KENT WOOD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENT WOOD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Long-exposure photograph of multiple lightning bolts over Tucson, Arizona. Bead lightning (a rare form of cloud-to-ground lightning which appears to break up into a string of short, bright sections) can be seen in the lower left-hand corner. For a closer view, see image BR9774. The Arizona desert experiences many intense thunderstorms, with powerful gust fronts, heavy rain, hail and lightning, during the summer months. The storms are caused by moist air from the Pacific Baja or the Gulf of Mexico mixing with hot, dry air rising up from the heated desert floor.
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