Lightning strikes in front of the Superstition Mountains during a monsoon storm.
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Superstition Mountain Lightning

Lightning strikes in front of the Superstition Mountains during a monsoon storm.

Tonight was a fun night photographing Superstition Mountain lightning. A last minute decision to drive out to one of my favorite areas paid off big time. 

Superstition Mountain Lightning Lights Up the Sky

The day started out with a lot of uncertainty regarding the forecast. Most of the models and experts I monitor to get a feel about the day’s weather had a lot of unanswered questions for today’s activities. Morning clouds left over from the previous night’s storm activity was preventing morning heating. This is a critical catalyst for storm development as the heating gives you unstable air. By noon the clouds were beginning to burn off down in the Tucson area so maybe all was not lost.

I watched the radar off and on throughout the afternoon to see if there was enough convection to get things going. Tucson had a handful of storms that did look respectful. Several pop up cells caused some significant damage in the San Tan area and near Picacho Peak.

By the time I got home from work, most of the storms had died off. Some went surprisingly quick given their intense build up. I was all set to give up on this night when one last look at the radar showed two cells tracking near the Superstition Mountains. It was a tough call but I knew I could be there in 40 minutes and if nothing else I might be able to get a nice sunset photo. Upon arriving it felt like I was the last photographer in Phoenix to get there. Holy cow there were a lot of photographers lined up on the road side. I took a free spot and set up my camera in hopes there would be some lightning left in the storms. Needless to say I was rewarded with several amazing shots. Thank you Mother Nature. Once again the unpredictable nature of storm chasing always ends with a “you never know what might happen”.

Below are a few more faves from the night. Enjoy!!

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Lightning strikes the top of the Superstition Mountains during a monsoon storm.

A double lightning strike on the Superstition Mountains.

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