It's tropical storm season here at the moment and this year it has been particularly bad. Tonight we've been treated to yet another fantastic lightning storm after a very hot day, but it was rather mild compared to what happened on Sunday 16th November when we had the worst storms for 30 years.
Luckily we escaped the worst of it where we live on the south side of the Brisbane river. No such luck for those in the northern suburbs, especially The Gap where my boss lives.
This YouTube video shows how bad it got in The Gap. In particular watch what happens from 1 minute and 30 seconds in:
My boss's house was without power for 4 days after this.
On Thursday the 20th November we had another big storm, and this time I got caught in it. I was working in the city at a client site and left a little early to go to my office for the first of our 2 Xmas parties - this one being the one where clients were invited. In the office, we had the weather radar up on one of the Plasma screens so we could watch the storm coming in. When we realised it was heading straight for us many of us decided to leave to try and get home before the worst of it reached us, particularly after what had happened the previous Sunday. So I set off walking to the train station (as my usual bus didn't run that late) and got half way there when the heavens opened, and as is typical, I'd happened to have left my umbrella at the client site.
The rain was coming down so ferociously that I decided to take shelter in a shop entrance and wait until the worst of it was over, thinking that it would only be a short one. Twenty minutes later it was still horizontal rain so I thought bugger it and set off again on a brisk walk.
Near the train station there is an area where I need to cross two major roads with a traffic island in the middle. I crossed the first road and just as I got to the traffic island the hailstones started. I couldn't believe it. Whilst waiting for the traffic lights to change, in a very short period of time the hailstones started coming down faster and in increased size. I was watching them fall all around me - the size of golf balls. The thing is, for that short period of time I had absolutely nowhere to hide. I was stuck, and the hailstones were coming down that hard I thought to myself if one of these hits me smack on the head I'm going to be in trouble. Yet, the unbelievable part is that none of them hit me. They were falling all around my feet yet I managed to stand through it for a good 2 minutes before the traffic lights change, and then run across the road to shelter without a single one hitting me.
Talk about lucky!