Category Archives: StormChasing

Central Arizona Lightning

Central Arizona Lightning

Lightning strikes in the desert of central Arizona during the 2017 monsoon season

One of the great things about living in the Puget Sound region of Western Washington is that we get 4 distinct yet mild seasons.  The downside to living in the Puget Sound region of Western Washington is that with the exception of an occasional windstorm, we really don’t see much when it comes to severe weather, particularly thunderstorms.  Because of that, I make it a point to get back to Arizona each monsoon season for some Arizona lightning fun.

This image was captured in central Arizona, a little ways outside of Flagstaff, and was shot from the same location as an image I had shared here earlier.  I actually have a few more shots from this same location that I will share at some point.  The great thing about storms like this is that even though you shoot from the same location, the sky changes very quickly and you get a lot of variety in your images even though you don’t move much.

Rainbow Over Budd Inlet

East Bay Rainbow

A rainbow over the east bay of Budd Inlet shot from Olympia, WA

I keep saying that I am going to get better about updating this blog and sharing images.  Unfortunately I haven’t been overly successful at doing either.  Hopefully this image of a rainbow over Budd Inlet, that I shot just over a week ago, will break the ice and get me motived to share more.

I am not going to write a lot about this image at this point, but wanted to get something out there and publish an update to the blog.

I hope that some folks are still following this and I am going to do my best to get some regular content shared here.

Also posted in Photography

Late Night Lightning

Lightning Over Phoenix

Lightning strikes over Phoenix during a late night storm

I recently did a blog post, and shared an image, of some lightning near Camp Verde, AZ.  That shot was captured while on a storm chasing trip to the Grand Canyon area of Arizona with some long time storm chasing / photography / all around good friends.  This image of late night lightning was captured hours after the Camp Verde image after we had returned back to the Phoenix area.

For a few years now my friends Bryan Snider and Chris Frailey have gotten together for an epic day of storm chasing, normally in Northern Arizona, and this year we invited Jon Stolarski into the fun.  We had an epic day or chasing, had a lot of fun, and when all was said and done got some great images.  This trip each year has turned into a tradition that I really look forward to.

As this years trip was winding down, and it was late at night, we had just finished dinner and noticed that a storm was starting to pop up west of downtown Phoenix.  We decided to head over to one of Bryan’s goto photography places to see if we could capture the storm with the Phoenix Skyharbor control tower and the city of Phoenix in the foreground.  While we were shooting this storm, which is featured in this image, a storm popped up to the south of us so I started setting up a camera to shoot that direction, at which time I wasn’t really paying much attention to the camera that was aimed to the west.  I got the camera pointing south setup and turned my attention back to the camera pointing west just as this image was captured.

What I didn’t know at the time, and discovered later, was that while I was setting the other camera up some wind blow a bunch of rain onto the front element of the lens, and every shot that I got after that had the water spots that you see in the above image.  Initially I was pissed that this had happened, but after I was able to re-group and cool down a bit, I got to looking at the images and ended up really liking the water spots.  IMO they add another level of interest to what I hope is an already interesting image.

I have a lot more from that day chasing that I will be sharing soon, but in the meantime I hope that you enjoy this image and please feel free to click on it to see a larger version.

The Electric Desert

The Electric Desert

Lightning strikes over the central Arizona desert near Camp Verde

If one were to go by the frequency that I have shared new images to this photoblog one might think that I haven’t done much shooting in the last few months.  That wouldn’t be true though, I have been shooting quite a bit, the problem is that I haven’t had a lot of time to process and share image.  I hope to change that, starting with this image, which I titled Electric Desert.

I have mentioned before that one of the things that I really miss about living in Arizona is chasing the annual Arizona Monsoon, and specifically shooting lightning.  Since moving back to the Pacific Northwest back in 2012 I have managed to make it back every year, with the except of 2016, so it was great to be able to get back this summer and chase some storms.

My trip this year was a little later in the monsoon season, and while there weren’t as many storms as I would have liked, I did have a great trip to the Grand Canyon with some storm chasing friends, which I will detail in an upcoming post, and got enough “keeper” images to keep me busy for awhile.

Stay tuned, and I promise that the frequency of blog posts here will pick up.

Also posted in Photography

Storm Chasing Olympia Style

Olympia Severe Warned Storm

The Olympia doesn’t get many severe warned storms, but we had one this year

If you have followed me and my photography at all you will know that severe weather is far and away my favorite photographic subject.  I was chasing storms before I knew that storm chasing was actually a thing and knew that when I moved back home to the Pacific Northwest back in 2012 that having severe warned storms here was going to be a somewhat rare occasion.

Since we moved to Olympia back in the spring of 2012 we have had one severe warned storm come through the metro area.  We have had a few in the general area, usually to the south of us, so I was pretty excited when everything lined up in early May for what ended up being a pretty epic storm.

This image was captured after the severe warned cell passed over my head.  I sat in 14.5″ an hour rain.  For those that don’t know, 14.5″ an hour is a crazy amount of rain.  Shortly after this storm passed over me, near the Olympia airport, it travelled to the northeast, over Lacey, WA, where it developed into a wet microburst that did an impressive amount of damage.

I am looking forward to making a trip or two to Arizona over the next month or two and hope to get some Arizona monsoon chasing in, it is one of the things from Arizona that I truly miss.

Also posted in Photography