Over the weekend, the National Park Service took to Facebook to share an incredible video that captures lightning strikes at sunset during a Grand Canyon monsoon.
In the post featuring the viral video, the National Park Service shared, “One of the best times of the year to watch the sunset at Grand Canyon is during the summer monsoon. Thunderstorms sweep over the Canyon in the afternoon, dispensing heavy rain and violent lightning. If we are lucky, they depart just before sunset, the lingering clouds and distant lightning make for one of the most spectacular light displays on Earth.”
The National Park Service then shared that the lightning storm in the video was at least 40 miles away, making it safe to film on the rim. The Grand Canyon National Park recently revealed it saw large amounts of rain this monsoon season. Unofficial Works reported that the Grand Canyon airport saw 7.93 inches of rain between June 15th and August 19th. This is notably 245% more than the average monsoon.
National Park Service Reminds Visitors in Grand Canyon of Lightning Hazards
In early August, the National Park Service warned visitors at Grand Canyon of the lightning hazards. It was revealed that in the park, lightning strikes an average of 25,000 times per year.
The National Park Service further explained that in order for Grand Canyon visitors to minimize their exposure to lightning danger, they should be aware of the nearest safe structure or vehicle and how long it will take to reach them. The organization further encouraged visitors to learn where emergency phones are located in the park as well.
It was further noted that visitors should listen for thunder, watch for lightning, and be aware of storm movement directions. “Be vigilant of possible flash foods or falling rocks during or after storms. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation with a thunderstorm approaching, take cover.”
If caught in a thunderstorm, the National Park Service stated if possible, visitors should spread out from others. They should also look for lower ground, but avoid areas that may flood. If in an open area, visitors are encouraged to crouch on the balls of their feet with their heels touching. Their head should be down, and hands covering their ears. Hands should not touch the ground. It is also recommended for visitors to not lay flat on the ground.
The National Park Service went on to add that during a summer thunderstorm or any other inclement weather, shuttle bus service will be suspended on Hermit Road. Visitors will also not be transported by shuttle bus from the Village Route Transfer Station. However, shutter drivers will be able to drive visitors along Hermit Road east to transfer. They may also become standing shelters out along the route.