Snappers warned to stay safe

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph

Pilbara emergency services are warning amateur storm chasers to keep their distance from extreme weather.

Tropical cyclone Joyce travelled along the Pilbara coast, producing some exciting lightning photographs.

Hedland State Emergency Services local unit manager Keith Squibb said storm weather systems during the season could produce a deadly mix of lightning, rain and floodwaters.

“My advice is take your photos safely, make sure you tell someone where you’re going and also give them an estimated time you’ll be back, what you’ve got with you,” he said.

“Don’t get up close and personal. You can still take some spectacular photos from quite a distance away.”

Pilbara photographer Gavin Canning of Electric Images Australia said fellow snappers should always be prepared and maintain a safe distance.

“It is always best to stay out of the storm’s way as a primary precaution,” he said.

“When I head out to photograph lightning I always check the radar and lightning tracker online to see which direction the storm is mov-ing.

“I then will try to position myself on the edge of the storm, not in the path of the storm’s movement.

“If for any reason you feel you are in danger it is best to stay away from things like trees, power poles, water puddles and fencing as this will increase the likelihood of a nearby strike which can injure or kill, just as much as a direct strike, due to side flash or electrical transfer through the ground.

“Although high hills are a great vantage point for photographing lightning it is not a recommended place to be with a storm nearby.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails