high based funnel cloud over the same area followed by another storm encounter over Glenshane Pass where I later learned a possible tornado may have touched down. This was my fifth day in a row of storm chasing. One page report with 12 images and 1 video clip.

Heat Wave & Severe Thunderstorm Outbreak - July 25th 2013

My longest storm report to date covering a remarkable period of weather between July and early August 2013 featuring a two week heat wave followed by another two weeks of thunderstorms. This was an intense period of chasing every day with little sleep and almost 1200 miles covered including multiple trips to Fermanagh, BBC filming, and documenting the entire emotional roller coaster ride which I experienced with busts and thrills in equal measure. The report is centred on the July 25th chase when Paul Martin and I chased a severe thunderstorm all across the country which produced car-shaking thunder and close range lightning making for an epic storm chase adventure. One page report with 29 images & 3 video clips.

Omagh Gorse Fire, Smokenadoes & Dust Devils - June 5th 2013

N. Ireland was in the middle of a heat wave and I was meant to be storm chasing on June 5th 2013 when I got distracted on the road by distant smoke so I changed my plans and chased after this instead. In the Co. Tyrone area between Omagh and Cookstown I encountered the largest inland gorse fire of the season which would rage all day long extending 5 miles in length and battled by 50 fire fighters. The fire was nasty and exhibited spectacular smoke plumes which generated rare pyrocumulus clouds followed by rotating smokenadoes, if this wasn't enough I also observed a horse shoe vortex and 3 dust devils near Beaghmore Stone Circles making for an action packed, exciting, and very hot photo shoot. One page report with 25 images and 1 video clip.

Co. Fermanagh & Omagh Funnel Cloud Outbreak - May 28th 2013

On May 28th 2013 I completed my second storm chase to Co. Fermanagh which turned out to be my longest chase to date with 150 miles done and 11 hours on the road. The chase was an absolute success when I captured a large convergence zone funnel cloud in the direction of Enniskillen at 15.00 which lasted for 5 min's in duration. During the evening I met up with chaser Paul Martin and together we observed 3 more funnel clouds over Omagh which brought the count to 4 funnel captures in a single day. This was a great road trip with excellent weather and wonderful scenery. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Spectacular Antrim Coast Sunrise - May 25th 2013

A fantastic all night photo shoot at the Co. Antrim coast with Paul Martin from dusk until dawn. What started out as an uninspiring overcast NLC and aurora hunt turned into an atmospheric Dunluce Castle shoot followed by a spectacular sunrise which took us completely by surprise. We observed and photographed the spectacle from the vast cliff tops outside Portrush where we watched with awe as the much of the sky was covered in stunning vivid red, pink, yellow, blue and gold colours which seemed to last for an eternity which then climaxed with the sun's disk slowly climbing over the flat ocean horizon casting the ocean into a heavenly gold colour. This was the best sunrise any of us had ever seen which made for an unforgettable experience. One page report with 16 images and 1 video clip.

Comet C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS From N. Ireland

Large report which begins with some of my early comet memories followed by the discovery and massive build up to the 2013 C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS comet apparition. This report documents the hardships as I battled against cold and cloudy skies in search of this exciting new visitor which took me from Cookstown to Glenshane Pass and from frustration and sadness to spectacular thrills as the hunt climaxed with two unforgettable nights shooting this beautiful comet over the Co. Antrim coast with the amazing Pan-STARRS and M31 close conjunction showing off over the Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. 34 images & 1 video clip

Historic N. Ireland Spring Blizzard - March 2013

Historic extreme Winter weather event across N. Ireland during March 2013 when stalling Atlantic frontal systems encountered freezing air from Europe which resulted in 36-48hrs of continuous snowfall with gales producing blizzard conditions which produced the worst snow storm for 50 years with power lines disabled, ice storms, blizzards, massive snow drifts & the death of over 10,000 Sheep and Lambs. This report covers the amazing blowing snow on Glenshane Pass then the aftermath at Dungiven, Lough Fea and the Sperrins where I encountered incredible 20ft deep snow drifts, deep ploughed snow on the roads, and icicle displays. One page report with 31 images & 3 video clips.

Winter Squalls, Glenshane Pass Ice Formations & Thundersnow Cells - Jan 31st to Feb 5th 2013

Winter 2013 Part 2 - Detailed image report covering the period from Jan 31st to Feb 5th following various chases through Maghera, Gulladuff, along the Co. Antrim coast, then Glenshane pass. During this period I chased severe Winter weather and intercepted powerful day and night squalls of hail, snow, and sea foam accompanied by violent gusts of wind followed by a display of hundreds of icicles and glaze ice on the Sperrins - the second such time this dramatic spectacle has happened within 14 days - and observed distant thundersnow cells. One page report with 17 images & 4 video clips

Beautiful Snowfall On The Sperrin Mountains - Jan 22nd 2013

Day 5 part 2 of the current severe Winter weather event in N. Ireland on Jan 22nd 2013. I spent the afternoon hiking up the steep snow-covered slopes of Benbradagh along the Sperrin Mountains outside Dungiven when after days of overcast skies the clouds parted to reveal a stunning Winter landscape with bright sunlit snow-covered mountain and crisp blue skies aloft contrasting with dark snow clouds and blowing fog over the beautiful summit which made for an unforgettable experience. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Insane Icicle Display On Glenshane Pass - Jan 22nd 2013

Day 5 part 1 of the current severe Winter weather event in N. Ireland on Jan 22nd 2013. After encountering heavy snowfalls, freezing fog, and hoar frost I suddenly encountered a remarkable sight on the main road along Glenshane Pass. Hanging from the mountain cliffs where literally hundreds of massive icicles and slabs of ice covering the rocks, grass, and blending into the snow drifts. I measured one icicle at 3ft in length & 5"-6" thick of solid clear ice making for a truly insane Winter experience which made for an unforgettable day. One page report with 19 images and 1 video clip.

Snow On Pine Trees At Glenshane Forest - Jan 19th 2013

Day 2 part 2 of the severe Winter cold spell affecting N. Ireland on January 19th 2013. After spending the entire day with my girlfriend driving in snow we later met up with my Dad and his friend at last light and went for a long walk through the beautiful snow-covered conifer and pine trees in Glenshane Forest which made for a very special memory. The experience of the heavy snow causing the vast tree branches to sag combined with the absolute silence and freezing temps in eerie light made for a wonderful experience. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Glenshane Blizzard, Snow Rime, Glaze Ice & Drifts - Jan 18th To 21st 2013

Day 1, day 2 part 1, and day 3 of the severe Winter cold spell affecting N. Ireland from Jan 18th to Jan 21st 2013. This extensive report covers many trips across the Sperrins at Glenshane Pass and Dungiven which features a blizzard, blowing snow, 4.5ft snow drifts, glaze ice, 1ft long icicles and snow rime ice complete with snow road scenes. Two page report with 32 images and 3 video clips. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Moonlit Ocean Storms, Moonbows & Snow - Dec 29th & 31st 2012

Big report featuring my last two storm chases of 2012 on December 29th & New Year's Eve which I spent with Roisin at the north coast during stormy weather where we experienced several moonbows and an abundance of beautiful photogenic moonlit ocean storm cells and hail showers from Ballintoy and Downhill Beach. Report also includes a 2012 highlight slideshow covering all the year's best sky action. One page report with 27 images.

