Thursday the 25th of July was one of the hottest days on UK record, given that and the convection forecast put out by www.convectiveweather.co.uk it meant that there was a very good chance of some thunder storms.
After work i rushed home to gather my equipment and family who also like chasing storms. I had been tracking a small cell in south Wales and it was moving north at quite some speed.
As it got towards Wrexham it had already out out some bolts of lightning and was growing in size. Lucky enough its path was quite easy to see so i headed north towards Southport thinking it will stay close to the coast. As we drove up the M57 we could see the dark clouds apearing in the mirrors of the car. I was getting excited as Jennifer kept checking the radar and showing me updated images of lightning happening over Liverpool with reports of ice cube sized hail stones.
Just before we got to Southport my good friend Dominic called and said it was heading slightly east, so we changed direction and headed towards Ormskirk where there are flat fields with good lines of sight.
Heavy rains and winds battered the car as the cell moved closer, worried i was in the position and too far into the cell I drove back west a few miles. Satisfied I was in a good location I pulled into a layby and waited for an opportunity to get the equipment in the field.
It was time to get ready as the shower had passed so there i was getting my equipment ready in the boot of the car when a bolt of lightning grounded approximately 50 meters away. The sound was like nothing iv’e ever heard, it crackled in the air around me and shook my body. In a split second i was back in the car, the was open, my camera gear was getting wet, kids screaming because of the sound and Jennifer laughing at me cause i was shaking.
A few moments later i had to go back out and gather my equipment and dry it off as another shower moved in.
After that shower had passed i felt like i was in great spot on the edge of the cell as it was sunny behind us and very dark and moody. Storm clouds are my favorite types of clouds as they are so dramatic looking and can really help engage the viewer and make them feel what i was feeling at the time.