The storm chasers hunting bolts in Australia’s Top End
Our photographer hits the road with seasoned storm chasers in the Northern Territory to track down some of the regions famous lightning storms
Im standing on a dirt track somewhere in the wilds of Australias Northern Territory and in every direction I look the indigo sky is being shredded by bolts of electrical energy. Its unlike anything Ive ever seen before. Ive been hunting a lightning show and boy have I found one.
Suddenly Im very conscious of natures imposing scale and, more importantly right now, my proximity to a bared-wire fence the kind of object thats likely to attract a strike. We should probably get in the car, says Mike ONeill, the veteran Darwin storm chaser who's led me here. Reluctantly, I agree.
The Top End is one of the worlds most active regions for lightning and sees almost daily storms between November and March every year. A single storm can produce more than a thousand bolts in a matter of hours. Intense tropical heat combined with sea breezes and coastal moisture provides the perfect fuel.