Tags archives: nighttime

  • Electric Loop

  • During the trip to see the total solar eclipse, and on the day we left Oklahoma, I closed out a fine travel day by intercepting an elevated, nighttime storm over the Platte River.   It prolifically flung cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-air lightning, including countless loops from cloud to air to cloud, of various sizes and shap[...]
  • Lava Lake Glow on Low Clouds

  • As the evening deepened and stratus clouds lowered over Kilauea caldera's highly active Halemaumau Crater, the lava lake rose, at times splashing distant gobs of fountain lava above the plane of the visible rim.  That was an uncommon sight, and one we were fortunate to witness.  The distinctive orange glow of the lava shone [...]
  • More Truck-Stop Thunder

  • A needed respite from the road turned into a marvelous electrical show in the sky outside a northern Oklahoma truck stop.  Several magnificent discharges split the rainy sky before the responsible elevated storm raced off to the east-northeast and weakened.  Looking at this alone, one wouldn't guess that feet behind me sat a[...]
  • Moon through Anvil

  • One fine evening in Scotts Bluff National Monument, after presumably its last lightning activity, a weakening supercell floated overhead, its anvil translucent to the waxing moon.  The surrounding landscape of sandstone and ash bluffs took on the blended hue of refracted moonlight from above and town lights of Scottsbluff an[...]
  • Thundering Gallup

  • One electrically bereft storm passed east-northeastward across the desert landscape north of Gallup, offering a tasty-looking pastel sunset.  The next storm in the line produced a lot of lightning, mostly buried deeply in heavy rain, as with the faint strokes in the middle background.  How glorious it was, then, to catch two[...]
  • Western Blast

  • High amperage sizzles several square inches of a mesa north of a southeastern Nevada town as a high-based storm cluster lumbers westward.  After the requisite delay at the speed of sound, a deep report of thunder boomed across the valleys and hills, echoing off mountainsides and mesas, reminding all within earshot of what wa[...]
  • Mountainside Jolts

  • Surrounded on three sides by intermittently sparky thunderstorms but with none decisively better, I had a pick of possibilities for capturing lightning.  After turning camera attention toward a fresh core dump starting to sweep across the mountainsides to the south, the storm temporarily and inexplicably quietened.  It was h[...]
  • Night Storm over the Platte River

  • Nebraska treated me well weatherwise and otherwise in 2017, despite missing out on springtime storm-intercept opportunities there.  A March trip to see the sandhill crane migration dazzled us with the experience of seeing a huge flock of them flying through a rainbow (along with snow geese, too!).  Just a couple hours before[...]
  • Nevada Forks

  • An evening desert storm, riding the last ribbons of a shrinking band of monsoonal easterlies, flings forked jabs of deadly electricity over the skies of extreme southeastern Nevada.  I had been hoping for more action in central and southern Arizona—the prototypical monsoon-storm hotbed.  Instead, an expanding swath of low/mi[...]
  • "Breaking Wave" Supercell

  • Among the most spectacular supercells I've ever seen, this dazzling storm cruised eastward across the nocturnal Nebraska sky, bathing itself in almost continuous light from its own furious generation engine for intracloud lightning.  The storm itself took on the shape of an enormous breaking wave, while shear-induced, parall[...]
  • Cloud-to-Air Discharge

  • This is a twilight shot of a big, bright, forked, cloud-to-air lightning bolt originating in the vault of a supercell—in this case, an area just NE of the main updraft—an elevated region of rain and large hail occupying the large notch between updraft and downshear anvil.  Intense charge separation happens in this part of su[...]
  • Altus Crawlers

  • Darkness ruled the night.  Then, for just a second or two, from one node of intense charge separation high in the sky, and hidden behind an intervening chunk of midlevel clouds, filaments of electricity erupted in several directions at once, crawling at lightning speed along the underside of the storm's anvil.  Back into the[...]