Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blue Jet captured in Western Australia

Here in Europe this fact may go unnoticed, but today 26 January 2014 is Australia Day! A fitting moment to share an outstanding piece of Australian natural beauty captured by Jason Harris in Broome, Western Australia on January 3rd this year.
Jason: "As it turns out I actually have more than one from the same event. The particular storm was probably around about 60km from my location in Broome from what I can make out from radar images at the time. The particular storm fired off the first jet during a period of rapid fresh updrafts. Obviously I wasn’t at all prepared for it but I immediately adjusted some camera settings on the off chance it might fire again and after a period of pretty intense CG discharges it quietened off for say 30 seconds before firing 4 more jets within a period of about 30 seconds, all of which I managed to capture. I have been told one of the shots is perhaps a “starter” but it may also just be a case of not picking up the full channel. I will say this, no photograph can EVER do justice to what I saw with my own eyes. Truly spectacular event that I won’t forget in a hurry."
Asked about the storm's flash rates and development, Jason added:
"I first set up the camera around 10pm framing up a couple of other discreet cells further to the south of the particular storm that fired off the jets. The original storms were probably over 150km away as I was shooting at 200mm. The storm in the photo went up on the outflow boundary of the earlier storms around 11.30pm and continued for perhaps 2 hours while tracking from the east to west towards Broome. The jets were fired off in the formative stages of the thunderstorm between about 11.35 and midnight. After that the storm went through several stages of redevelopment but became somewhat cluttered with strata rubbish as it moved closer. GPATS data from the night suggests around 3000 CG strikes emanating from this storm during it’s lifetime so not overly active by Kimberley storm standards but certainly not a “quiet” one neither."
Additional images and information was shared on a weather forum:
Lee Crees, a friend of Jason, captured his first sprite:


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