Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Friday 19th September 2014 - SE Essex Surface Based Storm

After a few days of very warm weather the breakdown occured in spectacular fashion today with a Storm erupting in North Kent and in the Estuary. Earlier in the day the London area had been affected by a very slow moving thunderstorm and the top of this storm was visible from South East Essex, sitting almost stationary for a few hours, I noted a large TCU To the south for most of the afternoon and at 4pm a thick fog rolled in off the estuary and nearby North Sea which blotted out the Cb from view and that was that for the day........Or so I thought!

At about 7pm thunder became audible to my South and South East and High Up Blue Flashes above the fog started to appear, it really was a surreal sound with muffled thunder with a storm above the fog still a way off to the south. This continued for about an hour with still thick fog at my location, the storm was obviously getting closer as the thunder was now quite loud, still no Cg's were in view but the flashes were now getting very vivid.

At 8pm the first Cg Bolts started to appear through the Fog, this was an amazing sight but very hard to photograph with a very murky orange glow throughout. I ventured out into the garden when it was obvious these bolts were now hitting the ground, 3 strikes in a row had me running for cover with an almost instant flash and crash with some landing just a few gardens away, I tried my hardest to capture these but it was impossible to pick anything out with the awful visibility.

A little after this we started to get 2mm Hail falling which started to clear the Fog briefly, and hard on the Hails tail was very heavy rainfall which cleared the fog instantly, we were now firmly under the core of the storm and it dropped 25mm of rain in 30 minutes, a little after this the storm blew itself out over the crouch estuary to my North East and all was calm again within 30 minutes.

No pictures worthy of keeping on this storm but quite a spectacular storm once again for Uk Standards.

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