Photographer captures a rare weather phenomenon that surrounds the stunning moment when a huge, awe-inspiring “shelf cloud” rolls across the Atlantic.

  • The photographer was hoping for a shelf cloud but it wasn’t quite as stunning.
  • Australia’s La Nina weather pattern has begun to show dramatic signs of summer 
  • Australia experienced its most wet November in 121 year’s, with the exception of 1900.


Vaughan Laws goes out after storms, when people tend to be taking cover, putting down the hatches, and pulling the doona tighter. 

Sometimes he even captures a beauty like this one from Melbourne’s Frankston on Thursday. He rates it among his top five photos ever. 

After Mr Laws learned that the forecast called for heavy thunderstorms, severe winds, hailstones, and damaging rains, he quickly grabbed his camera and set off to take the photos he was looking for. 

He correctly guessed and snapped a shelf cloud looking like a rolling humpback whale. He got also a little wet.

Vaughan Laws has taken tens of thousands of pictures, but rates this one in his top five ever

Vaughan Laws is a photographer who has taken thousands upon thousands of photographs, but this picture ranks among his top five.

Daily Mail Australia: He said that he knew severe storms were coming to the Bay Area so he was going out in preparation. 

Australia’s La Nina weather pattern has begun to show signs of life after the country experienced the most wet November in 121 years. 

This was Australia’s coolest November in 1999, after the La Nina events. 

An awe-inspiring shelf cloud captured by Melbourne photographer Vaughan Laws

Vaughan Laws, a Melbourne photographer captured this amazing shelf cloud.

He didn’t expect to see something this dramatic.

What’s a Shelf Cloud? 

Shelf clouds are low horizontal cloud with a wedge-shaped shape. 

The attachment is made to the base cloud of the parent, usually a thunderstorm cumulonimbus.  

Rising cloud motion can often be seen in the outer part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind-torn.

Source: Wikipedia 

“I had expected to see a shelf cloud. But, it didn’t seem quite like that.” 

He said, “I expected there to be lightning but everybody on the beach was pretty shocked with what they saw.”

“I love capturing such moments on film. 

It’s a thrilling experience to be able to see the extreme weather. It’s fun to chase after this type of shot.

Laws took tens to thousands of photos in his lifetime, making this one of his most memorable.

It’s likely in the top 10 or top 5 of all the courses I’ve taken. He said, “It’s certainly up there at the top.” 

One man was not discouraged by the rain nor 100km/h wind gusts. He wanted to capture the perfect shot. 

He stated, “I was sitting between two cars trying to take more photos at the same”  

“That storm was very fast, so it cleared the air and is now heading east.” 

Laws admitted that sometimes he does reach dangerous heights, however it was not something that occurred to him tonight. 

“There were times that I was in Northern Victoria, where there have been drier storms at close range and lightning. 

“That’s when your camera goes outside and you get in the car.

His camera also features technology that can be triggered by lightning to capture a photo.    

However, Thursday’s effort was made by one man with his camera and he braved the elements to capture awe-inspiring images.  

When most people are taking cover, Vaughan Laws is out chasing storms for shots such as this

Vaughan Laws goes out after storms, even though most people take cover.

As the “big sky doona” rolls in, Victoria’s storm clouds are spectacular. Melbourne gets hammered by severe weather 

Daily Mail Australia – Sam McPhee

As experts predict more floods and severe storms to hit Victoria, residents have witnessed spectacular rain clouds above Melbourne that look almost like it is in a big sky.

After flash flooding from regional and major cities, heavy rain has caused severe weather in large parts of Victoria.

After Wednesday’s severe weather, the Bureau of Meteorology issued warnings to large parts of Victoria.

Sunbury, in Melbourne’s West was covered in hail that looked almost like snow. Flash flooding in Footscray caused cars to be swept downstream.

As rising waters inundated streets and sidewalks, pubs and cafés offering outdoor dining were forced to move their tables and chairs.

BOM has released a broad-based warning zone, which covers Geelong and Ballarat as well as Bacchus Marsh, Daylesford, Daylesford, and Bacchus Marsh.

SES reported that they had received more than 220 calls by Wednesday. Most of these were related to property damage due to flash flooding or falling trees.

More than 6 000 homes were affected. 

Melbourne’s west was the hardest hit by the weather. Sunbury and Maribyrnong were the most severe. 

Reports indicated that 15 km commutes to the city took motorists over three hours.

On Wednesday, winds at Tullamarine Airport were 106 km/h