Desert Storm on Labor Day, 2009: Hiking in the Tucson Mountains, I followed the progression of a desert thunderstorm from its early stage (right) to its maturity (above.)
The remains of Hurricane Jimena have left significant moisture in the air here in Tucson over the past four days.
Combine that moisture with our summer heat in the desert, and we have the makings of some of the world's most spectacular thunderstorms.
Wide open spaces allow us a front-seat view.
The first photo on the right was taken approximately one hour before sunset, and the one above was set afire by the evening glow of Tucson's rays from that same setting sun.
My vantage point was the southwestern flank of Golden Gate Mountain, the second highest peak in the Tucson Mountains. My hike took me one third the way up the mountain.
The vertical cloud that formed the first part of the storm is perhaps seven miles across in the middle.
By the time the storm was fullblown, as seen in the top photo, there were three separate areas of rain, and the thundercloud was about forty miles wide.
Our secluded community of Tucson Estates II attracts people from all walks of life, from all over the globe.
You can see why that is, can't you?
photos copyright Mike in Tucson