Illuminate

Have tried and failed so many times trying to get lightning after dark at the Grand Canyon. Years of driving up there to only come home empty handed. It’s a 3.5 hour trip one-way to just sit in a spot and wait and wait and wait and not only hope for a storm to pop-up, but for it to be out over the Canyon and also to not rain on you. So many things have to come together for it to work out.

Last Monday I was watching the models and it sure looked like Wednesday would be a good day for storms up there and even some potentially at night. I left at 7am that morning and was up there just in time to watch some good daytime stuff, even scored some bolts at sunset out over the Canyon. It was all great, but they looked to be dying out. I figured I got skunked once again.

My buddy John Sirlin came up as well and as it got dark, beyond hope, some cells popped up just south of the Grand Canyon Village and started moving north/northeast. Then bolts began exploding, but out over the plateau where you can’t see the landing point. All we did was wish and pray it would come out over the Canyon itself.

And then it did. One was on the edge. And then one was out over the middle. And we cheered and clapped loudly amidst the chilly temps and high wind. It was incredible to see something so massive lit up in front of you even for a brief moment.

This bolt was the last one we saw…a huge positive well away from the precip core. So much power to light up something so massive at the Grand Canyon. I love all the shadows and textures, even the Colorado River totally visible.