Monsoon Weather Over Pioneer Valley
July 2012

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I spent several days in Pioneer Valley, northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona photographing the summer thunderstorms associated with the monsoon weather. Warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico moved into the area on Thursday, July 19.

I shot exposures at five second intervals to assemble a time lapse movie. At night the exposures were four seconds long to capture the flashes of lightning.

This display is assembled from still frames of that movie.

I reprocessed the lightning sequences from my Monsoon Weather Over Flagstaff video to improve the visibility of the lightning.

July 19, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:53 AM: The morning of July 19 was overcast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:00 AM: Blue sky began to show through the clouds.

July 20, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:45 AM: Stratus clouds remain from the night before.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:45 AM: Solar heating dissipates the stratus clouds.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 9:02 AM: Cumulus clouds begin to form over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:04 AM: Cumulus clouds build up as stratus clouds drift across the sky.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:36 AM: A large cumulus cloud builds on the far side of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:45 AM: Small cumulus clouds begin to develop downwind of the Old Caves Cinder Cone.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 12:58 PM: A cumulus cloud builds above the Old Caves Cinder Cone as cloud activity increases across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:25 PM: The sky is overcast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:43 PM: A rainshower obscures part of the Eldon Hills

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:58 PM: The rainshower drifts behind the Old Caves Cinder Cone.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:26 PM: The rainshower moves on, revealing the Eldon Hills.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 4:07 PM: The sky remains overcast.

July 21, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:45 AM: Mid-altitude stratus clouds and high altitude stratus formed from moisture that was pumped high in the troposhpere by thunderstorm activity dissipate under the morning sun..

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:01 AM: Cumulus clouds begin to form over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:07 AM: A Cumulus cloud begins to form over the Old Caves Cinder Cone.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:16 AM: High-altitude lenticular clouds form above rising cumulus clouds. Moisture in air that is moving sideways at high altitude condenses as the sir rises over the updrafts. The moisture evaporates again as the air descends after passing over the updrafts.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:34 AM: Cumulus activity spreads across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:43 AM: Cumulus clouds drift across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 12:53 AM: Cumulus clouds drift across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 1:54 PM: The sky is nearly overcast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:03 PM: Blue sky appears through holes in the overcast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:14 PM: After sunset, a rainshower approaches from the East.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:17 PM: Lightning illumiates the falling rain under a cumulonimbus cell.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:22 PM: The storm spawned large cloud-to ground lightning bolts.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:24 PM: Lightning.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:27 PM: Lightning.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:28 PM: Lightning.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:30 PM: Lightning.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:39 PM: Lightning.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:24-8:57 PM: Composite image of lightning strikes was assembled from ten exposures made from 8:24 to 8:57 PM.

Sell Art Online Lightning Over Pioneer Valley, Arizona on July 21, 2012: You can buy this photo as prints as large as 16" x 24".

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:24-8:57 PM: Grayscale version of the image above.Composite image of lightning strikes was assembled from ten exposures made from 8:24 to 8:57 PM.

July 22, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:40 AM: Cumulus clouds begin to form over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 12:04 PM:Scattered cumulus clouds drift across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:21 PM: Cumulus clouds approach from the Southeast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:27 PM: The top of a mature cumulonimbus cell drifts eastward as the lower altitude cumulus clouds drift to the northwest.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:36 PM: A cumulonimbus cloud builds upward to the Stratosphere.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:47 PM: The top of the cumulonimbus cell spreads laterally as it reaches the stratosphere. A cumulus cloud builds on the left side of the image.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 4:20 PM: The cumulus cloud at left expands rapidly.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 4:34 PM: Cumulus clouds approach from the Southeast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 5:48 PM: A large cumulonimbus builds in the distance to the northeast.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:43 PM: A large cumulonimbus rises above the Navajo reservation to the east.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:14 PM: Cumulus clouds build over the area in front of the cumulonimbus.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 8:26 PM: The giant cumulonimbus cloud is the last thing to be illuminated by the sun.

July 23, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 9:50 AM: Cumulus clouds begin to form over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:04 AM: Cumulus activity spreads across the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:06 AM: Cumulus clouds build as the air moves over the San Francisco Peaks and then dissipate as the air descends on the lee side of the mountains.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:47 AM: Broken cumulus blanket the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:25 AM: Broken cumulus blanket the area.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 11:39 AM: Rain starts falling from the overcast sky.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 12:15 PM: A rainshower arrives, dropping raindrops on the camera lens.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:22 PM: Cumulus activity drops off for a while in the afternoon.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:49 PM: A large cumulonimbus rises above the Navajo reservation to the east.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 6:59 PM: Broken overcast at sunset.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:06 PM: Low altitude cumulus clouds spread in front of the cumulonimbus cloud.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:23 PM: The giant cumulonimbus cloud is the last thing to be illuminated by the sun.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:48 PM: Orange sunlight, filtered by its passage through the atmosphere illuminates the bottom of the broken stratus.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:51 PM: The sunlight fades.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:53 PM: The sunlight fades.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 7:55 PM: The end of the day.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 9:39-9:52 PM: A massive cumulonimbus system flashes with lightning every few seconds for about an hour. Most of these images were assembled from multiple four-second exposures to create images of the entire system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 9:52-9:56 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 9:57-10:09 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:13-10:17 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:18-10:21 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:19 PM: A single four second exposure reveals nearly the entire cumulonimbus system lit up at once.

Sell Art Online Lightning Over Flagstaff, Arizona on July 23, 2012: You can buy this photo as prints as large as 16" x 24".

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:19 PM: Grayscale version of the image above. A single four second exposure reveals nearly the entire cumulonimbus system lit up at once.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:25-10:36 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 10:28-10:36 PM: Composite image of a giant cumulonimbus system.

July 24, 2012

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:33 AM: An active thunderstorm rages over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks. Another thunderstorm over the peaks flashes brightly every few minutes. Rain from the foreground thunderstorm obscures the storm in the background on the left side of the image. The lights of Flagstaff lend a slight red glow to the rain from the storm.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:37 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:45 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:48 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:51 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:52 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:53 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:53 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 2:56 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:03 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:04 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:09 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:17 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:19 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:26 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:32 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:33 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:44 AM: Lightning over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:46 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:51 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:55 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:57 AM: Lightning over the San Francisco Peaks.

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:33-3:57 AM: Old Caves Cinder Cone is silhouetted against rain from a storm over the San Francisco Peaks, which are silhouetted against other lightning storms in the distance. The peaks stand a mile above the surrounding plain and those clouds in the distance are eight miles tall. Composite of six exposures.

Sell Art Online Lightning Over San Francisco Peaks, Arizona on July 24, 2012: You can buy this photo as prints as large as 16" x 24".

Pioneer Valley, July, 2012 3:33-3:57 AM: Grayscale version of the image above.



More Lightning Photos

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