Friday, July 04, 2008

20080703 Butte, MT Fireworks & Thunderstorms (Preview)

It's pretty late and I want to get some sleep tonight, so I'll make this quick. If it wasn't crazy enough here in Butte with Barack Obama being in town, the combinatoin of the city's usual chaotic Third of July and three separate rounds of thunderstorms caused pure pandemonium!

I honestly wasn't expecting any 'weather' until tomorrow. Approaching Butte (from Billings) today with my cousin Brad, I noted that there seemed to be a decent amount of moisture available and towering cumulus was going up in southwest Montana.

After joining my family for some awesome festivities, I began to notice that there were storms on the horizon, likely associated with the approaching wave. Over the next few hours, we experienced three separate rounds of storms, which included heavy rain, pea-sized hail, strong winds, and amazing lightning. In between each round, the revelers would come back out and light up pyrotechnics. Even the big show was delayed ... the night was amazing though.

Here is a sampling of the some 90 images that I took tonight.
Probably my best ever "daytime" lightning shot.

Very neat storm structure. Couldn't quite put itself into an organized cell ... there were multiple updrafts.

Very, very proud of this shot. Fireworks, lightning, mammatus, great Butte subject matter. This is probably one of my all-time best (favorite) works.

Just another cute little fireworks/lightning shot.

Wow, I'm still in disbelief about tonight. I'm sorry to my family, whom I ignored throughout the evening while taking pictures ... grandma, the ribs were delicious.

... and tomorrow is supposed to be the day for severe weather. I better buy more batteries.


PS: None of the above photos were touched up in any way except to put text on them.

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