Saturday, May 22, 2010

Storm On The Water

The 8th June 2007, will live long in the memory of Novacastrians, because that was the day the Pasha Bulker became grounded on Nobbys Beach in one of the worst storms to hit the region . That storm, which claimed the lives of 10 people, over a 36 hour period inundated the area with over 400 mm of rain, with recorded wind gusts of over 120kp/h and caused the worst  flooding in the area since 1971.   

So we are getting pretty used to the odd bit of temperamental weather that can be thrown our way.

The past week, while nowhere near the scale of the 2007 storm, the stormy weather has provided the keen photographer some wonderful photographic landscapes to capture.

This is a view of Nobbys Beach just as a huge rainstorm was about to hit Newcastle. The intrepid surfers were still out on the waves and the  Surf Lifesavers were still out practising in the rough, choppy swell. I don't whether they are brave, or mad ... perhaps a bit of both!  

Even with the storm clouds brewing to the west, the coal ships aren't disrupted. Although the weather looked frightening, there was surprisingly little wind and as result no swell. During extreme weather Newcastle Harbour will usually only shut when the swell makes it difficult to navigate through the channel, which isn't often.

A series of nasty thunderstorms brewed up around 4pm and continued hitting Newcastle until 10pm. The storm photographed here was taken looking west across Queens Wharf towards the Islington/Carrington area and graphically shows how hard the rain fell for those few brief moments.  

Prior to the storm cells that moved across the city in the afternoon, for a brief period the clouds concentrated the sunlight and gave Newcastle such a wonderful warm glow. This picture is looking east, back across Queens Wharf, along the The Foreshore, to the iconic Observation Tower

Although I would never classify myself as a 'stormchaser', with these series of shots, taken with the Sanyo S1275 camera, I was able to stand at the edge of some powerful weather fronts and take some wonderful photos without putting myself or my equipment at risk. 

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