BBC's The One Show Aurora Hunt, Ballintoy Harbour - November 2012

Detailed report covering three night shoots at the Co. Antrim coast from November 20th to 23rd 2012 featuring a surprise faint aurora, a bright moon halo and encounter with a family of Seals with the highlight being two days and nights of filming with the BBC's The One Show crew at Ballintoy Harbour where Hannah Hoare, Marty Jopson, Michael Quinn, David Kilpatrick and I battled with cold weather and lack of sleep to catch an aurora display over the ocean on a magical moonlit night. One page report with 20 images and 1 video clip.

Toome Bridge Car Trails & Canon 10-22mm Lens - November 6th 2012

Short image report documenting a fun photo shoot of the famous Toome bridge at night complete with car trails on November 6th 2012 using the phenomenal Canon 10-22mm ultra wide angle lens which I currently have on loan from my Dad. My shortest report to date however it may be of interest to those who wish to pursue car trail photography or who are considering purchasing an ultra wide angle lens for their crop sensor DSLR. One page report with 3 images.

Mussenden Temple & Downhill Estate Aurora Display - October 8th 2012

On October 8th 2012 a CME and solar wind stream impacted Earth's magnetic field generating a KP6 long duration G2 geomagnetic storm with mid latitudes on red alert. After a brief battle with clouds my girlfriend and I drove to the north coast where we watched a vivid green aurora band with several ray producing outbursts over the famous Mussenden Temple, Downhill Estate, and Downhill Beach in Co. Derry. One page report with 16 images.

Ballintoy Harbour Moonlit Showers, Stars, Moonbow & Seals - October 3rd 2012

On October 3rd 2012 after feeling fed up from being house bound by a flu I decided to go out on a much needed night time photo shoot to Ballintoy Harbour on the Co. Antrim coast where I got treated to a beautiful night of moonlit convection, hail showers, stars over Roark's Cottage, and moonbows followed later by a rare sighting of eight Seals from Dunseverick Harbour on October 7th. One page report with 12 images.

Portrush International Airshow - September 8th 2012

On Saturday September 8th 2012 my girlfriend and I spent a fun day at the Portrush International Airshow at the Co. Antrim coast. The photographic highlights included a Royal Marine Commando beach assault and The Red Arrows which looked stunning against the late afternoon blue sky before their display was cancelled due to technical issues. This was followed by a beautiful ocean sunset at Portballintrae and a faint aurora display. One page report with 19 images.

Co. Antrim Severe Storms & Funnel Cloud/Possible Tornado - August 21st 2012

Detailed report documenting several storm chases between Aug 16th and 21st 2012 from severe thunderstorms with great structure and epic updraughts including supercell characteristics sporting constant thunder over Antrim to a beautiful sunset over Belfast followed by more severe thunderstorms and a significant funnel cloud/possible tornado over Co. Antrim and ending with a line of majestic storm cells across the dusk skyline. One page report with 29 images and 2 video clips.

Breaking The Cap & High Based Funnel Cloud - August 4th 2012

August 4th 2012 brought widespread thunderstorms across the UK however in N. Ireland what looked to be a promising day was suddenly handicapped by a strong capping inversion which stopped storm formation. During the late afternoon the cap suddenly broke producing several late thunderstorms across the country. This report features images of a photogenic explosive cell near Maghera which developed within min's producing a rare high based funnel cloud. One page report with 7 images.

Optics, NLCs & Thunderstorm Over Wheat Field - July 30th 2012

Extensive report featuring a complex atmospheric optics display around the sun with complete parhelic circle at Portballintrae on July 25th followed by June 2nd early season Noctilucent Cloud images however the main feature of this update is focused on a dramatic and photogenic thunderstorm cluster which passed over the golden sunlit wheat fields in the Maghera countryside on July 30th. One page report with 13 images and 2 video clips.

Storm Chase, Peace Camp & Downhill Estate Starscapes - July 21st 2012

Detailed report covering three days and nights of sky photography from storm chasing on July 11th in the Cookstown/Desertmartin area to the north coast Peace Camp installation as part of the London 2012 Festival on July 19th at White Park Bay beach and ending with a night time photo shoot of Mussenden Temple and Downhill Estate on July 21st with stars and Milky Way which made for a memorable Summer night. One page report with 14 images and 1 video clip.

Multicell Thunderstorm Outbreak - June 27th & 28th 2012

Extensive account covering a significant two day outbreak of mulitcell thunderstorms which caused severe flooding over Co. Antrim on June 27th followed by a 8+ hour storm chase on June 28th with Omagh chaser Paul Martin documenting a fun day's weather action in the Mid-Ulster area which resulted in several good storm intercepts at Lough Neagh from Ballyronan Marina and the surrounding area. One page report with 14 images and 1 video clip.

Funnel Cloud, Lough Neagh, Ballyronan Marina - June 6th 2012

June 6th 2012 was an ideal chase day with 1000 CAPE, LIs of -3 in a post frontal air mass with slack SWly flow. I chased twice this day, the first during the early afternoon when I spotted towering cumulus which directed me to a dry cell which produced a small funnel cloud directly over Lough Neagh observed from Ballyronan Marina which appeared on three occasions during a half hour period. This was followed by several intercepts during the afternoon in the local countryside and another late evening chase to the lough once again in pursuit of southern cells. One page report with 10 images and 1 video clip.

Epic Aurora Display, Giant's Causeway & Ballintoy Harbour - April 23rd 2012

A truly epic night on April 23rd/24th 2012 spent at the Co. Antrim coast where Roisin and I watched a jaw-dropping KP6 geomagnetic storm which generated an intense outbursting long duration aurora display which we observed from the legendary Giant's Causeway and from the magical Ballintoy Harbour. The aurora produced multicoloured vertical beams over 60 degrees high and could be seen reflecting on the ocean while exhibiting breathtaking flaming forms of rapid speed which words fail to describe. One page report with 14 images.

Friday the 13th Funnel Cloud Surprise - April 13th 2012

Friday the 13th 2012 began wet, cloudy, and cold, there was no convective forecast issued and with only 200 CAPE and positive LIs it looked to be just a cold day with showers. However all that changed during the late afternoon when my girlfriend and I went for a walk in the countryside where we encountered a line of developing towering cumulus clouds which suddenly produced an obvious dark funnel cloud over the sunlit fields which we could see rotating for 10 min's in duration. The funnel itself was almost 10 miles away and located near Kilrea. So much for bad luck on Friday the 13th!. One page report with 7 images.

Massive Storm Cells Over Lough Neagh, Antrim Marina - April 11th 2012

Documenting three days of storm chasing with attention focused on April 11th 2012 when by chance we intercepted two massive storm cells crossing Lough Neagh as seen from Antrim Marina. These cells had solid anvils almost the size of the Lough itself some 20 miles in length making for the largest cells I have ever seen for the month of April so far, these where observed as a significant sight even from 50 miles away. The climax was an explosive updraught over the Marina which looked like the plume from a volcanic eruption which made for a very exciting and photogenic day. One page report with 14 images and 1 video clip.

