Satellites, lightning sensors and phone cameras have captured the epic journey of a thunderstorm complex that produced around 1 million lightning strikes across nearly 2,000 km of the Australian outback.
A small set of thunderstorms developed over the Simpson Desert on Sunday morning as a low pressure trough passed through central Australia.
At 11am AEST, the storms were near the junction of the SA, NT and QLD borders, causing lightning and rumbles of thunder around Birdsville.
By the middle of the afternoon, added heat from the ground had caused the storms to intensify and become more widespread through western QLD and the NT.
At 5pm AEST, an intense storm produced a wind gust of 109km/h at The Monument Airport in far west QLD. These blustery winds, which were caused by outflow from the approaching thunderstorm, kicked up a wall of dirt that engulfed roads and towns across western QLD the NT’s eastern inland.