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Lightning Over Los Angeles

50mm lens @ f/4 on Kodak Ektar 125

Rare mid-summer lightning storms on the So. California coast can move from the Pacific Ocean over the Santa Monica Mountains and across the basins and valleys of the Los Angeles area. We saw this storm when it was still out over the Pacific Ocean and followed it as it crossed the 2500' local range. We set up our camera and tripod on top of Saddle Peak in Malibu to see if we could get lucky. We did.

One can't help but wonder what it was like down in the valley when these 50 million volt strikes found ground at a building or tree in the populated area.

Lightning is a natural high current electrical discharge usually moving from a cumulonimbus thundercloud to the Earth. Two thousand thunderstorms may exist worldwide at any one time, producing as many as one hundred lightning flashes per second.

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