Ballintoy/White Park Bay Beach Aurora Outburst - March 27th 2012

Detailed image report covering three days and nights of photography at the Co. Antrim coast documenting the Moon-Venus-Jupiter triple conjunction and climaxing on March 27th with a spectacular night in the company of Paul Martin watching a surprise aurora display over the ancient rock formations in the ocean between Ballintoy Harbour and White Park Bay beach where we watched an aurora for over six hours which produced two outbursts with beams reaching 50 degrees high making this a truly unforgettable night. This was the best aurora I had seen since 2005. One page report with 13 images and a image slideshow.

Giant's Causeway Planets, Zodiacal Light & Faint Aurora - March 17th 2012

St. Patrick's evening March 17th 2012. My girlfriend and I spent a magical night at the famous Giant's Causeway at the Co. Antrim coast under a pitch black sky where we enjoyed the wonderful glow of the Zodiacal Light along with the stunning Venus-Jupiter conjunction with their glitter path cast across the ocean surface followed by the faintest aurora I had ever seen. These phenomena viewed above the legendary 60 million year old rocks made for an experience never to be forgotten. One page report with 6 images.

Glenshane Pass Snow Showers, Planet Conjunction & Aurora Display - Feb 18th 2012

February 18th 2012 was my birthday so I celebrated in style by going on a local storm chase with my girlfriend across the high ground of Glenshane Pass to take advantage of an early season unstable post frontal air mass with weak inland CAPE. We spent the day chasing hail and snow showers followed by a late evening shoot of a beautiful conjunction between planets Venus and Jupiter followed by a late night surprise aurora display which kept me busy until 04.00 the following morning making for a fun and action-packed birthday. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Ballintoy Harbour Aurora Display - Jan 22nd 2012

On January 19th 2012 sunspot 1401 unleashed a strong solar flare and large CME which was heading directly towards Earth. This report documents two nights of aurora chasing with my girlfriend to the Co. Antrim coast hunting for the aurora borealis. The 48 hour watch was a success with auroras observed on both nights, however the night of Jan 22nd produced the best show of the weekend with a vivid green aurora display glowing over the sea which we watched from the famous coastline at Ballintoy Harbour. One page report with 9 images.

Atlantic Storm, Foam Blizzard, 80mph Gusts, Big Waves & Dusk Mammatus - Ballintoy Dec 28th 2011

On Dec 28th 2011 I had a great chase to the Antrim coast at Ballintoy Harbour with my girlfriend to document a severe Atlantic storm where we experienced 70-80mph wind gusts, massive waves, a surreal high velocity foam blizzard, and a dusk mammatus display during my last storm chase of 2011. A successful, frightening, and thrilling day with car troubles which added to the adventure. One page report with 12 images and 1 youtube highlight slide show video covering a year of sky action.

Antrim Coast Night Squalls, Moonlit Beach & Glenshane Snow Storms - Dec 4th-7th

Detailed image report covering three days and nights of storm photography between Dec 4th and 7th 2011. During this period my girlfriend and I intercepted night time convective cells at the Co. Antrim coast, enjoyed a surreal moonlit beach walk with blowing sand like the Sahara Desert and drove through heavy snow storms followed by the first laying snow of the year on Glenshane Pass with moonlit snow images with stars from the same location during the night making for a great period of adventure. One page report with 19 images and 1 video clip.

Ballintoy Harbour Night Storm Chase, Aurora & Starscapes - November 29th 2011

On November 29th/30th I spent a rewarding night at the Co. Antrim coast where I spent over 8 hours chasing. I ended up having a thrilling time at Ballintoy fishing harbour under pristine dark skies where I battled with squalls of rain and sleet, gale force gusts of wind, and enjoyed lightning flashing over the sea from a thunderstorm 30 miles away between the coast and Scotland. This was followed by a starscape-cottage photo shoot and ending with a faint aurora display over the sea which made for an unforgettable night's adventure. One page report with 14 images.

Funnel Cloud/Possible Waterspout, Co. Antrim Coast - October 18th 2011

October 17th and 18th 2011 produced two days in a row of wild Autumn weather across much of UK and Ireland with tornado potential. On the 17th an active cold front produced a squall line with a LEWP which delivered a tornado over Britain along with a record early snowfall over Glenshane Pass. On the 18th I chased coastal storms in nasty conditions with gale force winds and hail showers at the Co. Antrim coast where I captured a suspicious lowering from an ocean cell which may have been a possible funnel cloud or waterspout behind Magilligan Point some 10 miles away from where I was standing. The case is still open but it made for an interesting chase day and further inspiration to get hunting more coastal twisters. One page report with 3 images.

Tornadic Front, Close Range Wall Cloud & Funnel, Maghera - Sept 16th 2011

Friday Sept 16th was an exciting day after a severe forecast was issued by UKASF for N. Ireland with a threat of strong wind gusts, 2cm hail and tornadoes. An occluded front produced a tornado over Clogherhead, Co. Louth before midday. By the afternoon I was chasing post-frontal cells in a sheared environment, my 1st chase was a damp squib however I was almost caught off guard later when a large cell moved over my home town of Maghera producing torrential rain and a large rotating wall cloud which produced a very close range funnel accompanied by other regions of rotation and scuddy vortices as the cell passed over homes before vanishing over the countryside making this the closest I have ever got to a tornado touch down. One page report with 11 images.

Spectacular Moonbows Over Maghera - September 13th 2011

Spectacular night spent in the Maghera countryside hunting for lunar rainbows with the waning full moon in the E and trains of convective showers feeding in from the W which provided the perfect ingredients for their formation. During a 1.5 hour period I observed and photographed 7 sets of moonbows with some of the finest examples I have ever seen to date with vivid colours in the primary bow complimented by secondary arcs and even rare lunar supernumerary arcs making for one of the most satisfying and rewarding moonbow hunts I have ever undertaken. One page report with 16 images.

Festival of Lights Fireworks Display, Ballyronan Marina - August 26th 2011

On Friday evening, August 26th 2011, I attended the annual 'Festival of Lights' event at Ballyronan Marina on the NW shore of Lough Neagh with my girlfriend and sister where we enjoyed a thrilling fireworks display. The light show looked visually stunning against a lovely clear blue dusk sky which made for a great atmosphere while a large crowd composed of families and children looked-on as fireworks exploded overhead from a floating launch boat with their brilliant reflections illuminating the calm water below. One page report with 8 images.

Dunluce Castle Noctilucent Cloud Display - July 10th 2011

On July 10th 2011 the most spectacular Noctilucent Cloud display of the season appeared during evening twilight and remained visible all through the night as a shadow-casting type 5 display. My girlfriend and I observed and photographed the spectacle from the North Antrim coast outside Portrush where we watched in awe as the electric blue NLCs glowed above the famous 17th century ruins of Dunluce Castle. The NLCs could be seen reflecting on the calm Atlantic Ocean while complex NLC whirls, bands, waves and lacunosus holes moved in real time which made for a surreal Summer's night. Also included are two images of Runkerry House at dusk. One page report with 14 images.

