This extraordinary footage shows dozens of lightning strikes sweeping over the Grand Canyon as an unforgettable monsoon sunset spills over the horizon.
This footage obtained by Newsflash from the National Park Service (NPS) offers a peek into one of nature’s most unusual wonders: the sun setting while a thunderstorm moves over the Grand Canyon National Park, which is located in Arizona, the USA.
Strokes of lightning can be seen flashing in the nearby distance of Yavapai Point – the Canyon’s most famous viewing point – as heavy rain pours out over the landscape.
After a short while, the heavy clouds begin to slowly fade away, revealing a spectacular sunset.
The dark, grey sky suddenly becomes overwhelmed with gold and purplish hues that over-pour the area as the storm gets pushed further away from the last light of the day.
According to the NPS, this happens in the afternoons during the summer monsoon.
Monsoon season in the state of Arizona and the Grand Canyon is usually between June and mid-September.
The NPS said: “One of the best times of the year to watch sunset at Grand Canyon is during the summer monsoon. Thunderstorms sweep over the Canyon in the afternoon, dispensing heavy rain and violent lighting.
“If we are lucky, they depart just before sunset, the lingering clouds and distant lightning making for one of the most spectacular light displays on Earth. This lightning storm was at least 40 miles away, making it safe to film on the rim.”
The term “monsoon” describes large-scale wind shifts that transport moist tropical air to dry desert locations, such as the southwestern United States, according to the US National Weather Service (NWS).
Each monsoon season is viewed as a way to refill reservoirs and water supplies across the region.
Forty to fifty per cent of the annual precipitation falls during monsoon season – which is especially important to the many farmers and ranchers around northern Arizona who depend on this water to make a living, according to the NWS.
Unlike the horrendous torrential rains that one generally associates with monsoons. Arizona has thunderstorms that produce two or three inches of rain in an hour or a day because generally, Arizona gets less than 10 inches of rainfall per year, according to the Grand Canyon Park’s official website.
Although an incredible sight, lightning strikes can pose a real threat, which is why the NPS cautions visitors not to linger on the site if they encounter storms such as the one seen in this footage.
The NPS also urges visitors to pay attention to weather warnings in the area before planning activities.
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Story By: Simona Kitanovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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