Chasers thunderstruck

Perth Weather Live founder Steve Brooks. Picture: Elle Borgward d427611
Perth Weather Live founder Steve Brooks. Picture: Elle Borgward d427611

The group hit home with weather lovers around the world, with nearly 120,000 people following the group’s Facebook page and millions watching its incredible storm footage and images.

Mr Brooks and a team of 30 eager storm chasers scattered across WA from Karratha to Albany are gearing up for another summer storm season that already looks likely to surpass a lacklustre season last year.

‘Last year was a bit disappointing; while modelling looks like it’ll be an average season, it can change and often means there are isolated storms,’ he said.

The summer storm season peaks between December and April but early-season storms often build up in spring.

‘It’s the higher temperatures and instability that will produce storms,’ he said.

Rockingham and Kwinana are often treated to spectacular light shows when thunderstorms form off Perth’s coast and make their way down the coast.

It was one of those that was the most intense and memorable Mr Brooks’ witnessed.

‘A storm formed off Rottnest in November last year then rolled over Rockingham and crossed the coast at Halls Head; it was still going strong as it crossed while I sat watching it pass by,’ he said.

His passion for storm chasing was sparked while working in the State’s north and seeing cyclones and severe low-pressure systems. Mr Brooks said he still gets that buzz chasing storms.

‘It’s a hard feeling to describe when you’re waiting for a storm, parked on a road or in a paddock and it’s dead quiet and you see this massive object in the distance slowly roll towards you,’ he said.

‘Mother nature is so impressive and powerful. My dream is to go to tornado alley in the USA; that is the Holy Grail.

‘I’ve had a few eerie moments when I felt a tingle on my neck when there was lightning in the air. In a big storm I don’t sleep, often I keep going for 48 hours.’