Thunderstorm Shelf Cloud, Glenshane Road - July 7th 2011

On July 7th 2011 an unstable post frontal airmass associated with an unseasonal deep Atlantic low generated almost 1000 CAPE and LIs of -3 across N. Ireland in conjunction with troughs and convergence zones. The Met Office had a yellow warning issued for flooding and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued online. During the afternoon Declan O'Doherty and I intercepted the best storm of the day over the Glenshane Road with a menacing black shelf cloud with c-g lightning which knocked out the power in 40,000 homes across N. Ireland. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Maghera Funnel Cloud Outbreak - July 6th 2011

July 6th 2011 turned out to be a day of unexpected surprises. After the first half of the day spent chasing around the Atlantic coast in search of funnel clouds and thunderstorms I returned home during the late afternoon with nothing to show for the chase except another wasted fuel payment. On the way home I spotted several isolated cells over my home town of Maghera and within min's of arriving at my house I spotted the first of four funnel clouds within a 35 min period rotating over the Maghera-Glenshane Pass area associated with sudden multicell storm development which made the day a success. One page report with 8 images.

Funnel Cloud, Maghera-Knockloughrim - June 7th 2011

June 7th 2011 was the best chase day of the year when Declan O' Doherty and I intercepted a line of multicell storms over the mid Ulster area in a 900 CAPE environment which interacted with a significant convergence zone which resulted in a rotating updraught base and a beautiful funnel cloud rotating over the lush fields of Knockloughrim not far from the main Glenshane Road. The storm went on to produced several hours of lightning and delivered an intense hail storm which covered the roads like a layer of snow. A thrilling day of high rewards, good storm structure and a vortex which almost touched down as a tornado. One page report with 14 images and 2 video clips.

Severe Multicell Storms, Glenshane - May 9th 2011

On May 9th 2011 N. Ireland experienced its biggest thunderstorm outbreak in years when trains of multicell storms crossed the country producing hundreds of lightning strikes in a sheared atmosphere with 1000-1200 CAPE and LIs of -4. I intercepted four major thunderstorms, three of which where over the Glenshane Pass where severe multicell storms produced an abundance of pink lightning and spectacular whale's mouth displays. The highlight was severe storm number three which I chased across Glenshane with BBC Newsline weather presenter Jackie McCann which produced regular lightning and a HP core with the worst hail downpour I have ever encountered. Unforgettable action-packed day for so early in the season. One page report with 20 images and 3 video clips.

Glenshane Pass Gorse Fire - April 26th 2011

On April 26th 2011 one hundred gorse fires broke out over N. Ireland with the largest on Glenshane Pass which lasted for hours spanning 4km in length. Sixty fire fighters from six different stations battled with the blaze on a hot afternoon and finally subdued the fire into submission. The scene was dramatic, exciting, and concerning, especially so since this major gorse fire was started deliberately. The 2011 gorse fire season has been the worst in living memory with a record breaking number of fires and emergency calls to fire crews. One page report with 15 images and one video clip.

Spring Thunderstorms - April 2nd 2011

Image report documenting the first inland thunderstorms of the 2011 season when numerous cells formed across the country during the afternoon hours. The main event was the multicell storm over N. Ireland extending for tens of miles from Maghera to the N coast with strong precip cores and periodic c-g lightning. The storm knocked out the power, triggered car alarms, and exhibited rapid rotation under the flanking area. The highlight was the view of the huge anvil against a rich blue sky. This was a fun local chase with Conor McDonald and Declan O'Doherty. One page report with 8 images and 1 video clip.

Aurora Display Over Antrim Coastline - March 1st 2011

Epic night at the Co. Antrim coast on March 1st 2011 when a high speed solar wind stream hit Earth generating a G1 geomagnetic storm and long duration mid latitude aurora display. Conor McDonald and I spent hours watching the aurora over the dark Atlantic Ocean near the famous shoreline and ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle which made for an unforgettable adventure. One page report with 4 images.

Valentine's Aurora Display & Snow - Feb 14th 2011

Feb 14th 2011 was an eventful day which produced two exciting transient events. The first was an afternoon snow shower over Maghera which dropped snow flakes the size of tennis balls! then after dark a CME associated with an M6.6 M-class flare from AR1158 produced a beautiful aurora display which I watched from the Glenshane Pass with Conor McDonald and Declan O'Doherty. The view of the green aurora with bright moonlit snow below was a real treat making this the first significant mid latitude aurora display of 2011. One page report with 6 images and 1 video clip

Grillagh River Hoar Frost - Dec 19th 2010

The second severe cold spell within a week making this the most extreme early Winter period on record. In N. Ireland we had the worst snowfall in 25 years and an emergency weather warning issued by the Met Office due to heavy snow showers, freezing fog, widespread ice and even thundersnow. Temps fell to a new Dec record of - 18 degrees C with day time temps at sub zero values. On Dec 19th 2010 I spent the afternoon near the Grillagh River outside Maghera photographing a remarkable formation of thick hoar frost the likes of which I have never seen before. One page report with 11 images.

Lough Neagh Severe Freeze - Dec 8th 2010

Third image report documenting day 14 of the severe Winter weather outbreak which affected much of Ireland and Britain. Dec 8th was the last significant day before a major thaw when I visited the NW shore of Lough Neagh at Ballyronan Marina where I was astonished to see that a large section of the Lough had completely frozen over with ice and snow for the second time within 11 months. This is quite exceptional since the last major freeze here pre 2010 was 50-60 years ago which indicates just how severe things have turned this year. One page report with 15 images.

Thundersnow - Nov 26th & 27th 2010

Severe Winter weather hit much of Ireland and UK during November generating unseasonal but intense snow showers, record breaking freezing temps, ice and snow accumulations, and travel disruption. The highlight was six days and nights of thundersnow which lit up the sky over E Ireland. This report documents my experience with the epic November 26th and 27th all-night thundersnow display which I watched with awe from Glenshane Pass and Maghera some 60-70 miles from the storms themselves. This was a magical night with bright stars, moonlit snow, and flashing thunderstorms. One page report with 14 images.

Sunset Mammatus Display - Nov 18th 2010

November has been a very active month with no less than three Atlantic storms affecting many parts of Ireland and UK with severe gales, power failures, and flooding. Not much photogenic weather was observed until the 18th when after three days of dull skies and rain the sky cleared before sunset revealing a beautiful mammatus display under the anvil of a cell near Maghera sporting huge udders and dramatic cloud structure. One page report with 11 images.

North Coast Night Storms - Nov 2nd 2010

Amazing night spent at the north coast of Co. Antrim on November 1st and 2nd watching night time thunderstorms flashing over the dark Atlantic Ocean between N. Ireland and Scotland followed by a possible severe thunderstorm which tracked along the NW and N coastal regions putting on a stunning lightning show with c-g and I-c bolts lighting up the night sky like day time while most of the country slept. This night may have produced one or even two supercell storms in that area. This report documents my 6 hour drive chasing the spectacular show making this my longest and most thrilling solo chase to date. Unfortunately this was not an image success but more of a memorable visual experience so this report mostly contains words. One page report with 11 images.

