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LATEST SKY EVENTS

Updated July 12th 2016

Carnroe Salmon Fishing By Drone - NEW

New drone video filmed last week at Carnroe Salmon Fishing outside Kilrea. This was a fun shoot and a combination of four different flights using four batteries while battling a Wly breeze over the water. This was a very dramatic place with beautiful weir and flowing water with three fishermen and boats on location. I captured several salmon trying to jump over the weir, check out the slow motion sections of these jumps and the wonderful view of the entire location at 120m high. I had permission to film here and the fishermen knew what I was doing and even pointed out areas where the salmon were jumping which helped alot with filming. Best watched at 1080p.

Glenshane Road Mean Storm Structure Report - NEW

New Report

The atmosphere looked energetic on June 23rd 2016 with 700 CAPE, LIs of -5 with soundings indicating low cloud bases accompanied by a moist SWly flow with 30 knots of speed shear producing a risk of heavy showers and organised thunderstorms with a chance of hail to 1.5cm and funnel clouds/weak tornadoes. This turned into a very rewarding day involving three chases in my local area beginning with a high precip convective line from Maghera then getting high rewards in the form of the most dramatic storm structure I have captured in years over the Glenshane Road in the form of a huge sheared updraught base complimentd by a dramatic line of storm clouds extending for miles across the sky in the late evening light sporting rare globular cloud structures as multiple sunlit updraughts rapidly expanded in real time aloft. One page report with 18 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

Maghera Sunset Rainbow By Drone - June 29th

On Thursday evening I was at home in Maghera and sunset was approaching however the radar indicated several showers about to pass over the area too and I began to wonder could I get the drone up to film a rainbow?. The showers arrived, then like magic a beautiful almost complete rainbow manifested across the eastern sky. The shower which generated it was still falling however it was light so I launched the Phantom 3 Advanced from the back garden and ascended through the evening shower filming as I climbed higher into the sky. The rain eased then stopped and I ended up have a terrific view of this apparition, at it's peak the bow had primary and secondary bands and supernumerary arcs inside the primary, I hovered at 105m above the surface and watched as a formation of anticrepuscular rays and a vivid dark shadow fanned through the rainbow, this is a 12mp still taken during that moment.

Drone video footage of the Maghera rainbow best viewed at 1080p, the bow gets much more dramatic in appearance after the five minute mark just before the sun set when the light was perfect.

Beautiful Rope Funnel Cloud Report Online - NEW

Rope Funnel Cloud Report

After years of chasing, hundreds of miles on the road, and countless hours scanning the skies I finally captured my first decent funnel cloud in years during the late morning hours on Friday June 24th 2016 from near home in Maghera. Unstable air with 700+ CAPE with a slack flow and localised convergence zones produced a beautiful well defined rope funnel cloud from the base of a mean cell sitting over the hills outside of town. The funnel rotated in perfect view for 10 min's sporting a lovely curved profile with translucent condensation funnel composed of two vortices embedded inside. I obtained a selection of images and video clips with the DSLR and 400mm lens as the funnel performed its silent dance in the skies while I watched in complete comfort in warm sunshine in the company of beautiful storm clouds building over the vibrant fields near home which made for a perfect day. One page report with 11 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

Ballintra Thunderstorms & Lough Neagh Epic Lightning Display Report - NEW

New Chase Report

On June 6th I did a solo chase to Co. fermanagh then into Ballintra where I intercepted two lively thunderstorms with high sferics rates and rich thunder on the hills in the middle of nowhere with the second storm sporting a nice shelf cloud, I arrived back home after 10 hours on the road only to be hitting the road once again to intercept a plume-type elevated thunderstorm which originated in Wales, crossed the Irish Sea, then impacted E. N. Ireland after dark. I met Conor McDonald ad John Fagan at Ballyronan Marina and three of watched the best night time lightning display since 2005 with three hours of lightning ending in close range bolts over the water which delivered monsoon style rainfall and a freak audio phenomena through the darkness which left us all thrilled. One page report with 17 images and 2 video clips. - REPORT.

Drone Footage of Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Drumlamph Report - NEW

I have always wanted to film hot air balloons with a drone and that chance finally appeared one beautiful warm Summer's evening on June 8th 2016 when in the process of walking through Drumlamph Woodland near Maghera. By chance and with amazing luck a formation of seven hot air balloons rose from a field adjacent to the woods close beside me, I got my Phantom 3 Adv in the air and managed to obtain beautiful footage of the balloons in transit across the western sky at golden hour. The climax happened when one of the balloons eclipsed the sun over a backdrop of the Sperrins and ancient Drumlamph woodland. One page report with 1 image and 1 video clip. - REPORT.

Multiple Thunderstorm Intercepts Near Home Report - NEW

Chase Report

One of two reports covering three days of storm chasing during a dramatic thundery outbreak producing high CAPE and active electrical thunderstorms across N. Ireland for several days in a row. On June 7th 2016 the cap broke during the early afternoon resulting in explosive updraught development across my home area. Conor McDonald and I went chasing locally and made multiple thunderstorm intercepts across Benbradagh mountain, Maghera and Knockloughrim. The storms were slow moving and producing rich lightning strike rates with many rumbles of thunder tapping into over 1000 CAPE of energy on a warm and humid Summer's day. One page report with 11 images and 1 video clip. - REPORT.

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Image Reports

N. Ireland Storm Chasing Reports

Astronomy is not the only subject I'm interested in. One other such area is severe weather which will be playing a major role on nightskyhunter from now on in conjunction with my other astronomical pursuits. Check out my new N. Ireland Storm Chasing section and view the chase reports and images which detail not only storms but other phenomena such as a moonbows, noctilucent clouds and aurora displays.

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Martin McKenna

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