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This Is Northern New South Wales

Storm Chaser

When I was a child my friend Sarah’s dad Bob Dyball, was the Cape Byron Lighthouse Keeper. Bob was a Steve Irwin of his time – helping injured animals and birds, I remember one night when he walked into the cottage (Sarah’s Family lived in the second cottage as you drive into the Lighthouse grounds) holding a huge pure white owl that had crashed into the light and knocked itself out! I will never forget the beauty of that creature. Bob often pointed out the different types of clouds and weather patterns, as back then he used to have to report the temperature, wind speeds etc through by landline to the Bureau of Meteorology. We learnt to appreciate the beauty and the power of storms at a very young age.

Being the daughter of two obsessive surfers, I was also taught from a very young age what to look for and how to spot a storm front so I knew when to get off the beach. To be honest s a little girl I was terrified of storms, I always dived into bed with my parents at the slightest clap of thunder– the 1975 cyclone scarred me and we had a huge storm in Byron Bay in 1979 that was terrifying – roof’s off multiple houses, our neighbours garage was on our back fence, a number of the Shirley St Norfolk Pines fell, what is now LaLa Land was all over the road….our house was fine, Dad being a structural engineer built our house to withstand cyclones with cyclone bolts every square foot!

As an adult I love storms, I am actually close to obsessed by them. Yesterday afternoon I took my dear friend Kaz and her daughter Caileigh storm chasing around Lennox Head we were like giggly kids feeding off the energy of the Arcus cloud rolling over the top of us. Arcus cloud forms as a roll or a shelf cloud and are often the leading edge of a storm. Rising cloud motion often can be seen in the leading part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind torn. I managed to catch some with my Nikon D7000 I sent them to my Dad last night and his response was “Great photos! Natures fury just blows me away sometimes, like storms and cyclones, it’s a pity you can’t capture the wind in a photo! “just a child of the ocean, where the sea and the sky are one” (Feeling a bit poetic after seeing those shots) love Dad”….I hope you all enjoy the power that I captured in these shots.


Images shot on a Nikon D7000 with the 18-200mm lens.