Thunderstorms & Funnel Cloud - Oct 5th 2010

I had a great chase on Tuesday October 5th 2010 when I intercepted an organised long-lived thunderstorm in a highly sheared environment outside Coagh. The storm produced c-g lightning, loud thunder, and intense rain/hail with gusty winds as it passed through into the direction of Antrim. I chased after it and got treated to a small but well defined funnel cloud which rotated for 5 min's between Ballyronan and Toome accompanied by mammatus and double rainbow!. The lightning also blew a hole in the roof of a house in Newry, Co. Down that same afternoon. A very successful and rewarding chase day. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Various Storm Chases & Day/Night Optics

A 'various' account featuring images taken between Aug 21st and Sept 16th 2010 covering numerous local storm chases, heavy convective showers, flooding, rainbows, Moonbows, Moondogs, and even an encounter with an irate farmer. One page report with 14 images and 4 video clips including a 2007-2010 image highlight slide show featuring three years worth of storms, cool clouds, Moonbows, NLCs, Auroras, floods, snow, blizzards, and various day/night optical phenomena.

End of Summer Thunderstorms - Sept 22nd 2010

Summer of 2010 ended with a bang when active thunderstorms broke out over many parts of N. Ireland on Sept 22nd. I spent the entire day chasing in Maghera, Lavy, Toome, Magherafelt, Castledawson, Ballyronan and had a great view of countless high quality cells, on occasion 3 or 4 at a time which made decision making difficult. Strong inflow motion and rotation was also observed, there was even a brief night storm. Content includes a storm over Lough Neagh and distance cells while on the road, a possible small funnel cloud, and converging cells near Maghera. One page report with 17 images.

Toome Bridge Noctilucent Cloud Display - June 16th

The 2010 Noctilucent Cloud season was a rather disappointing show this year however several nights do stand out as being exceptional. The highlight was the night of June 16th which produced the finest display of the Summer when Conor McDonald and I did an all-night photo shoot capturing a type 4.5 electric blue NLC display glowing above the famous illuminated Toome Bridge over the River Bann. This was a night of high photogenic reward and a majestic experience which I shall never forget. One page report with 11 images and one slide show.

Ardboe Thunderstorms - August 18th 2010

August 18th was an interesting day despite several atmospheric handicaps such as CIN, lack of convergence, and wind shear. Despite this, 600-800 CAPE and LIs of -3 made for an active day in response to solar heating and a trough crossing the country which produced thunderstorms across central and E areas of N. Ireland. Declan O'Doherty and I spent the day chasing from Maghera to Ardboe on the W side of Lough Neagh and intercepted 3 storms which produced 14 rumbles of thunder in the local area which made for a fun and successful chase. One page report with 10 images.

Portrush Multicell Storm - August 9th 2010

On August 9th 2010 I chased a huge multicell thunderstorm located over the Atlantic Ocean near Portrush, Co. Antrim during the late afternoon. The cell was so large that its main updraught tower could be seen all the way from back home in Maghera. Interception took place at White Rocks beach where I watched a nasty gust front approach the beach with intense precip core which produced 5 c-g bolts over the Sea. This was followed by another storm with the remainder of the evening spent chasing along the N coast watching large convection/cells exploding over the water. The day ended with dramatic storm clouds moving inland at Portballintrae making this a very successful chase as these where the only storms to fire in NI this day. One page report with 22 images and 1 video clip.

Co. Antrim Storm Chasing - July 21st 2010

On Wed July 21st major thunderstorms broke out across the E side of N. Ireland in response to high instability, multiple convergence zones, and a trough. I spent the day chasing to the NE of Lough Neagh in Co. Antrim where I intercepted three thunderstorms. The highlight was watching a convergence line of the biggest and most explosive convection of the year including a beautiful photogenic line of cells over the Antrim countryside with the highest cloud tops I have seen since 2009. This was a great visual and photogenic day with torrential rain, hail, flooding, and booming thunder. Two page report with 20 images and 1 video clip. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Storm Busting - July 14th & 15th 2010

On July 14th and 15th the best thunderstorms of the year broke out across Ireland/N. Ireland in a very unstable airmass. The results were hundreds of c-gs and funnel clouds. Unfortunately we busted badly on both days and missed the main storms, however it was not all bad. On the 14th we got treated to our most explosive convection of the year so far followed by night t-storms from the N coast and an outflow boundary, booming thunder, and torrential rain on the 15th. This report documents both days. One page report with 18 images and 1 video clip.

Rotating Thunderstorm Over Lough Neagh - June 5th 2010

June 5th turned out to be our very best storm chase of the year to date. Despite being a low CAPE day there was significant convergence, moisture, and shear to develop isolated strong convection over N. Ireland. During the evening Conor McDonald and I chased and intercepted a massive thunderstorm with a Mesocyclone (rotating updraught) over Lough Neagh which was rotating for over 1 hour with numerous lowerings and funnel spin-ups. We had a perfect view from the Lough shore at the Battery Harbour where we experienced our best storm structure of the year!. Two page report with 25 images and 1 video clip. PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Multi Vortex Funnel/Tornadic Event - April 29th 2010

One of the best severe weather events I've experienced in N. Ireland so far. On Thursday April 29th 2010 Conor McDonald and I independently experienced a multi vortex funnel/tornadic event from the rear of a large cell which arrived over the Sperrin Mountains and moved eastward across the Maghera countryside. The cell produced three areas of simultaneous violently rotating vortices which passed me at close range lasting for over 20 min's in duration. This was spectacular since no convective forecast had been issued. Two page image account with 18 images and 1 video clip - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Glenshane Pass Extreme Blizzard - March 30th 2010

An extreme snow storm hit N. Ireland on March 30th/31st 2010 when an Atlantic low encountered polar air from the north which produced an epic snow storm over the Glenshane Pass where motorists experienced gale force winds, blizzards, white-outs, -30 C temps, ice storms, and huge snowdrifts. Over 300 people where trapped on this famous Pass where a rescue operation insued while thousands of homes went without electricity. This account covers the 48hrs centred on the main event when Conor McDonald and I experienced our most extreme Winter weather to date. Two page report with 27 images and 2 video clips - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Extreme Lough Neagh Freeze - January 10th 2010

The UK/Ireland Winter of 2009/2010 has been the most severe in decades. Thanks to frigid air from the Arctic then Siberia we ended up getting almost three weeks of nasty Winter weather in the form of snow, sleet, freezing rain, freezing fog, ice days with sub zero temps, and nights which dropped to a phenomenal - 20 C. As a result many of the Rivers and Lakes in the country froze over for the first time in my life. On Sunday Jan 10th 2010 I spent the day documenting the extreme freeze over a large section of Lough Neagh at Ballyronan Marina, N. Ireland which fast became the climax of this extreme event for me. Report with 25 images and 2 video clips - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Gust Front & Squalls - Toome/Ballyronan - August 20th 2009

August has been a wild month for bad weather over N. Ireland. Yet another warm front crossed over the country followed by two cold fronts due to a low pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean. The unstable airmass behind the last front was expected to produced thunderstorm activity on August 20th. After an uninspiring start the day turned into a success when I encountered a growing storm with nasty gust front over Toome followed by a second over Ballyronan Marina. Both of these produced intense rain, hail, powerful wind squalls, and lightning over the E side of the basin with a dramatic drop in temp. This was certainly a wild weather day. One page report with 18 images and 1 video clip.

