Thunderstorm of the Decade Tuesday 22nd August 2017

I woke Up On tuesday Morning Thinking that the charts might be a let down. I went over the High res charts in the morning and noticed that they were upgraded for storm action across the North of Ireland. It was a tough Forecast to work out because things were changing all the time. Convective weather upgraded there forecast to parts of the north coast a moderete risk for elevated thunderstorms. 

UPDATE 14:25 UTC Adjustments made to existing SLGT and LOW threat levels to expand the elevated thunderstorm risk farther south overnight, while a MDT has been introduced to highlight areas where elevated thunderstorms seem most likely (while acknowledging greater instability is found farther south). In general, high-res guidance continues to suggest increasing covering of thunderstorms from mid-evening over Northern Ireland into western fringes of Scotland and the Hebrides, the Theta-E plume then destabilising farther and farther south through the early hours as the cold front and upper forcing approaches from the west.

Plume of high WBPT will be drawn northwards across the British Isles on Tuesday, ahead of an approaching Atlantic upper trough. Shortwaves running ahead of the main trough will provide the focus for mostly mid-level instability release, resulting in elevated showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms - the greatest risk of deeper, more widespread convection seems most likely on Tuesday evening / night as better forcing arrives from the southwest, destabilising the plume. Some uncertainty exists as to the extent of this destabilisation (especially considering the messy mix of stratiform vs convective precipitation), and hence how widespread lightning activity may be - a SLGT has been issued for now, though this could perhaps be upgraded locally to a MDT should confidence improve. In general, better forcing and shear will be found towards the NW, whilst instability will be more significant farther southeast. Should any convection become rooted in the boundary layer, more likely late afternoon/early evening, then there would be scope for an isolated tornado - particularly across northern parts of Northern Ireland. largethumb1.png

there was 600-800 CAPE present and lifted index of -4 to 5. giving this there was plenty of energy in the atmosphere for storms to develop, there also was shear around but that wasnt present until late evening. there also was a strong cap to the west of ireland Donegal, which hampered any storms develping early in that region. there was a weaker cap in the east giving a bigger chance for storms developing when the front arrived in the east.

The Met office had a yellow warning out for thunderstorms and flooding. I think It should of been Amber warning giving what the radar looked like at 6pm  

I myself wasnt chasing due to surgery on my back but that didnt stop me from watching it out the window and from the back garden. It never arrived until after lunch time here but when it did it was mental, torrential rain. seen a few flashes during the day and crackling thunder over head. I never even bothered with the camera cause it was just a grey mess but I enjoyed it. 

Later that evening I had another look at the radar. my words I cant repeat. the worst echos ive seen the whole time ive been chasing.


 at this point I knew this was significant, And that it was a dangerous storm, Rain accumulations were recorded at 70mm in places especially the North west which is marked as a severe storm or weather effent.


as it turned to darkness the amount of lightning became clear, I was out the back for a while when the rain cleared for a short period and the sky was flashing like mad. it was distant over north of lough neagh i reckon. as the storm moved in over the Antrim and derry area the storm intensified dramatically. the storys and photos of lightning in midulster, Derry and Antrim says it all. very high strike rate with over 14000 lightning strikes over the uk that day and we got the most of it. 



there was a powerstation hit and caught fire in Antrim leaving many people without electricity. reports of major floods and landslides in North east Donegal and Derry area.

The next day the damage was clear to see with sink holes, bridges callopsing, rivers busting thrir banks, roads flooded, derry Airport was closed for the day and many homes flooded.



Images above from A.W.S. Tyres 

all and all It was a noteable storm for sure. for myself i Just wish it was a more photogenic storm, I did enjoy the lightning but with me not chasing I did miss alot of it. i wish i had of been at lough neagh photographing the night time lightning. but it wasnt to be this time around. 

This storm is up there with the best, definetly the best ive seen in a decade. I remember I sat out for a night in  2007. that storm wasnt as damaging but had an even higher strike rate than this 1. 60,000 strikes over Ireland alone, it was like a disco in a massive flashing constant and some mad thunder that lasted all night. i sat out to near dawn that time and will never forget it. 

this storm was more severe in nature and it will be talked about for many years to come. glad I experianced some of it and record it here.