15 Insane Photos from Northern California’s 2-Day Lightning Storm

It is estimated that there were nearly 8,000 lightning strikes across California on Saturday and Sunday, dominating the sky with booming thunder and bright lights. The mid-August storm became national news as hundreds of wildfires were started by the strikes, putting thousands of residents in danger of the flames.

While the long-term damage of the lightning storm is yet to be determined, the 2-day storm gave photographers throughout Northern California the opportunity capture some eye-catching shots of the lightning bolts. From the Bay Area to Sacramento and all the way up to Redding, the storm was bright throughout the area. Here are some of the best photos from the storm:

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Here's one of my favorite images from a wild night/morning of storm chasing in the Bay Area a couple nights ago. The Bay Area experienced lightning and storms unlike anything I've ever seen in this area, and likely won't see again for a long long time. Like all the storm chases I've been on, it was a rollercoaster of frustration and elation. Things seemed to come together at sunrise as some magenta light illuminated sheets of rain while bolts struck in the distance behind the city. I hope you all enjoy this one, were able to enjoy some of that wild weather, and are staying safe. It was also fun getting to chase the storms with some other great photographers out there. It's times like these where I really appreciate the people I've met here on IG and the photography community here in the Bay Area. This will definitely be an evening we talk about for years to come.

A post shared by Nirav Thakor (@niravthakorphotography) on

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When Mother Nature gives you 2 lightshows together, it's time to quit photography, because every future picture that I take, is all down hill from here. Lightning, meet my friend, bioluminescence waves! p.s. my power is still out from the storm, so my laptop has enough juice to edit and upload this 1 pic only. I have video of this meeting that I will upload later when power returns . . . . . . #californiacoast #lightningstrike #lightningstorm #lightningphotography #montereybay #norcal #northerncalifornia #northerncali #californialove #bioluminescence #bioluminescentwaves #bioluminescent #bioluminiscencia #bioluminescentplankton #bioluminescentbay #phytoplankton #nightphotography #nightphoto #nightscapes #nocturnal #noctilucascintillans #noctilucas #noctiluca #seasparkle #santacruzlife #yoursantacruz #visitsantacruz #exploresantacruz #santacruznow #santacruzwaves

A post shared by Johnny Chien (@johnnychien.photo) on

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Mother Nature makes a special appearance in this mornings lightning storm ❤️ Do you see her? ohhh what a night…err morning… woke up at 3 AM because it was just too dang hot to sleep… got up to quickly check the webcams to see if the fog was coming in (per usual) haha and what i saw blew my mind.. it was a still image of a lightning bolt over San Francisco 😮 so in a matter of two minutes I have my clothes on…my camera gear packed.. and was out the door racing to find a spot.. was a good two hours of chasing lightning bolts all around the East Bay until I finally decided this was a shot I was going to make happen. I just wanted to wait till blue hour..so just after 6am I finally hit it with this one exposure, no compositing here. I admit at the time I thought this burst of lightning was going to hit me!! it was crazy. anyway I wanted to come home and go to sleep and still do but honestly I am too jacked up from all the lightning bolts I witnessed this morning 😅 enjoy and thanks for taking a look 😉

A post shared by Vincent James (@vincentjamesphotography) on

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“Fearless” Last Sunday night was a very special night for me, for a few reasons: First , I witnessed a very unique and amazing lightning storm, this beautiful thunderstorm formed right in front of my eyes; I didn’t have to go far to capture some photos, just had to walk to the park next to my house and set the tripod and camera and capture some of that amazing beauty. This is one of the photos I captured that night, the lightning is impressive but what I love the most about this photo is the clouds, beautiful stormy clouds passing through Sacramento skies; it was gorgeous. And second thing about that night was that while taking photos, a beautiful white shepherd husky mix came to me; she was lost and wandering and as soon as she saw me she just came to me and sit next to me; I brought her home, gave her water and bought her food and now I’m just trying to find her owners while I give her all the love and cuddles she deserves ^_^ Photo by #emrrado Camera: Nikon Z7 Lens: FTZ Nikkor 20mm 1.8 f/8 ISO 64 30s 20mm. Location: Antelope, CA #lightning #lightningstrike #lightningstorm #lightningbolt #lightningphotography #zcreators #nikonz7 #nikonmirrorless #nikonz7 #z7 #sacramento #sacramentophotographer #sacramentophotography #sacafterdark #activenorcal #rayo #igerssac #longexposure #nikonnofilter #nikonusa #shainblumff #nikkor20mm #skyphotography #nightphotography #nightphoto #lazyshutters #californialove #cloudscape #cloudporn #thunderstorm

A post shared by Emanuel Madrid (@emrrado) on

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  1. I am from Vacaville ,Ca and now living in colorado , springs and I have never seen a fire out of control like the fire going on now.We had fires but nothing like what is going on it reminds me of the Paradise fire

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