Multicell Thunderstorms Over Maghera - July 21st 2009

July 21st 2009 turned out to be yet another action-packed storm day over N. Ireland when the latest GFS 18z run upgraded the set-up to 1000 CAPE and LI of -4. Between 18.00 - 19.30 BST I observed and photographed five multicell thunderstorms which passed over Maghera and the Sperrins from the S producing pink c-g and i-c lightning, low level bases, and intense precipitation curtains while thunder rumbled across the mountains making for one of those classic Summer Thunderstorm events. One page report with 18 images.

Ballyronan Marina Funnel Cloud & Storms - July 15th 2009

July 15th was yet another exciting storm day across N. Ireland with strong instability and a series of troughs and convergence zones which were expected to produce strong thunderstorms during prime heating time. The day began with a nice thunderstorm over NE Maghera followed by a chase to Ballyronan Marina where we observed a well defined funnel cloud for 15 min's duration and a nasty storm over the NW shore of Lough Neagh itself. Two page report with 30 images and 2 video clips. PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Strong Convection & Wall Cloud - July 14th 2009

July 14th 2009 was a great day for storms over N. Ireland with high instability and slack Sly air flow with numerous troughs and convergence zones. Wide spread storms developed during the afternoon and late evening over W and N areas of the country. During the late evening I was treated to a gorgeous line of strong multicell convection over E Maghera before sunset which produced a brief funnel cloud (not photographed) and a wall cloud for a duration of 15 - 20 min's with possible tail cloud. It was the appearance of these huge cells which made the day such a treat. One page report with 16 images and 1 video clip.

Thunderstorms/Severe Cbs - July 4th 2009

On July 4th 2009 a forecast for powerful thunderstorms was issued for N. Ireland. Tipped off by a member of the UKWW forum who observed a severe cell with overshooting top from 50 miles distant, and heading for Maghera, I headed out and watched two huge storms which delivered c-g lightning, gun shot thunder, and torrential rainfall. The 2nd storm produced a wonderful flanking line from which a white rope-shaped funnel cloud dropped into view (not imaged). After these storms a chase ensued across the country and mountains as severe convection exploded over the Sperrins in the late evening low Sun. Another great storm day in N. Ireland. One page report with 15 images and 1 video clip.

Late Evening Funnel Cloud - June 15th 2009

This is the 2nd image account from Monday June 15th 2009. After two T-storms over Maghera during the afternoon a calm evening followed. Before sunset Ryan McDonald and I observed a distant funnel cloud emerge from the base of a powerful cell consisting of exploding towering cumulus clouds above the countryside in the NE side of town. The funnel changed shaped constantly for 10 min's from an inverted cone to a slender tube before vanishing into the base of the cell due to inflow winds affecting its orientation. A great end to three days of action which produced 8 T-storms and 3 funnel clouds. One page report with 20 images.

Thunderstorms & Funnel Cloud - Maghera - June 15th 2009

Monday June 15th 2009 was the final day of a trio of storm events across N. Ireland with high instability and intense ground heating triggering showers and storms across many parts of the country. On this day I observed two thunderstorms and two funnel clouds from Maghera. I have decided to split the day into afternoon and evening accounts. This account features one of those early storms which had a nice updraught/flanking line from which dropped a short lived funnel cloud. I also seen the most severe convection in the life this day. One page report with 11 images and 1 video clip.

Stunning Shelf Cloud & Storm - Ballyronan - June 14th 2009

This is the second image account from June 14th 2009 detailing the 3rd thunderstorm I caught this day. During the late evening we intercepted an organized storm over the Ballyronan area as it approached Lough Neagh while producing multiple pink coloured c-g and I-c lightning which illuminated the green precip curtain from behind. Above this was the finest shelf cloud I have ever seen from N. Ireland sporting two tiers and of large vertical and horizontal extent. This was a day which I will never forget. One page report with 13 images and 1 video clip.

Merging Thunderstorms - Maghera - June 14th 2009

This is the second image account of five covering three days of thunderstorm action over N. Ireland. On Sunday June 14th 2009 I observed three thunderstorms which I have split into two different accounts covering the afternoon and evening events. This account covers the first two local storms of the day which produced a suspicious lowering, blue c-g lightning, and torrential rain over Maghera. One page report with 20 images and 1 video clip.

Three Storms & Funnel Cloud - Maghera, Slieve Gallion & Draperstown - June 13th 2009

The first of five image accounts covering three days in a row of storm action over N. Ireland. June 13th produced a storm over Maghera, Slieve Gallion, followed by a funnel cloud from Draperstown with the chase ending back home in Maghera when the most electrically active storm in years arrived during the late evening with almost continuous lightning which actually killed a Sheep in close proximity to me. One page report with 25 images and 1 video clip.

Lough Neagh Funnel Cloud & Sunset Convection - May 21st 2009

May 21st 2009 was the fourth day in a row which produced thunderstorms over parts of N. Ireland. Aside from a rumble of thunder on the 20th I had missed much of the action from Maghera. During the late evening all that changed when I observed a funnel cloud drop from a wall cloud under a large cell over the NW shore of Lough Neagh from Ballyronan Marina, under difficult conditions. The funnel may even have been a waterspout at one stage. Also included are rainbow images and dramatic storm clouds at sunset which I shall never forget. Two page report with 28 images and 1 video clip. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Small Funnel Cloud Over Maghera - May 10th 2009

May 10th 2009 was a glorious sunny day over N. Ireland, and not surprisingly no convective forecast or poor weather was expected. However, a large area of vorticity formed with slow moving convective updraught towers during the afternoon exhibiting rotation. At 16.10 BST I happened to glance out my back door and observed a small funnel cloud in the E sky which lasted for a duration of 5 min's. A nice little dark inverted cone sporting obvious rotation. A wonderful surprise on such a fine day. This was my first funnel cloud sighting of 2009. One page report with 3 images.

Lough Neagh Severe Thunderstorm - April 25th 2009

On April 25th 2009 a long duration thunderstorm formed over Co. Antrim during the late afternoon which produced flooding, thunder, lightning, and golf ball sized hail stones. Observations and images from the Maghaberry area showed a wall cloud and a suspect Mesocyclone within the cell. During the late evening I managed to observe this cell over Lough Neagh from Ballyronan Marina when it produced lightning over the Lough before dying out after sunset. A very action packed day. One page report with 9 images and 1 video clip.

Severe Squall Line Hits N. Ireland - March 7th 2009

During the hours of darkness just before 20.00 UT on Saturday March 7th 2009 an intense cold front moved in over N. Ireland driven by a low pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean. The leading edge of the cold front created large convective cells which then formed into an organized line of storms called a squall line. The squall line reached severe levels when it produced brutal gusts of wind at 87mph combined with horizontal rain, hail, thunder,and lightning which continued across the country causing some localized damage. This report documents my own account of this severe event when it hit Maghera and includes the reports from others across the country. One page account with 1 video clip and 2 video stills.

Geminid Meteor Shower - Dec 13/14th 2008

The 2008 Geminid meteor shower peaked on Dec 13/14th and despite concerns that the near full Moon would hamper observations the shower turned out to be spectacular. I did a seven hour watch from three different locations in Maghera and logged 99 Geminids including a number of spectacular fireballs. An unexpected surprise caught during the session was a rare lunar Parhelic Ciricle (or Paraselenic Circle) and lunar Wegener Arcs. One page report with 9 images.

