Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

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Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby Storm Wolf » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:05 pm

Moved from other thread on Fu's request:

For anyone who is interested, this is Stormgirl's article: (Click the link for the photos)

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/was-storm-chasers-with-an-eye-for-nasty-weather/story-e6frg12c-1226040176555

THEY look like any ordinary couple, but when the weather turns bad this Perth ranger and his supermarket manager partner ditch their day jobs and become storm chasers.

In the past four years Arek Mazurkiewicz, 34, and his partner Marie Freitag, 28, have taken hundreds of photos of more than a dozen lightning storms across WA.

Like scenes from the movie Twister, the self-taught photographers monitor weather websites and have learnt how to identify when powerful storms are building. And when they hit, no matter the time or place, the Lockridge couple drop what they're doing, grab the camera, load up their four-wheel-drive and head for the centre of the storm.

Ms Freitag said there had been some hairy moments, but their fascination for wild weather kept them coming back for more.

"It's just a passion I've had for a few years," she said. "It's something I enjoy so much. Even when I feel a bit under the weather, when I hear there's a storm coming, nothing stops me chasing it."

The scariest moment came last month during a thunderstorm that battered Toodyay and dumped 50mm of rain.

"We were heading to the lookout tower, but there was too much water flowing down the dirt track we were on and we had to stop," Ms Freitag said.

"We had to sit there for about five minutes because we couldn't see anything and the road was just flooded. I was hoping we were safe in the car but when you're around so many trees, it's dangerous." The couple knew what was coming before last year's violent Perth hailstorm in March.

"We looked at the models and knew it was going to be a big storm that day," Ms Freitag said. "So I took the day off work for the storm and got to Ocean Reef at midday. We saw schoolkids cycling home and I was shouting at them that a 'hailstorm is coming, you've got to get inside' and they were all just looking at me like I was crazy.

"That March storm was one of the scariest ones. We just drive right into them, but fortunately the car wasn't damaged by the hail stones.

"We got a bit close to the lightning then, a few times it was right above us. I looked up and thought, 'that's a bit too close'."

Mr Mazurkiewicz said being so close to the storm was "awe-inspiring".
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Re: Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby Fu Manchu » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:46 pm

silvercloud wrote:Nice story on Stormgirl and her partner. Good find Nev.

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Re: Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby Fu Manchu » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:47 pm

Big congrats there my dear.

Remember that storm near York in early March 2009? That was corker. You got some great shots.

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Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby SimonB » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:13 pm

Yes, just a quick note to add my congrats on the photo and the article, well done!
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Re: Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby Tasman » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:05 pm

Hey congrats, thats cool!!

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Re: Stormgirl's photos and storm chasing - The Sunday Times

Postby @weather_wa » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:26 pm

Congrats on the article! Image

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