Thunderstorm Pictures: Capturing the Power of Nature
Thousands of thunderstorms occur each year. They can be powerful supercells which threaten everything in their path with incredible winds, lashing rain, hail, and intense electrical activity; or at the other end of the spectrum, may not even result in any rainfall as it evaporates before hitting the ground.
While the monster thunderstorm can create fascination with it's destructive power, many merely soothe us with their more distant thunder and interesting light display. It's important to respect any thunderstorm, but their beauty can also be recognized. On this page you can appreciate them through the various thunderstorm pictures and enjoy the sounds of a summer storm.
The images on this page are available as posters on Art.com.
Enjoy the Sounds of a Thunderstorm - Click on the video if you'd like to listen while you browse
This image shows multiple lightning strikes occurring simultaneously beyond the city's edge. The night scene shows the strength and size of a powerful thunderstorm dwarfing even a large city as it passes across the darkened sky.
This image was captured by Ralph Wetmore.
Across the expanse of a Kansas wheat field, this looming thunderstorm threatens everything in it's path. With blackened clouds obscuring the sun and a bolt of lightning crashing to the ground, it appears nothing could match it's ferocity.
Cotton Coulson took this photograph.
This scene is an eerie one with a distant thunderstorm ahead casting a strange glow across the sky and the entire landscape. The viewer is left with the sense that there's no escape from the turbulence waiting for them further down the road.
This photograph was taken by Daryl Benson. It's an otherworldly view of Milford Sound Lake in New Zealand. The hovering thunderstorm provides a spectacular light show which is reflected in the lake.
A dark and stormy night. A single beacon of light punctuates the darkness from a lonely lighthouse on the edge of the sea. Then, a flash of lightning. This image stirs the imagination, conjuring up images that both frighten and excite.
Photographer Randy Olson captured this image of the massive thunderhead of a summer storm. The torrential rains pound the landscape beneath the clouds as the sun shines through on the opposite side, showing the viewer both the incredible force of the storm and it's transient nature.
In this image, the dramatic display of thunder and lightning is on full display but the subsequent rain may be an unfulfilled promise. The shot shows the dry, High Desert north of Phoenix, Arizona with a storm approaching.
This is another one of the thunderstorm pictures of an urban area which highlights the immensity of some electrical storms. This one shows the glittering San Francisco skyline in the foreground with lighting bolts crashing over the hills surrounding Oakland, California.
This photograph captures a thunderstorm rolling over the ocean. The somber gray clouds above and darked waters below accentuate the brilliant flashes of lightning in the background.
This panoramic shot depicts one of the darkest skies imaginable with low rolling clouds hovering just above a golden field.
Photographer Kenneth Garrett took this shot of a thunderstorm pummeling an open field with both torrential rain and a bolt of lightning.
This image captured by photographer, Annie Griffiths Belt, makes the viewer aware of their vulnerability. With nowhere to hide on this North Dakota plain, a large thunderstorm looms ahead at the end of a tiny country road.
In this photograph, a heavy thunderstorm has hit an urban area. The viewer is in traffic, trying to make his way to the safety of home, but with the downpour obscuring his vision and the tail lights ahead signalling a slow down, safety may be some time away.
This image was captured by photographer, Sisse Brimberg.
This photo places the viewer along a drenched lane in the middle of a storm. With no let up in sight, taking cover and waiting it out is the only choice.
Brian Gordon Green is the photographer.
Photographer Gareth Rockliffe captured this picture of a pending thunderstorm hovered over the water; the proverbial calm before the storm. This shot was taken near Beverly, Massachusetts, USA.
This is another one of the thunderstorm pictures memorialized by photographer Gareth Rockliffe. This one was shot near the shoreline of Magnolia, Massachusetts.
Learn More About Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are created by Cumulonimbus clouds which can be tremendous formations that vault into the atmosphere as high as 12 miles. All thunderstorms of course, involve lightning. Some also include heavy winds and hail, while others, such as super cells, spawn tornado activity. Lightning is a powerful force. It can strike 10 miles or more away from the rain activity. A bolt of lightning reaches a temperature of 50,000 degree Fareheit instantly.
For those who observe heat lightning, this is actually a distant thunderstorm. We are simply unable to hear the thunder as it's too far away. If you hear thunder, then you're generally close enough to potentially be struck by the lightning. To estimate the distance, simply count the seconds from the time you see the burst of light until the time you hear the thunder. Divide this number by five and you'll get an idea of how many miles away it is.
Despite the dangerous nature of lightning, flash flooding is actually considered to be the more destructive result of a heavy thunderstorm. Hail too can be very damaging, as the larger hailstones can fall to earth at a velocity of 100 miles per hour. Winds in excess of 100 miles per hour can bring down large trees and are sometimes present with large storms.
Thunderstorms can be a fascinating thing to study. You can find many interesting facts about them in this Sky-Fire.tv article or for more indepth information, you can look for a book below.