Spectacular Triple Moon & Planet Conjunction - Nov 30th/Dec 1st 2008

This is a two page image account with 36 images and 2 video clips covering the period between November 30th and December 1st 2008 when a spectacular triple conjunction took place in the SW evening sky. A crescent Moon joined Venus and Jupiter who where only 2 degrees apart. The following day the Moon occulted Venus. During twilight the planet emerged from behind the Moon making for a breathtaking conjunction. I managed to get clear skies on both days and imaged the event from a high location from a frosty Maghera. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Moonbow Hunting - November 11-12th 2008

Starry nights, a bright Moon, and passing showers can all come together to create a very special and elusive phenomena called a Moonbow. During the approaching full Moon of November 2008 I spent 7 nights and 16 hours hunting for this rare sight. This report covers the period from Nov 11-12th which resulted in a good 'harvest' of lunar rainbows all captured from the Maghera countryside. One page report with 9 images.

Orionid Meteor Shower - October 22nd 2008

Short image account detailing a post-Orionid meteor shower watch and photo session during the morning of Oct 22nd 2008. During two sessions, after midnight, and before dawn, I managed to observe a rich number of meteors from this shower which was producing enhanced rates despite being one day after maximum activity. The highlight was a bright meteor capture in Auriga which left an ion train in its wake. - Report with 5 images.

Sperrin Mountain Moonbows - October 15-16th 2008

After several nights of planning I felt confident that Oct 15th and 16th 2008 would provide the perfect conditions to hunt for the elusive moonbow. With a waning full Moon combined with Atlantic showers the sky did not disappoint. On both nights I captured Moonbows from a location outside Maghera over looking the Sperrin Mountains. The incredible Moonbows were bright and colourful against a back drop of moonlit convection and stars. Two page report with 14 images. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Thunderstorms - September 1st 2008

The first day of September 2008 got off to an explosive start with a risk of thunderstorms over N. Ireland. I spent much of the day imaging the action near Maghera where 4 or 5 storms arrived delivering high quality cold air convection and deadly C-G and I-C lightning and dramatic thunder, which at times was too close for comfort!. Two page report with 27 images and 1 video clip. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Severe Moyola River Flood - August 16th 2008

Severe weather has been effecting many parts of Ireland/N. Ireland between August 11th and 16th. This came to a climax on Saturday August 16th when 24 hours of intense rainfall caused severe flooding to many areas causing major disruption and damage. Between Maghera and Tobermore the famous Moyola River experienced what is being described as 'The Great flood of 2008' by local anglers. I was at the scene to record this historical weather event. Report with 16 images and 1 video clip.

Thunderstorm & Strange Funnel Cloud - August 13th 2008

An exciting day on August 13th 2008 when a long duration thunderstorm formed over the Sperrin Mountains and slowly drifted over Maghera producing many cloud to ground strikes and intense rainfall. It also dropped three funnel clouds, one of which was large and tilted under the storm base in a horizontal position making this the best daytime thunderstorm I have seen this year to date. Two page report with 24 images and 3 video clips. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Sperrin Mega Shelf Cloud & Thunderstorm - August 11th 2008

Monday August 11th was the beginning of several days of severe weather over N. Ireland which caused severe rainfall, floods, and disruption to roads. Taking advantage of a convective outlook I headed out to the Maghera countryside hoping to catch a storm. I was not disappointed. The most impressive Gust Front I ever seen arrived over the Sperrin Mountains and formed a stunning Shelf Cloud along its leading edge. This was followed by severe torrential rain, a nasty thunderstorm, and flooding. This report documents that evening. 21 images and 1 video clip.

Maghera Surprise Funnel Cloud - August 2nd 2008

Second image account from August 2nd 2008 detailing another day of convective action. After a long day of shooting Cbs and towers in the Maghera countryside I returned home, however before 19.00 BST I glanced out my bedroom window and saw a substantial funnel cloud rotating in the eastern sky reaching half way to the ground outside Maghera. This account describes the day leading up to this thrilling event. Image report with images 7 and 1 short video clip.

Maghera Mesocyclone/LP Supercell - August 1st 2008

Things couldn't get better on Friday 1st August 2008 after a great partial Solar Eclipse and funnel cloud over Maghaberry. A convective outlook had been issued followed by a tornado discussion from TORRO. Later that evening I was caught off guard when the sky darkened over my home. A black menacing structure blocked out the Sun. Further observation showed that this monster cell had a huge area of rotation, wall cloud, striation rings, and inflow bands. The cell contained an obvious Mesocyclone making this a good case for a possible LP Supercell. Two page report with 24 images and 1 video clip. - PAGE 1, PAGE 2.

Twilight Convection & Haunting Moonbows - July 19th 2008

July 18/19th 2008 was a night of unexpected thrills. I was out doing some night time photography hoping to catch an NLC display or even a thunderstorm, however none of these exciting events took place. The sky however has a mind of its own and can present you with something unexpected and special. Between 01.30 and 03.00 BST I was fortunate to witness half a dozen very rare moonbows. These were the best I have ever seen my life with intense magnitude, colours, and even secondary and supernumerary arcs. Some twilight convection shots are also included. Report with 10 images and 1 slide show.

Surprise Night Time Violent Thunderstorm - May 8th 2008

After a succession of hot muggy days in N. Ireland a violent thunderstorm crossed the country taking forecasters by surprise. It hit the Mid-Ulster area at 03.00 BST and produced severe c-g lightning and long duration thunder for 1.5 hours without any let-up. I was fortunate enough to have been up and observed the entire event. One page report with 4 images and 1 video clip.

Structured Thunderstorm - April 27th 2008

Before sunset on April 27th 2008 I caught my 2nd T-storm of the 2008 season when a slow moving series of cells approached over the Sperrin Mountains from the SW. This storm produced one I-C flash and two spectacular C-G bolts and thunder less than one mile from me. This was also one of three cells which showed rotation and produced heavy rain and hail. The structure of this storm was exceptional and so was the pink and blue colours cast by the low Sun. Inflow bands where observed also. Two page report with 20 images and 1 video clip. - PAGE , PAGE 2.

Hail Storm, Thunder & Gust Front - April 11th 2008

The 2008 thunderstorm season got off to a good start on April 11th 2008 when I experienced my first brief thunderstorm of the year. The large cell produced the biggest hail storm I have ever witnessed to date over Maghera with stone sizes varying between frozen pea and marble in diameter which hurt on impact. This was followed by gust front over the town which produced rain for hours on end. Report with 11 images and 1 video clip.

Mega Gust Front, Snow & Cold Air Convection - March 3rd 2008

On March 3rd 2008 a mass of cold polar air descended over the UK creating some good convection, snow and even lightning which knocked out the power many times. During the afternoon Conor Mc Donald and I observed the action from the countryside. What began as a hopeless day turned into a great success when we caught large cells, giant snow and a menacing gust front. Two page report with 16 images and a video clip nearly 10 min's in duration. - PAGE1, PAGE 2.

Total Lunar Eclipse - Feb 21st 2008

Short written account of my efforts to observe the February 21st total lunar eclipse during the early morning hours. This was the best eclipse from the UK until 2028. However, a cold front arrived in from the Atlantic washing the eclipse from view with cloud and rain for much of the country. Despite the odds I did manage to make several naked eye observations of the partial phase even though it was raining!. No eclipse images here unfortunately.

