Stranger Fruit

A storm on steroids.

We had quite the storm here in the Valley on Thursday. Wind gusts up to 100 mph. Lots of rain. And more than 1,500 lightning strikes in a single hour.

Round about 7pm we could see the lightning to the east of us here in Tempe and it was still going on around 2am. It was the most amazing lightning I’ve seen in years. Storm cell after cell swept through the Valley. Power lines and trees fell, and nearly 80,000 homes lost power. An $8.4M athletic facility at the University was demolished with a month of opening. Sky Harbor airport closed two runways.

I found myself in a bar which not only lost power, but had water flooding in from outside (probably half an inch deep). I made it home and eventually ended up sitting on the patio watching the rain and the light show.

It was a monsoon storm on steroids.

I loved it.

(Saturday and Sunday is expected to see more storms in the evenings. Saturday evening we open our football season with a game against NAU. No doubt I’ll post on that later … assuming the storms don’t cause problems.)


  1. #1 Mercurious
    August 30, 2008

    I sat on my balcony and watched the light show for about 30 minutes. Nonstop lightning the whole time. I always enjoyed watching storms when I lived in Indiana. That has been one of my only complaints about living in the Valley. Defiantly didn’t have that complaint last night.

    Side note: You plan on doing anything for Scienceblog’s comment party?

  2. #2 David Wegehaupt
    August 30, 2008

    I sat under the patio and did my readings for class today (and started re-reading the Watchmen!)… Luckily we didn’t lose power at my house, but that was definitely some of the best lightning I’ve seen in my life.

    This evening up in Glendale there was some pretty good storm action as well… Nowhere near as cool of a lightning show, but we had some pretty loud, close strikes.

    I haven’t been a frequent commenter, but have been an avid scienceblog reader for a while and would love it if we have a party in Tempe for the millionth comment!

  3. #3 Pierce R. Butler
    August 30, 2008

    Baby Jebus was sending McCain a message about Palin.

  4. #4 jeff
    August 30, 2008

    I was in the white mountains near alpine and hannagan meadow, AZ for several weeks in july. Big thunderstorms and rain every single day. It got almost claustrophobically green – like living tropical rain forest. I couldn’t believe I was in AZ, with the meteor crater and petrified forest only a little ways to the north. There are quite a few different climates and landscapes in AZ.

  5. #5 DLC
    September 1, 2008

    I’m closer to ASU West than ASU, and I saw most of the storm from that distance. As a man with an engineering background I would love to see some of that power harnessed for constructive use. But it makes for an impressive light show nonetheless.

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