A lightning strike occurs out in the Arizona desert during the Monsoon.

Last night I found myself in a familiar spot, photographing the Arizona Desert Lightning. It felt great to finally be out for another year of chasing the Arizona Monsoon. 

Arizona Desert Lightning Strikes Near 4 Peaks

My buddy Bryan Snider and I headed out in the earlier evening in hopes of photographing lightning. National Weather service models had indicated a good line of storms northeast of Phoenix along the Beeline highway. As we made our way two large anvils were staring us down. The race was on!

The area we chose to pull off was the Bush highway overpass. This section leads to an open area of the desert that affords a nice view of the Four Peaks Mountains along with several valleys. We had arrived just before sunset which afforded us some of the those iconic Arizona sunsets.

The Arizona sunset flares during the Monsoon.

Bryan was able to get a timelapse of this sunset. Needless to say it was a beauty. As the sun wound down we turned our attention to the lightning beginning to fire near Four Peaks. The bolts started dropping but sparingly. It wasn’t a great barrage of strikes but enough to justify the trip. I wound up getting about 5 strikes from this storm. They were all single bolts and very similar in looks and composition. I chose the best one to post here. What I like best about this one is how you can see the rain shaft wrapped around the lightning strike.

We finished up here and ended up making our way over to the bowels of the southeast valley. There were some storms firing off south of Superior that looked promising. Of course as we made it there the storms had begun to die off. A typical story of storm chasing. Drive all that way to see Mother Nature pull the plug.

Admitting defeat we decided to head for home. A quick stop to In-N-Out was necessary to refuel with a cheeseburger, fries, an Dr. Pepper. Despite only getting a few strikes, it was great time hanging out with Bryan. And to leave with one more image, I’m pretty sure I found the secret location of where tumbleweeds are created. Here is the secret factory.

The Arizona desert leads to the Four Peaks mountains for a gorgeous landscape of desert tumbleweeds.

Until next time.

 

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