Moon - Pleiades Occultation

Images and short report of the December 21st 2007 partial occultation of the Pleiades by the waxing gibbous Moon taken on a dangerous frosty and foggy night from various locations at Cookstown and Magherafelt, all in between periods of Christmas shopping!.

Leonid Meteor Shower 2007

Report featuring two nights of Leonid meteor observing. The first with Conor Mc Donald on the 17th during the nodal crossing from Drumlamph forest outside Maghera where 44 Leonids burnt up. The 2nd night was overcast when an outburst was expected during the rise of the radiant. A nice experience despite the low rates.

Spectacular Sunset Mammatus Display - Oct 28th 2007

A spectacular golden Mammatus cloud display passed over Maghera on Oct 28th 2007 before sunset producing the best display I have witnessed to date. This was produced by a passing cold front which kicked off some nice convection and even several lightning flashes. My friend and I observed the entire display during its swift passage over my home. one page report with 8 images.

My C/2007 F1 LONEOS Observations

Report documenting 11 nights of visual observing as I followed C/2007 F1 LONEOS through the evening and morning sky until it developed twin tails and became a faint naked eye object before plunging toward the Sun in the western sky at the end of Oct 2007 when it sported a stunning Ion tail over 2 degrees long. Report features all my sketches and one image.

July 21st 2007 Cold Core Funnel Cloud From Maghera

A nice surprise took place on the mild afternoon of July 21st 2007 when a small cold core funnel cloud appeared from the base of a towering cumulus updraught with strong rotation in the northern sky in the Maghera countryside. 5 images and 1 video clip.

July 17th 2007 Spectacular Funnel Cloud From Maghera

Read the report and view the images of the spectacular July 17th 2007 Funnel cloud and possible tornado which Conor McDonald, his girlfriend Christina and I observed from near my home at Maghera during a great thunderstorm outbreak. This was an incredible day which changed my life and which steered me with tremendous passion toward severe weather photography. This large funnel came close to touching the ground over the Ardboe area near Lough Neagh and becoming a Tornado which resulted in a three day site investigation by TORRO. Even years later this still ranks as one of my most exciting weather experiences and still the best funnel I have seen to date. One page report with 19 images.

Storm Chase from Slieve Gallion Mountain - July 16th 2007

My first ever storm!. This was the best thunder and lightning storm during the Summer of 2007 which took place during daytime on July 16th. This was a very successful day when Conor Mc Donald, his girlfriend and I chased this storm from Maghera to the top of Slieve Gallion encountering dangerous close range c-g lightning striking the ground, intense hail cores, mammatus and my first ever lightning bolts caught on video, from this day on I became hooked on storm chasing. 24 images 1 video clip

Perseid Meteor Shower Report 2007

Report documenting 4 nights of Perseid meteor observation. Despite poor weather and an abundance of cloud I managed to observe 94 meteors on the night of maximum on my own from home. This years display was exceptional due to its high rates and numerous fireballs which could be seen THROUGH clouds!

Total Lunar Eclipse from Slieve Gallion Mountain

Conor Mc Donald, Ciara, Stephen Mc Govern, Jonathan Bingham and myself observed the entire March 3rd 2007 total eclipse of the Moon under clear sparkling skies from the summit of Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin mountain range. We observed and imaged a spectacular red Danjon 3 eclipse despite frost and bitter winds. Read the report and view the wind blown images!

Moon & Planet Saturn Spectacular Conjunction.

Short report detailing the successful visual observation of the March 2nd 2007 Moon / Saturn close Conjunction from my back garden late on a cold frosty night. Also included are images of the event.

Observing Adventures With Great Comet Mc Naught

Article detailing my negative and successful observations, sketches and images of great comet C/2006 P1 Mc Naught from N. Ireland with Conor Mc Donald and my extensive solo watches while battling the worst cloudy weather that I have encountered as an observer. I managed to observe the brightest comet in 42 years on 4 occasions. Twice in the evening sky and once in the morning sky followed by a brief but positive sighting of the comet's tail striations above the horizon while the comet itself was in the southern hemisphere! Also included is a link to my extensive nightskyhunter comet Mc Naught GALLERY.

Dec 1st 2006 Mammatus Cloud Display

Incredible Armageddon-style low level Mammatus display, gold in colour, and menacing in appearance as it passed over my home on December 1st 2006 before sunset. This was a beauty. Short report with 13 images.

2006 Leonid Meteor shower Outburst!

Observing report documenting two observing sessions covering the traditional Leonid peak on Nov 17th and outburst on Nov 19th from a dark country location outside Maghera with John Mc Connell, Conor Mc Donald and Jonathan Bingham. We logged 228 meteors and obtained imagery of a spectacular mag - 11 fireball with smoke train. Read the report to find out what happened!

Observing Session With Conor, John & SWAN

A fabulous all night observing session on October 28/29th with Conor Mc Donald, John Mc Connell and myself which took place at my home in Maghera. The session began with a comet, peaked with a fireball plus Gegenschein and ended with a count of 74 meteors before dawn!

Orionid Meteor Shower 2006

Article documenting 5 nights of Orionid meteor action. Despite clouds many meteors were seen along with several impressive borderline fireballs.

Mammatus Clouds Over Maghera

A superb display of Mammatus clouds over Maghera on September 18th 2006 in the NE sky at 19.00 BST. Short account with 8 images.

September 7th Partial Lunar Eclipse

A beautiful partial lunar eclipse complete with umbral shadow after sunset. Observing session with Conor Mc Donald complete with eclipse images.

Lyrid 2006 Meteor Shower With EAAS At Killylane

Great crystal clear night with 59 meteors observed and 1 borderline fireball. Galaxies and comet 73P/ SW 3 on show.

Perseid 2006 Meteor Shower With EAAS At Killylane

Perseid 2006 meteor shower report spanning 5 nights of action documenting myself and Conor Mc Donald's solo meteor hunt and maximum night with the EAAS at Killylane.

Messier Marathon With EAAS At Killylane

March 3rd 2006 MM with the EAAS during a beautiful crystal clear night that was cut short by heavy snow showers - observing at its coldest.

March 2006 Partial Eclipse Of The Sun

A splendid partial solar eclipse observed from my own backyard with 3 other observers.

My 73P/ Schwassmann - Wachmann Observations

A selection of visual observations of the fragmenting comet 73P SW3 fragments C and B from March 28th - May 16th 2006 and of C/2006 A1 Pojmanski.

My C/2006 A1 Pojmanski Observations

A selection of visual observations documenting new comet C/2006 A1 Pojmanski from February 27th - April 4th 2006.

My 2006 NLC Observations

Brief descriptions of the 30 + NLC displays I observed between May - July 2006 in the form of extracts from the EAAS forum.

16" Dobsonian Refurbishment Project

Report with images featuring how I refurbished and customized by Meade 16" F/4.5 dobsonian reflector. This involved a new paint job, relocation of finderscope and telrad, and cleaning the primary and secondary mirrors. A fun project which took place in my garage along with Conor Mc Donald.

My C/2004 Q2 Machholz Observations

A brief selection of visual observations of naked eye comet Q2 Machholz from December 1st - January 5th 2004.


Martin McKenna

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