Posted by: Paul Sheringhams blog: a place of running dreams come true | October 27, 2017

After the storm

Thursday afternoon had it all.

A build up mushroom storm cells out off the ocean at Park Beach. Cycling around its centre, drawing more clouds into its heart. Curtains of rain falling to the ocean and onto the hills of the Orara escarpment. An ominous build up of dark clouds from the south. A shadow looming over the Jetty.

Lightning and thunder.  A lady and her children were out swimming in the ocean, a paddle boarder and surfers, and I thought this storm looks pretty serious and I wouldn’t be out in it.

The storm headed out to sea, and for a short while a rainbow, a short arc of it disappearing into the rain clouds. And then the rainbow disappeared into the ghostly golden grey light. The sun an orb shining weakly through the clouds. And then hail began to fall, small at first, then larger and larger in size, hitting the bonnet of my car, so hard that the car actually bounced on its axles.


Storm approaching

It probably lasted only 5 minutes until the hail reduced in size.


The storm cell moves out to sea

I drove around the Jetty in the aftermath. The grass was covered in hail, steam rose above the cooled bitumen roads. Shredded leaves of trees from the Beacon Hill Littoral Rainforest lay on the ground. I spoke to a swimmer who had been hit by hail while in the water. Owner of utes scooped hail out their cars where it had accumulated. People emerging from the aftermath with a story to tell.


Hail on the grass


Hail on the Jetty


A line of hail deposited on the northern side of the Jetty

Then I head to Gallows Beach to photograph the sunset. The sand of the beach had divets where the hail landed, a bit like a sand bunker on a golf course.

After that came the lightning display as the storm went out to sea. A crowd gathered at Beacon Hill, exclaiming as the clouds lit up internally with each lightning strike. I tried ot photograph but it was a failure, the ISO was set to auto, so the camera tried to expose for the whole scene, the results were grainy and out of focus. I needed ISO 100, so the camera exposed for the lightning not the while scene.

So about 5 hours of fun.







  1. Fabulous series.

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