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The New Year’s Day electrical storm

By johnboy - 2 January 2011 24

photo by john lafferty [Photo by John Lafferty]

Last night was as good a show of the Sturm und Drang as you could possibly hope for.

Readers are sending their photos in so if you’ve got one send it to images@the-riotact.com

(Slideshow below thanks to “alloneword“, and John Lafferty)

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
The New Year’s Day electrical storm
smont 4:27 pm 02 Jan 11

Thunder and lightening very intense over Weston Creek for about 90 mins from 12.30am, accompanied by intense rain. The official BOM figures only showed 5mm of rain at Canberra Airport and 11mm at Tuggeranong, but Weston Creek was definitely much higher (a neighbour’s rain guage showed 26mm).

Mr Evil 3:46 pm 02 Jan 11

Great photos!

There was a huge power spike sometime just before midnight(?) that seemed to take out all the digital channels on the TV – I was watching Waterworld at the time (what an ‘awesome’ movie!) – and this was before the lightning had even reached Canberra.

I sat out under the veranda and watched these two storm fronts pass through, and I don’t think I have seen so many groundstrikes in a storm like this before.

georgesgenitals 3:25 pm 02 Jan 11

I found it amusing that the Bureau of Meteorology withdrew it’s storm warning at 9.41pm last night…

oddball508 3:22 pm 02 Jan 11

Thanks for the photo complements. I posted some more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/25223017@N00/sets/72157622921790403/

Swaggie 1:32 pm 02 Jan 11

Driving southbound on the GDE at about 12.15 am and I noticed Telstra Tower was completely blacked out then headed for Tuggeranong was like driving into a scene from Armageddon – wonderful and far far better than any New Years Eve Fireworks. Mt Taylor seemed to take a hammering with multiple direct hits from the lightning.

Dacquiri 12:53 pm 02 Jan 11

Local ABC Radio did not seem to be on air, either — just the usual country music stuff and Sydney-based news, with no mention of Canberra’s broadcast outage. Also thought it was strange that such a major signal fault was not reported by online news by ABC, Can.Times or SMH.
BTW, what added to the impact of the storm was the fact that, if you were driving around at 1am last night, you would have thought you were in one of those ‘entire city wiped out’ movie scenes: no sign of life anywhere. Imagine driving down Wm Hovell, Drake Brockman, Benjamin Way, Belconnen Way, Coulter Dr., etc. with NO cars, no signs of life, and just surrounded by thunder and that incredible lightning. (Husband was loving it, but I insisted we go home when the torrential rain started!)

fgzk 12:30 pm 02 Jan 11

Dacquiri… In an “emergency” I tune to 666 am for all the local news.

Great photos.

Mr Gillespie 12:23 pm 02 Jan 11

Dacqiri (6) WIN News are taking another extended holiday, plus they never show a bulletin on the wankends anyway (with the exception of the 2003 Firestorm). The local news drought here is getting more and more severe and bugger-all seems to be done about it.

steveu 12:04 pm 02 Jan 11

Incredible photos – well done. Around Urambi Hills it seemed to be very focused – double thunder and lightning etc. Most the carnage started around 0110 and finished 30 mins later. I wish I had the sense at the time to get out the video and film the storm.

Dacquiri 12:02 pm 02 Jan 11

See also photos by Nathanael Boehm: http://nbphotoblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/canberra-storm-1-january-2011/

The real question is: why is there absolutely nothing in any news media this morning (that I could find) about a major outage that took out all radio & tv in the nation’s capital? This has never happened before in my 21 years in Canberra. It really made me think about how easy it is to shut down telecommunications (phones still worked, but I was told that the frequency used by emergency services would have been affected). Interesting to consider that in an emergency — such as a bushfire caused by the lightning strikes (and take my word for it, it was extremely scary to be in the middle of it, along Drake-Brockman Dr at 1am…) — there would have been no local radio or tv to issue warnings.

T1G3R 11:19 am 02 Jan 11

Oh man this storm had war of the worlds written all over it. My whole house was lit up with light every 2 seconds yet i couldnt hear any thunder/rain. Was hard to get to sleep :/

GardeningGirl 11:10 am 02 Jan 11

Great pics!

dvaey 10:30 am 02 Jan 11

I tried grabbing some photos of the light show last night, but they all appeared to be ‘behind’ the clouds with not many proper strikes. Great photos in the album tho.

toriness 9:35 am 02 Jan 11

great photos!

Hells_Bells74 9:25 am 02 Jan 11

Very nice pictures. Thanks!

Lightning may’ve hit Telstra Tower or something similiar, was listening (or complaining about the repetition at least) to the party mix on the radio late last night and then the next moment I wasn’t. AM was still okay, but no FM on any of our radios. Not sure when it came back to us, if it did, I gave up and put a DVD on.

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