Ive been waiting on spring storms for a while now. even though the risk was low I decided too chase this setup and it didnt disapoint.
I was checking out the charts on thursday evening too come too my own conclusion that it was worth a go in the midulster area.
Instability was weak with just a couple hundred cape but with Cold Air aloft combined with surface heating and low level convergence might trigger convection and a few isolated storms.
when i got home from work I decided to hit Armagh, I headed up the newry road abit and had a look at the sky. I wasnt impressed but it was early days. I then decided too hit home again and wait for any developments and keep watch on radar from home. I noticed a cell developing on radar east lough neagh, that was my target. so i hit the road again, headed too the washingbay on the west side of the lough and watched it ata distance. it looked good but didnt come too anything. it was then i seen another developing cell over the Magherafelt, Ballyronan area. so drove up towards ballyronan.
The storm over ballyronan, Magherafelt
I drove into the core and witnessed incloud lightning and also heard a rumble of thunder. I was delighted. result already but it wasnt over.
The ballyronan cell Quickly died so I checked radar again, seen a cell develop over my home town Dungannon, another target I chased it down stopping every now and them too see how it was going. it looked great on radar. at this stage friend and fellow chaser Martin Mckenna text me saying he was already on it. He was heading for the castlecaulfield area. the cell looked class while driving down the M1 and on too the A4. but it had already crossed over castlecaufield and the precip was strong there.
at this point i made the decision too drive sout get on the sunlit side of it and hope for some lightning or structure. I headed on towards ballygawly then Aughnacloy
under the storm on the A4
I arrived at Aughnacloy and just as i turned too go down the Monaghan road I noticed a funnel cloud, the excitement built and i was shaking OMG OMG OMG something like that I pulled over turned on my hazards grabbed the camera and started shooting and and getting footage I dont think the drivers behind me were too happy but hey, not too often we see nature produce a funnel cloud in this country and putting it nicely i couldnt care less.lol
It was amazing and 1 the best 1s ive seen. it was then i wondered could i get closer before it died. so i headed down the monaghan road too intercept it. luckly it continued it was nearly touching the hills on my way down the road as i got alot closer too it
I pulled over in a suitable place this time and got more images and footage this time.
the funnel had bent over and coming down again i couldnt believe what was happening 200 yards infront of me. I was willing it on. but all good things come too an end. it gently faded back up into the base of the updraft and it was over
this was the radar at that moment i was just on the boarder at the front left of the storm
I headed for home with the biggest smile you ever seen. this is what drives me, seeing mother nature in the raw straight infront of me. I will remember this day for a long time. what a result.
footage of the storm and funnel cloud link below.
lets hope for more storms this season and as always
THE CHASE NEVER ENDS