Lightning Over The Mojave Desert

Lightning over the Mojave Desert communities of Victorville and Apple Valley

This color picture of the desert floor to the east of Table Mountain is a 4 minute exposure made with
Kodak Kodacolor 100 ASA 35mm film with a Zeiss Ikon 35mm camera using a 35mm wide angle lens
stopped to f/2.8 on September 30, 1981. Numerous strikes are seen hitting the desert floor to the east
and southeast of the city of Victorville.

On this particular night, there were seven waves of active cells that passed from the SE to the NW over
all of southern California. Ironically, there were no lighning strikes within 10 miles of Table Mountain...we
also never had any rain, so photography was real easy. The cells moved so predictably, I could aim the
camera and get good pictures nearly every time. Photography took 5 hours, and 10 rolls of film were shot.

Table Mountain Observatory, operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is located just west of the
town of Wrightwood, California at an elevation of 7500 feet.

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