2010 was a very slow year for thunderstorms in Canterbury, I could see in the models potential for thunderstorms on this day however so after work headed south with a friend Mike and we set up near Ladbrooks south of Christchurch awaiting the front moving in. The timing was good in that we were both free to chase when the front arrived. The West Coast of the South Island got some interesting weather in March 2010 also with a tornado reported in Murchison the same day as these storms that moved through Canterbury, it hit there at 1.30pm in the afternoon. The very next day a tornado hit just southeast of Greymouth in Marsden at 3.45pm on the 25th March, so goes to show the weather can be quite interesting in New Zealand at times.
So, back to the chase. Me and Mike set up around 6.30pm near Ladbrooks and took a few snaps of the approaching gust front.
We observed some lightning from this location, as the southerly started to hit we thought it best to be on the move back towards Christchurch so we could keep ahead of the storm. I took another photo as the gust front moved over us from a spot not far from where we started. And here’s a lightning frame taken from video footage, still south of Christchurch at this time.
Overall I didn’t take too many photos chasing this time round as rain was falling quite often after this point on. We did video alot though so a chase summary video is available at the bottom to watch.
We went back towards Christchurch heading through Halswell then Cashmere, then drove up the port hills to the summit road to watch the storm as it headed over Lyttleton Harbour then off to the northeast beyond the coast. We saw some small hail had fallen on the tops of the port hills a bit earlier but nothing very big, pea sized perhaps. Mikey and me also saw a fair few more lightning strikes during this time and that’s about all the can be said really. Nothing amazing about this storm chase from our point of view but as always it was good to be out there.