Hole in the sky

After the Storm - Arizona Monsoons

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35 2.8, 17mm, f/16, iso 100, 1/80 // buy print)

I’ll always remember this day as one of my favorites of the 2011 monsoon season. I had gotten away by myself, alone on the road, not a soul with me, no one tagging along…just me going where I thought the storms would be. It felt liberating for some reason.

It also turned out to be the second day in a row where I found myself on a tornado-warned storm. The structures from the midwest weren’t there necessarily, but the exploding tops were gorgeous, the lightning vicious and the clouds magnificent. I kept an eye out for funnel clouds, but never saw anything. Still, the thrill of the chase was why I loved it so much.

This was a stretch of State Route 79, looking south at the Catalina Mountains. I loved the darkness on the left in a juxtaposition to the gorgeous blue sky on the right, plus the bit of sunlight on the mountain range.

Flash floods in southern Arizona

Friday afternoon and Saturday were some pretty eventful storm days for southeastern Arizona. I was down there both days chasing storms, lightning…etc…but something I wasn’t really thinking about were flash floods.

The deserts are usually very, very dry, so when you get a massive downpour of rain, it doesn’t seep into the earth. It just runs downhill. And if you have mountains and hills nearby, it all adds up to quickly form flash floods.

In the first two clips of flooding, the storm that dumped the rain was severe warned and even had rotation on it…which I kind of captured in this other video. We wanted to chase it, so we got off on Red Rock Road, only to find these low points in the road completely covered in rushing water. I am pretty sure my Vera could have made it…but with all the emergency vehicles that crossed the water after we stopped…it seemed like it could have been worse further up. Plus I didn’t want to get stuck with Lyla in the back!

The third clip in the video was from Saturday and was again the sight of a wash after a severe/tornado warned storm went through the area.

Also…enjoy some pictures of my little girl from Friday’s chase. She’s my little buddy, my stormchasing co-pilot and she’s also becoming very adept at spotting lightning. That’s all a father can ask for really.