Maryborough’s Allan Crotty, a meteorology enthusiast who was blinded in a childhood accident, picks up storm activity from his radio and records the sounds on CDs.
Maryborough’s Allan Crotty, a meteorology enthusiast who was blinded in a childhood accident, picks up storm activity from his radio and records the sounds on CDs. Jocelyn Watts

Storm season tees off

GOLFERS beware – lightning is attracted to your 5-iron.

Maryborough's blind stormchaser Allan Crotty, 70, said golfers tended to play to the last minute, which could find them in strife when thunderstorms were about.

“There's quite a high death rate from lightning strikes among golfers ... the metal in their clubs attracts the lightning,” Mr Crotty said.

The risk is expected to be higher this year with the Bureau of meteorology predicting above average tropical cyclone and thunderstorm activity.

The bureau's Jim Davidson said a La Nina climate phase would remain the dominating influence through the spring and summer months.

“This is where historically we could expect an average of four cyclones a season in the Coral Sea, we now expect the number to be potentially higher (up to six), but the number of cyclones actually making landfall can be quite variable.”

Mr Crotty, a meteorology enthusiast who was blinded in a childhood accident, said putting a number on how many cyclones to expect was dangerous.

“It could alarm people,” he said. “We just don't know, it could be nine or it could be three but I do agree we can expect more cyclones and thunderstorm activity this year.

“There should be much more than last season when we hardly got any, except the ripper I got on the recorder on December 22.”

Mr Crotty urged people to prepare early.

“We've had more rain than usual for this time of year. The ground is fairly saturated so it won't take much rain to flood.”

Trimming trees and securing loose objects will help minimise damage.



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