Tag Archives: Lightning

An Extraordinary End to Monsoon 2016

Today is the last day of Monsoon 2016.  The best Monsoon I’ve experienced in my 11 years here.  I’ve neglected the blog so the entries of our microburst  in Oro Valley last month, varies rainbows, lightning shots, downpours, and other sundry Monsoon 2016 occurrences are missing from mikeshaw.tv.  Perhaps I will go through my pictures and catch some of those things up.  Perhaps.

Before I get into my story about last evening’s drive home, here’s how the day started yesterday:

092916ppsunriseYeah.  Not bad!  I love the view from my deck here in Oro Valley.  I’m happy to say that sunrises like that happen pretty frequently here and I have a front row seat.

Now.  On to yesterday’s drive home from the radio station.  Extraordinary indeed!  Every direction of sky brought joy and wonder (too much?).  It was a cool night.

It was raining pretty good when I left the station with a bright rainbow forming but nowhere to pull aside and grab a shot.  As I raced toward downtown I mostly drove out of the rain only to have it catch me again as I navigated down Congress.  I drove out of the rain again as I headed north on Granada which turns into Main which turns into Oracle.  As I approached River I could see a bright rainbow against the Catalina Mountains contrasted by dark menacing storm clouds.  I found an apartment complex off River Road and grabbed this shot:

092916rainbowToo bad I can’t include the rumbling thunder in the jpg, but it was cool.  I then continued on my trek north on Oracle and noticed the sunset was starting to pop.  I made it to Family Life Radio near Ina and Oracle just in time.  I pulled into their back parking lot.  Parked.  Walked to the eastern fence of Tohono Chul Park, and facing west (often the best direction for capturing sunsets), I got this shot:

092916sunsetI needed some supplies, so I doubled back a block to the Safeway and did some shopping.  By the time I got through the line and back to my car I could see lightning to the northeast.  As I neared my apartment it was apparent that the lightning was frequent and, as lightning tends to be, rather bright.  I parked in my spot.  Gathered my things and climbed to my third story apartment.  I efficiently put away my groceries, grabbed a cigar and my phone, and went out on the deck.  What a great light show!  I tried to get some shots with my iPhone 6S Plus in burst mode and they came out surprisingly good!  Grainy, yes.  Still not bad.  Here’s the best one:

092916lightningLast day of Monsoon 2016 is today.  There is a slight chance of storms in our forecast.  Will this evening equal yesterday’s in amazingness?  Not likely, but I’ll share if it does!

Here’s an animated gif of the storm just in case that works:


Rain Shaft Lightning Sunset from the Deck

Another amazing evening on the deck last night.  A severe thunderstorm was directly west and from my vantage point the Sun was setting behind it.  The dark and menacing storm was being back lit with muted reds and oranges with flashes of lightning accents.  Really cool!  So of course I grabbed my camera.  I knew the odds of timing a shot and catching some lightning were slight.  After taking a few pictures I switched my camera to video mode and recorded for about a minute.  Toward the end of the recording I noted a particularly strong bolt of lightning in the field of view.  I was not disappointed when I went to get the screen grab.  After some minor tweaking in Gimp, this is the result:

Pretty amazing! The regular pictures didn’t turn out so bad either.

Of course I have already shared theses shots on my Sunrise/Sunset blog, www.TonightsSunset.com and on Facebook.  I will admit.  I am a little spoiled with such an amazing view here at the apartment.


Watching 4 Tornadoes

Tornado Lightning

Tornado Watch in effect yesterday afternoon and evening.  Thankfully, no bad weather.  Natalea had a softball game at 6:00 and the light rain earlier wasn’t enough to cancel the game.  Good thing.  They won 14-0 and Natalea struck out the first 6 batters she faced!

Last night there was some good rain with thunder.  I guess it was about 9 or 10.  It was coming down hard enough for awhile that it sounded like it might be hailing, but looking out the back door I didn’t see any hail bouncing in the grass.  It’s funny, because when it hails it can look like hundreds of little white Mexican Jumping Beans!

The best, most rockin’, storms were early this morning.  About 5am.  The lightning was nearly constant and close!  Power went out briefly.  VERY cool way to wake up!  I love that rumbling sound with the ocassional crackle of a close strike.  It sounds like the air is being ripped apart, because really, it is!

I was tempted to take the video camera on the front porch to capture some of the flashes and especially the constant rumbling.  I would LOVE to get some good thunderstorm audio!  I chickened out though.  Some of the strikes were really close and I didn’t want to risk it.  I figure I can get some of that audio from the comfort (and safety) of the apartment in Tucson later tis Summer when the Monsoon starts!

I got up and had coffee and all that, but I’ve had less that 6 hours sleep.  It’s about 10am now and the rain has stopped (for now).  I think I’ll take a nap!