Australian Weather Calendar: November 2019

November photgraph by Mauricio Bacchi Photography

Storming home

Growing up in São Paulo before moving to Australia in 2008, Mauricio Bacchi noticed a similarity between the weather patterns in Brazil and those in the place he now calls home on Sydney's Northern Beaches, Manly. 'In São Paulo we always had what we used to call “summer rain” in the late afternoon, something not as dramatic as the storm I captured but always wet enough to cool down the summer days a bit,' he says. 'I grew up in a huge city, but now living on the beach you can really see the storms develop and I also have the feeling that they are a lot more powerful.' Mauricio's passion for photography started with an old Polaroid camera that his grandfather gave him many years ago. He had it stashed away for several years, then one day out of the blue decided to fix it and learn how to use it. He hasn't stopped shooting since then. In 1999 he began learning the art of old-style photography on black and white film and developing photos in a darkroom. These days he embraces the latest technology, specialising in drone photography and producing huge panoramic shots. And while he travels back to Brazil every now and then to see family, when it comes to photographing amazing weather, Mauricio says there's no place like home.

The science

The ominous supercell thunderstorm in this photo was generated as a cold front moved across New South Wales. A supercell is a very strong, long-lived type of thunderstorm that can maintain itself for many hours. Supercells are characterised by internal rotation and a continuous large updraught. Their size, longevity and potential for severe weather conditions make them quite dangerous. They are generally the most severe thunderstorms we experience. This one displays spectacular arcus, or shelf clouds. These low, horizontal wedge-shaped clouds attached to the base of the parent cloud are formed by the outflow from the thunderstorm.