Sunday, 28 August 2011

27th August 2011 - Cottonwood (AZ)

Last day in Arizona was meant for rest and relaxation in Sedona to escape the Heat and Furnace of Phoenix.......But along the way Storms popped off so we stopped at a few locations to shoot lightning with some good results. Got to Sedona for evening time but all the anvils had clouded the sky so no chance at Star shots tonight. Watched some distant storms flashing away to the West. Homeward bound tomorrow and should be back in the Uk Monday Lunchtime. Have enjoyed this trip immensely and hope to come back in 2012 for some more great Storms.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

26th August 2011 - W Senora Desert

Another epic Arizona Monsoon Chase today. Storms fired at 1pm down near to Casa Grande in some residual Moisture left over (104/60f) So we headed down to take a look, the Moisture was moving Westwards and so were the Strongest Storms. Had some very nice structure today with some close ear splitting thunder and dangerous Cg lightning out of the anvil. Got onto a very nice Storm at Sunset near Salome just off the I-10. This gave a cracking display for about 45 minutes with vivid colours. Last day on the 27th and we will probably be heading towards Sedona for some sight-seeing and maybe some storms if they pop up over the Mogollan Rim.

Has been a great trip and thanks for following.

Friday, 26 August 2011

25th August 2011 - Casa Grande - Arizona

Another day of Monsoon action but this time closer to Phoenix, got onto a Nice Storm just West of Casa Grande, went South down Highway 79 and stopped at the Tom Mix Indian Monument just East of Casa Grande. A line of 3 Thunderstorms were to our West and South West and as the setting sun went down so the Cg's started to crank up. Got some lovely shots of Cactus and Cgs with the Sunset. All storms died down as darkness fell so and early night back to the Hotel.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

24th August 2011 - Benson (AZ)

Left hotel at 4pm with an almost repeat set-up to yesterday. Storms started to get going at 5pm and an MCS Rolled towards Tucson, we drive through a Mini Haboob along the way with the Storms outflow creating this feature. I then positioned us South and East of Tucson on the Desert Floor with a View to our South and East at more Storms forming along another Outflow Boundary. We could not target Windy Point this time as the Storms were to far South and East and the Mountians would have blocked off good viewing. So we set up just off I-10 Between Tucson and Benson and got some great shots once again. This was the 9th out of 9 days we have seen Thunderstorms and with 3 more to come the Monsoon Season has treated us very well. Got my best image ever from a 40 Second Exposure of 10+ Lightning bolts!

23rd August 2011 - Mount Lemmon (Windy Point)

Today we hit the Jackpot for Lightning Photography. An MCS Was moving due West to the South of Tucson and dissipating as Sunset came on. We went up 7,000ft above Sea Level to overlook Tucson and I noted an Outflow Boundary extending to the South East from the old remnant MCS. Literally as we set up at Windy Point the first Cg bolts started raining down to our South East at a range of 10-12 miles away. This Storm was moving due West over the Lit up Valley below to affect Eastern most parts of Tucson. Our viewpoint was incredible being level with the Storms Base and the next 90 minutes were Cg Lightning Heaven. These are probably some of the best Lightning shots we have seen on our chases. Enjoy!

22nd August - Mount Lemmon (Tucson)

Today the SE Flow was coming back into the area around Tucson so our attention was focused back towards the South of the State. We left Phoenix at Noon and went to have a look at Mount Lemmon which is 9,000ft asl. Along the Mountain road we found some stunning views over Tucson and envisaged a Storm rolling through the valley at darkness, little did we know that 24 hours later we would have one of the most amazing sights in front of us (More on this on tomorrows blog!) We watched a nice little storm which was located to the east of Mount Lemmon from an Easterly viewpoint but storms once again died off towards Sunset as Moisture was not deep enough yet and diurnal Storms were dying off as the sun went down. We should have no such problems on the 23rd as Moisture would have had an extra day to be deeper.

21st August 2011 - Grand Canyon

Another day to target the Northern part of the State. Today we went towards Flagstaff and better convective chances just North of there towards Page and the Grand Canyon. Decided a visit to the Grand Canyon would give us a decent chance of Dusk Storms and that Illusive CG Bolt near or over the Canyon. As darkness fell we were not dissapointed with a Storm rolling off to our East near Page. We photographed this from the South Rim and got some lovely images.

20th August 2011 - Sedona Milky Way

Another risk to our North today so we targeted some non severe storms over towards Payson, got some nice scenic views over a Reservoir but once again Storms lost intensity towards sunset. Drifted over towards Sedona and took the Airport road which takes you 1 mile above Sedona, shot some nice Milky Way Star shots to end the day!

19th August 2011 -

Targeted the Mogollan Rim today and North of there towards Flagstaff as Storms were stronger up that way. We watched a nice Storm roll off Sunset Crater (Volcano) which spewed out some Cg's and a Flash Flood Warning. Storms then lost intensity so we went down towards Sedona and took some nice shots.

Friday, 19 August 2011

18th August 2011 - Arizona Central Desert

Great chase day today and witnessed my first ever Haboob just North of Casa Grande, also witnessed numerous Wedge like Dust Devils near Maricopa. Temperatures were insane today at 110f but cooled when we got cored by flash flooding to around 75f.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

17th August 2011 - Arizona

Started the Monsoon Tour day 1 with a chase target of Tucson and the Superior area. Got on a decent storm 15 miles South of Superior along Highway 177 and shot some great Cg Barrages.

Just 1 of the many pictures we took today. Tomorrow (18th) in the same area and hopefully Storms can sustain after darkness for some Night-Time opportunities.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Arizona Bound

Well it is finally here and the Outlook looks pretty decent for some (NAM) North American Monsoon Chasing in Arizona. Flying into Sky Harbor tomorrow (16th August) and landing in temperatures approaching 108f will certainly be a change from the dreary Uk Summer and 21c. First few days look like we will have to venture towards the South Eastern part of the State towards Tucson, but as the weekend approaches there are signs the Storms will impact the Desert Floor and the Phoenix Metro area itself.

Will Update with pictures and Reports throughout the trip as and when we can.