Encore - Lightning Strike Near Lake Powell, Utah

June 15, 2019

Bolt Sept 14 (2)

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: David Rankin
Summary Authors: David Rankin; Jim Foster

October 2013 Viewer's Choice Just after sunset on September 14, 2013, a powerful thunderstorm barreled across southern Utah and northern Arizona, putting on quite a remarkable lightning display. The immense cloud-to-ground bolt shown above lit up the entire storm, providing a cross-section view of this building cumulonimbus cloud and its accompanying rain shaft. The photo was shot from the southern end of Lake Powell, Utah, facing south. Huge strikes like this one can generate heat approaching 50,000 degrees F (27,260 C) and nearly 200 million volts of electricity. However, approximately 80 percent of all lightning occurs within the storm cloud as cloud-to-cloud lightning. In the background (lower right) is the Navajo Generating Station – a coal-fired power plant.

Photo Details: Canon 6D camera; 50mm, F1.8 lens.