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gavmonster

Photos & video from Arizona Monsoon & Lightning tour 2013

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Thanks Gavin, even with the storms not playing ball Arizona still delivers some stunning scenery and skyscapes.

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Stunning colours. Fingers crossed the weekend brings what it's predicting for you guys :)

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Some lightning shots from today. Arizona finally delivering the goods. Will admit to a couple of stacks Posted Image

 

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More lightning shots, these are NOT stacked, just minimal editing

 

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Absolutely awesome photos. Really puts things into perspective as to how much more volatile the atmosphere is in the US compared to here.

 

I'd best start saving :D

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Thanks to Michael and Claire for these shots too, it's always nice when the sparks fly!

 

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Models are showing an intense monsoonal outbreak in northern AZ, southern NV-UT later Sunday. Las Vegas may get its annual round of urban flooding if the cells hit them. This should last well into the overnight and redevelop to a lesser extent on Monday.

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Day 6 - after a total blowout on Day 5 (didn't even take the camera out of the bag), much of the same today. Did however manage one daytime lightning shot (bit of a stretch!) and a couple of other OK pics...

 

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Tropical moisture has flowed north into western AZ, southeast CA and southern NV-UT with widespread flooding reported in those areas. Zion National Park in Utah was largely closed to travel due to dangerous rises in canyon creek levels. The cloud cover is keeping temperatures lower than normal in the daytime. Phoenix only reached 31 C and Flagstaff in northern AZ had a date record low max of 64F beating a record of 65F from 1923.

 

Today the best storm viewing is likely to be in northeast AZ, and the southern third of Utah. Would recommend Monument Valley near Kayenta and Mexican Hat.

 

 

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Finally, a decent storm. Tracked it from Tuscon, driving through some serious monsoon rain (avoiding the numerous accidents we saw) to finally get to a Phoenix suburb for some night time lightning.

 

A much better day :-)

 

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Wow, what a day. Tracked a huge storm west of Casa Grande, and ended up only 30 miles from California. Saw some amazing structure, but kept getting caught in dust storms, so couldn't see the huge amount of lightning this storm was supposed to have. Eventually pushed back east through the storm, and saw the ost incredible lightning I have ever seen. Missed the best bolt on camera (8 or 9 strike bolt that lasted for about 10 seconds) but did catch the following 2 on video.

 

More photos and video to follow.

 

Amazing Lightning.wmv

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Day 8 - very frustrating day. Made the decision to head to Flagstaff, which seemed the right decision when we went through a storm with monsoon rain with some nice hail. Then we saw a really nice storm building, with tons of lightning, really strong, but it was over 200 miles away in Casa Grande. So not a lot to get excited about, and very few photos.

 

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Day 9 - how things can change in a day! Having had an awful day on day 8, we set out towards Casa Grande mid afternoon as there were some healthy storms building west of there. Driving west on 8, we could see the storms to our left, and the Baron was showing loads of severe markers and lightning. However, we weren't seeing anything! Stopped a few times to get shots of the structure, but still no lightning. Pushed through the storm until we were about 30 miles away from the California border, looking back at the storm, which was still showing severe and masses of lightning. Unfortunately all we got was dust, and lots of it!

 

As night fell, we took the decision to head back east to Gila Bend to see what was happening. At this time, there was a monstrous storm raging to the west of Phoenix, with new storms springing up all the time on the southern edge of it, so we were hopeful for some nice shots. And we weren't let down. An incredible strike hit the road to the right of the car, landing less than half a mile away, and repeating at least 8 times. Was so good the car didn't stop talking about it for 10 minutes, until we got a similar, although further away strike to the right of the car, this time captured on the GoPro (see above).

 

We then stopped near Gila Bend, and got some lovely lightning shots, watching both a storm coming to Gila Bend, and the Phoenix one strobing in the distance (no CGs unfortunately).

 

Stunning evening, all very happy, altho somewhat dusty. And back at the hotel, they had turned the water off!!!

 

Some pics below, more video to follow once I've had a chance to edit.

 

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Edited by gavmonster
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And so the tour ends - huge thanks to Gavin for the updates, pictures and videos in what has been a misfiring monsoon season - still some great highlights in there though!

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Had the chance of a little bonus chase day as a few of us are flying back a day later - So it was a local chase as once again the forecasts were for pretty much zero chance of storms in this part of Arizona, and pretty much what happened was the reverse of what the forecasts said.

 

So we stayed local and watched clouds build and a bonus Microburst went up just SE of Phoenix Metro, we found a nice elevated position and watched this form in front of our eyes at about 5pm just 10 miles from the Hotel.

 

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post-24-0-66424500-1377971524_thumb.jpg - Structure Viewed from Fountain Hills

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

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Only just caught up with this.  Some great photo's in there..

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