Storm's a kick for lads
NORTHERN Rivers Storm Chasers is a new Facebook page that has attracted more than 500 followers since its inception last April.
Goonellabah's Dylan Bingham and Antonio Parancin, both 21, are the faces behind the online page.
The young men dedicate most of their free time to scan, chase, record and warn the Northern Rivers of any wild weather activity in the area.
Mr Bingham is the manager of a fast food shop in Casino while Mr Parancin is a part time web developer and TAFE student.
But when the weather models predict wild wind and lightning, they jump in their cars to chase the storms.
"We're only on our second season of (storm) chasing so we have lots to learn. We wanted to have a hundred followers on Facebook but we got to 500 already" said Mr Parancin.
The pair expects to improve their skills in photography and meteorology, so they can sell photos and offer tourism packages to those looking for more extreme experiences.
"Safety is important for us, we ensure we get under cover first, and then we record the storm. It can be lots of fun and stressful but safety goes first" said Dylan Bingham.
The pair's website, www.ncstormchasers.com provides real-time weather updates for Goonellabah every 10 seconds thanks to their own weather station located at their house.
So what does a storm chaser really do?
Mr Parancin explained that they "look at some computer models. If they show some indication of instability in the air, we measure other values that produce thunderstorms. If we like what we see, we go out to an area of interest."
Their main goal is "to photograph the storm and to observe the different structures".
"We also like to provide online warnings to people living in this area" said Mr Parancini.
The lads chase storms up north into South East Queensland, down south to Coffs Harbour and inland to Tenterfield or Armidale.
"The Northern Rivers has good levels of heat and moisture. Anywhere more South or West it gets too dry. Storms do happen there, but they are more frequent here," said Antonio Parancini.
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/ncstormchasers
See a storm chasing video: