Lighting up the sky

STORM season arrived with a bang on Sunday as an intense cell swept through the Northern Rivers around sunset putting on a spectacular lightning display.

Despite the storm's intensity, there was minimal damage recorded, with SES crews receiving only eight calls for assistance between Lismore and Tweed Heads.

"It was all very low-key in the end considering how nasty it looked initially," an SES representative said.

Local storm chaser Dave Ellem headed out to Kyogle earlier in the afternoon to track a couple of smaller storm cells before travelling to Casino to set up his equipment for the big one.

"On dusk I started to see frequent massive bolts of lightning to the south so I raced to Casino and once I got there I set my camera and had about half-an-hour of amazing photo opportunities - it was one of the best lightning displays I've seen in some years," he said.

"Initially it looked like it was going to be a supercell storm, but then it spread out."

Mr Ellem set up his camera about 5km west of Casino on Bundocks Rd to photograph the lightning towards the south and south-east.

"Then the warm colours from the sunset made me swing my camera around in the hope some bolts would occur ahead of the advancing storm front," he said.

"About 30 seconds later I got this shot, before getting back in my car as it was getting too dangerous - several bolts hit right near my car - but I left my camera out and it continued taking exposures before the rain hit."

The Bureau of Meteorology said the storm was associated with a frontal system that passed through the Northern Rivers around sunset.

While a wetter than average November is expected, the bureau said there were no more storms expected this week.



Storms can happen anywhere, at any time of the year and it is important to prepare your family and property now and stay prepared all year round.

Things you can do now and always to prepare for storms:

  • Secure outdoor items that can blow around in strong wind.
  • Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages.
  • Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property.
  • Fix any damage to your roof including broken or missing tiles.
  • Make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency.
  • Listen to the local radio and other media for information, updates and advice.
  • Check your insurance policy is current and adequate.

Source: SES

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