Just when the aforeblogged severe thunderstorm cell seemed to be weakening, an enormous line of thunderstorms popped into existence, out of nowhere, and is now stretched across the Valley just south of us. The entire southern sky is lit up with frequent, vivid lightning. Amazing!
P.S. Although the Phoenix radar is down, the long-range Tucson radar still gives a general (if lower-resolution) idea of what’s going on.
UPDATE: Here’s another radar view.
The “Newshawk 5″ helicopter reporter for KPHO is calling this “one of the largest electrical storms I have seen in years come through the Valley.”
8,000 customers without power right now.
There was a microburst in Scottsdale with winds in excess of 80 mph.
Severe street flooding.
Where we are, in Glendale, there has been very little rain or nearby lightning strikes, and only a mild breeze. We were sort of like a hole in a donut of storms. But we got a great view of the lightning all around us!
Lightning map here.
UPDATE, 10:23 PM: Now 20,000 without power, according to KPHO.
UPDATE, 10:45 PM: Here’s a pair of videos I took — one while standing in our parking lot, one while walking down the street — that give you some idea how frequent the lightning was (though it was even more frequent at the storm’s peak):
And here are a few more lightning photos:
UPDATE, 10:50 PM: I keep talking about this storm in the past tense, but in reality it’s still happening. In fact, we’re just now finally getting some serious rain and loud thunder (i.e., from nearby lightning) here in Glendale. I just hope we don’t lose power…
UPDATE, 10:58 PM: The NWS Phoenix radar is back online. You can see orange-colored radar echoes directly over Glendale, which is the storm we’re getting right tnow.
UPDATE, 11:15 PM: It looks like the storms’ direction has changed (again), and the cells in North Scottsdale are now headed this way. It could be a long, noisy night in Glendale.
I just came in from watching one of the most incredible lightning displays I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. As you can see on radar, a severe thunderstorm cell is moving south through the east-central Valley — due east of Glendale — and at one point, I swear it was producing 5 to 10 visible cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per minute. It was amazing. Pictures to follow shortly.
UPDATE: Here are a some of my better photos…
UPDATE: Much more in a new post above.
I found out today that, after work on Thursday, my fellow summer associates and I will be attending a summer-clerk party (with summers from various other Phoenix firms) at the Arizona Club on the 37th floor of the 40-story Chase Tower in Phoenix — the tallest building in Arizona.
I love tall buildings, so this got me thinking…
Once upon a time — as of June 1990, to be specific — I could say that I’d been up 4 of the 7 tallest buildings in the world: #1 (Sears Tower), #3 (Two World Trade Center), #4 (Empire State Building), and #7 (John Hancock Center). This was a source of considerable pride for me, and I hoped to add to my total and someday complete the Top 10.
Alas, much has changed in the last 16 years. As this list of the world’s 200 tallest buildings shows, a whole slew of skyscrapers have been constructed in Asia over the last decade-and-a-half, demoting the Sears Tower to #4 in the world, the Empire State Building to #9, and the John Hancock Center to #16. And of course, both towers of the World Trade Center — Tower One, which I hadn’t visited, and Tower Two, which I had — were destroyed in the terrorist atrocity on September 11, 2001.
As a result, I can now claim to have visited only 3 of the top 16 buildings in the world. Harumph. And Thursday’s party won’t put a dent in that; at 483 feet, the Chase Tower doesn’t even come close to making the Top 200 list. (Building #200 is 743 feet.)
That said, I have visited the world’s tallest “free-standing structure”: the CN Tower in Toronto, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. But alas, even that distinction won’t last for long: Burj Dubai is scheduled to overtake the CN Tower for tallest structure (and Taipei 101 for tallest building) in 2008.
On the bright side, there may be a new really tall building in Chicago for me to visit soon: the Fordham Spire, due to be completed in 2009 (or perhaps 2010; more info here). And there’s also the Freedom Tower in New York to look forward to, circa 2012. Of course, by then, there will probably be about 800 new tall buildings in Asia… :)
An Israeli air raid struck a United Nations observation post and killed four U.N. observers in southern Lebanon, according to Lebanese security sources. Visit CNN for the latest.
The Israeli military claims it has killed the senior Hezbollah commander in charge of the central area of Lebanon's border with Israel. No word from Hezbollah. Visit CNN for the latest.
The Hartford Courant’s Washington Bureau Chief, shrewd political analyst David Lightman, thinks So:
WASHINGTON - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet with President Bush and address Congress this week, a visit that promises to attract lots of media attention at a bad time for Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.
Lieberman plans to attend Wednesday’s joint session of Congress for al-Maliki’s speech, and the national press, which has been closely following Lieberman’s primary fight with anti-war challenger Ned Lamont, is sure to take notice.
Even if the senator skips the speech, Lamont’s backers are delighted by Lieberman’s predicament just two weeks before the primary.
“If he stays away, it will appear he’s running from his record,” Lamont campaign manager Tom Swan said. “If he goes, he’ll remind people he’s George Bush’s biggest Senate cheerleader.”
That last phrase is utter cowpoop of course, but Spreading the Proverbial Pollutant is Tom Swan’s Job. (And he’s Good at it too. :)
…Critics, including prominent Democrats, will use the visit to highlight their disagreements with the war and in some cases with al-Maliki. [CT] Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3rd District, who has been supporting Lieberman, was circulating a letter Monday urging congressional leaders to cancel the al-Miliki appearance.
Hm. / Wonder if maybe Rosa’s really trying to have Nouri Scrubbed (under the Out-Of-Iraq public Rubric of course :) in order to get Joe off the Hook? Hm. / Naah. :>
It would appear that Parker Brothers thinks we are all so incapable of dealing with cash that they best switch Monopoly to plastic. (You can read about it at engadget. Or here at Sky News.) While I think this is crazy, they might have something, given that most cashiers these days can’t count change without the register telling them what it is. Much less understand why you are handing them $12.07 when the bill is $6.82 but I digress.