Vortex of Electricity

We return to last Thursday night just above Casa Grande on highway 387 north of the city. A great spot for an elevated position over the city, the second I arrived and got setup, the light show went nuts. I think I have at least 3-4 keepers just from a 20 minute span here and that didn’t count a couple I got early on the south edges of Phoenix.

These first few shots I got here were kind of special though. Yes, the Chaos of Light I posted last week was pretty dang intense and probably the best of the bunch, but this shot has the early visual of the microburst going on with this storm cell. You can see the rain falling and a weird fog hovering over the city. That is either rain or dust, but I believe it’s probably a bit of a mixture. I also love the cone-shaped cloud that the lightning is coming out of…almost like some kind of vortex.

The photo below is a bit grainy, but you can really see what a microburst does. Rain falls out of the cloud with an intense downburst, and then the wind explodes in all directions. A microburst can create winds up to 100mph at times in a very isolated spot. When people ask how come we get all these dust storms in Phoenix, or what creates them…this is it. Downdrafts/microburst that create strong winds that kick up the dust and flow outwards for great distances. You get a bunch of these together and suddenly they form a huge wall of dust 70 miles long.

Last year I posted a series of images that was called “The Birth of a Dust Storm“…if you want to see a bit more.

Arizona Monsoon Microburst

  • http://lussierphoto.com Bob Lussier

    These shots continue to maze me. Great work. I also really appreciate the science behind the posts. Keep ’em coming.

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    Love’em both Mike. Awesome display of Mother Nature.

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    It’s kinda neat to see the way the rain falls from a distance. It’s never as even as it feels when your standing in it.

  • http://www.myblueheaven.com Scott Wood

    I really like the lightning image, but the rain shot is fascinating. You don’t get to see definition like that at night very often.

  • http://www.stevebeal.com Steve Beal

    I mean honestly! These are some of the best storm images I’ve ever seen, period.

  • http://www.natespics.com Nathan Schepker

    Unbelievable capture!

  • http://jstolarski.com Jon Stolarski

    Intense Shots. I’m assuming you will be doing another weather photo book. Your shots from this monsoon season I think are some of your best.

  • http://pinkshamrockphoto.wordpress.com Erin Duke

    Phenomenal work, Mike! Steve Beal said it right: “These are some of the best storm images I’ve ever seen, period.”

  • http://www.lensaltiel.com/ Len Saltiel

    Wow Mike, Your lightning shots are simple amazing. The rain shot insn’t bad either.

  • Mike

    Jon, I may do one again…possibly an eBook…but I also have been getting so much lightning, I need to get a few more other shots to go with it 🙂

    Not a ton of sunsets or cloud shots this summer, at least, not as much as I’d want.

  • http://www.edithlevyphotography.com Edith Levy

    Wow amazing shots Mike.

  • http://www.hansrico.com Rick Louie

    I really love that second shot! Your catching some great stuff lately!

  • http://www.wix.com/corallehmann/digitalprints/ Coral

    Wow these are great. Great post.

  • Capnschwartz

    I do not like black and whites, but this is saw-wheat!!!! Love that vortex of wicked coolness!

  • http://hdrexposedphotography.com Dave DiCello

    That is such an amazing capture of the vortex Mike! Lightning captured to perfection!