Lightning


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Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013

Thunderstorms moved through the Flagstaff area on Saturday, July 20. I set up a camera to shoot a time lapse movie of the lightning.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 7:41 PM: As the thundercell moved past about three miles away, this bolt struck just one mile away.

Photography Prints Lightning Flagstaff July 20 2013: Lightning strikes about one mile away during a monsoon thunderstorm near Flagstaff, Arizona on July 20, 2013.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 7:42 PM: Most of the lightning strikes were farther away.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 7:51 PM

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 8:07 PM: The storm moved southwest toward Flagstaff.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 8:33 PM: Some cloud-to-cloud lightning directly overhead lit up the entire neighborhood.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 8:47 PM: Another thundercell on the far side of the San Francisco Peaks was illuminated by flashes of lightning every few seconds. Old Caves Cinder Cone was silhouetted by the flashes.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 8:49 PM

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 8:55 PM

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 20, 2013 9:22 PM

Lightning Over Scottsdale Time Lapse Movie, August 23, 2012

Time lapse movie of a brief but very active lightning storm that blew through Scottsdale from 1:25 to 2:18 on the morning of August 23, 2012.. The speed of the action has been increased by a factor of 27.5.

Pioneer Valley Lightning Time Lapse Movie, July 21 - 24, 2012

Time lapse of three thunderstorms near Pioneer Valley on July 21, 23 and 24, 2012. A thundercell drifted by about three miles away just after sunset on July 21. A massive cumulonimbus system a few dozen miles to the south flashed with lightning every few seconds for about an hour the evening of July 23. Early in the morning on July 24, an active thunderstorm raged over the plains to the north of the San Francisco Peaks. Another thunderstorm over the peaks flashed brightly every few minutes. Rain from the foreground thunderstorm obscured the storm in the background on the left side of the image. The lights of Flagstaff lent a slight red glow to the rain from the storm. The peaks stand a mile above the surrounding plain and those clouds in the distance were eight miles tall. The speed of the action has been increased by a factor of 27.5.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 21, 2012

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.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, July 23, 2012

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.

Pioneer Valley Lightning, 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.

Lightning Time Lapse Movie

Time lapse movies of lightning storms in Santa Barbara County on August 30, 2007 and Phoenix on September 10, 2011. The speed of the action has been increased by a factor of 27.5.

Phoenix Thunderstorm Time Lapse Movie, September 10, 2011

Cumulonimbus clouds drift across the east valley bringing rain, lightning, and thunder on September 10, 2011. The speed of the action in this time lapse movie has been increased by a factor of 120 during the day and 150 after sunsset.

Phoenix Thunderstorm, September 10, 2011 This image was assembled from 22 exposures taken between 7:42 PM and 7:54 PM.

Santa Ynez Valley Lightning
August 30, 2007

Several thundercells blew across Santa Barbara County early in the morning of August 30. I drove up to San Marcos Pass to photograph the lightning from the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

August 30, 2007 Lightning strikes on the far side of San Rafael Peak over a span of 28 minutes.

Photography Prints You can buy framed prints of this photograph.

August 30, 2007 Another thundercell blew across Lompoc.

Time lapse: the speed of the action has been increased by 60x.

August 30, 2007 The Eye of Sauron.

Electric Eye: Different perspective of the lightning storm.

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

A thundercell drifted down the Santa Barbara Channel on the evening of November 12, 2003. I drove west to Gaviota to a turnout off of Highway 101 overlooking the channel. The two lights are a pair of oil production platforms.

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003 A streamer reached upward toward the sky from the platform on the right, but failed to connect with a lightning bolt.

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003

Santa Barbara Channel, November 12, 2003 The thundercell drifted out of the channel and into the open ocean.

Phoenix, Arizona, July 1999

Phoenix, Arizona, July 1999 Lightning from a monsoon storm in Phoenix, Arizona in July 1999.


Santa Barbara Channel, September 2, 1997

Isla Vista, September 2, 1997

Isla Vista, September 2, 1997 At three in the morning on September 2, 1997, a lightning storm drifted down the Santa Barbara Channel. I went out to the cliff in Isla Vista to shoot some pictures. The lightning was striking several miles offshore when I arrived. Directly overhead I could see the stars shining.

Isla Vista, September 2, 1997

Isla Vista, September 2, 1997 The lightning strikes moved quickly to my right and the time between the strikes and the thunder got down to just a couple of seconds. Sometimes the thunder could be heard ripping the sky directly overhead. Some of the bolts were so bright that my vision shut down completely for a couple of seconds except for the purple afterimage of the bolt.

Isla Vista, September 2, 1997 This lightning bolt convinced me to get back to the car. Note how lightning is entering the picture at several points along the top as well as from the right. The foreground is lit up from the front, so some of the lightning passed directly overhead. I only had to wait a couple of seconds to hear the thunder ripping the sky over my head after the bolt struck. This is the most foolishly dangerous picture I ever shot.

Photography Prints You can buy framed prints or greeting cards of this photo.

The rain arrived fast. I packed up my equipment and headed for the car. Before I got to my car, lightning struck the ground beyond it. It was hitting all around at that point.

I headed up the coast a few miles and shot some more pictures of the lightning over Ellwood Pier. Then the rain came again, so I headed for home.

The rain had already stopped when I got home about five minutes later, but the lightning was still striking between my house and the mountains. I set up the camera in the back yard and got some shots of the cumulonimbus illuminated from inside by lightning.

After several minutes, the storm had gone over the mountains into the Santa Ynez Valley. It was too far away to hear the thunder anymore. Occasionally, a bolt would arc out of the cloud and down a few miles to the ground. One bolt shot out of the cloud up toward space.


Inyo Mountains, September 1995

Inyo Mountains, September 1995 This was taken at an elevation of about 9,000 feet in the Inyo Mountains. The Sierra Nevada is visible on the far side of Owens Valley. The lightning was striking at the bottom of the valley, over a mile below. The multiple strike bolts lasted long enough for me to catch this daytime lightning photo.


Santa Barbara Channel, October 11, 1991

Santa Barbara Channel, October 11, 1991

A thundercell drifted down the Santa Barbara Channel on the evening of October 11, 1991. I drove west to Gaviota to a turnout off of Highway 101 overlooking the channel. The two lights are a pair of oil production platforms.

Santa Barbara Channel, October 11, 1991

Santa Barbara Channel, October 11, 1991

Photography Prints You can buy framed prints or greeting cards of this photograph.

Santa Barbara Channel, October 11, 1991

Saline Valley, April 1988

Saline Vallley, April 1988

Saline Vallley, April 1988

Saline Vallley, April 1988 An enormous lightning bolt struck a peak in the Saline Range above my Saline Valley campsite in April 1988. The storm came directly through camp. For a long time the sound of thunder did not stop. Another bolt struck before the thunder from the last bolt had ended.


Mono Craters, August 1986

Mono Craters, August 1986 This was taken just south of Mono Lake, looking toward Tioiga Pass. The small hill in the foreground was hit by numerous lightning strikes. The multiple strike lightning bolts lasted long enough to photograph in daytime.


Isla Vista, March 1980

Isla Vista, March 1980

Isla Vista, March 1980 This was taken from my bedroom window.

Isla Vista, March 1980

Isla Vista, March 1980

Isla Vista, March 1980



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