Summer Thunderstorm

Summer Thunderstorm

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Credit: KENT WOOD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Long dendrite cloud to ground lightning bolts from a summer thunderstorm are framed between the blue cloud background and saguaro cacti silhouettes in the desert surrounding Tucson, Arizona in this time exposure photograph. Awesome and intense thunderstorms with powerful gust fronts, heavy rain, hail and lightning are common over the Arizona Desert during the summer months. Southwestern weather patterns create thunderstorms by pulling the fuel, moist air, either from the Pacific Baja side or the Gulf of Mexico and mixing it with the dry hot air rising up from the heated desert floor. Lightning is beautiful, but dangerous.

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