The stormy skies of Arizona

Storming in Arizona - Monsoons

(Click to see larger on a black background)

There is no doubt that Arizona has some of the best skies anywhere in the country, especially during the monsoon season. The desert landscapes, mountains, terrain…they all work together with the clouds to create amazing views. Certainly we don’t get the awesome supercells that the midwest sees, but they get stuck with a lot of the same farmlands and wheat fields most of the time. The diversity of Arizona is incredible.

This monsoon season has been completely opposite of last year for me. I have just a sick amount of lightning shots, but not that many storm images. Last season I had all kinds of sunsets, storm clouds, silhouettes and other kinds of images that I just haven’t gotten this year. I think living in downtown Phoenix has caused that a bit…because last year I could leave just before sunset and be in the desert within five minutes, but now it takes over 30 to get anywhere without population.

Today though there is a great chance of storms and I’m planning on a long excursion starting around noon in southern Arizona to hopefully capture some awesome clouds and storm structures…and of course finish the day off with some lightning photography.

This image was shot back on July 9th somewhere between Phoenix and Sedona on a random dirt road. Although I love shooting lightning, these kinds of vistas are what I long for. Although I really love massive thunderheads…I still enjoy capturing dark clouds and rain falling on the deserts.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, iso 100, f/22, 1/25 – buy print)

6 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Wow! I agree with you that Arizona does offer some amazing vistas, especially when you can get some clouds. It’s just you’re stuck with clear blue skies for so many days that you’ve gotta be ready to drop everything when clouds appear! Though at least you do have that some what predictable monsoon season 🙂

    Anyways love the black and white here! Great work 🙂

  2. Scott Wood
    Scott Wood says:

    Great image Mike.

    I am not so sure that it is your living downtown, I am in the exact same boat as you. I don’t have a single rainbow image this year. I don’t have any good downpour images, but I have more lightning than any other season I can remember.

  3. Edith Levy
    Edith Levy says:

    I agree Mike I’ve been to Arizona a few times and there’s never a shortage to things to photograph…I love it. This is a great shot and the sky is amazing.

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