Thunderstorms here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen – even in Arizona, and while the land down under doesn’t have the highest frequency of lightning strikes (that prize goes to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo), the severity level of the storms here are considered to be some of the highest in the world.
I’m fascinated with the weather that we experience here in Australia. A country of extremes, Australia is known for harsh weather, and these severe storms are only going to get worse! The Bureau of Meteorology says this year’s extreme weather is entirely consistent with the strong La Nina weather pattern. But there is a general view among weather forecasters and climate scientists that, in the longer term, higher global temperatures will create the right conditions for more intense, but not more frequent, storms.
The picture I took above was from a storm a few years back which produced hail the size of tennis balls. I was out working in the yard when the storm rolled in – accompanied by 110kph winds, severe lightning, and of course the aforementioned hail. It wreaked havoc on the local community, causing extensive damage to homes, cars, and everything else that was left uncovered or out in the open. The local car dealerships soon started advertising discounts on the dented cars, using the slogan “Hail Sale”.
I don’t mind – I’ll just grab my camera, a beer, and sit out on the verandah to watch the show that nature has to offer.