Colorado’s famed summer afternoon thunderstorms were captured by an airline passenger in dramatic fashion in a photo posted to Twitter this week.
“Caught this flying into Denver this afternoon,” tweeted Gina Hyams, mentioning the Weather Channel and Southwest Airlines. “Yikes!!!”
The photo she posted Thursday showed a bright ribbon of lightning emitting from a rain cloud and striking farmland on the plains below.
The bolt came amid a hot, stormy afternoon in the Denver area, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service’s Denver/Boulder office, which retweeted the photo.
Hyams said she had been flying into Denver from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey when she photographed the lightning struck about 2 p.m. Her flight circled the airport for about 15 minutes before landing because of storms, she said.
There were lots of “oooohs and ahhhhhs and I screamed of course,” she wrote in a separate tweet.
She captured the photo using the “burst mode” on her iPhone after seeing other lightning strikes from the plane, she said.
Mountain thunderstorms are common in the region in the last half of July and much of August, according to the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. Such storms often affect traffic into Denver International Airport.
In mid-July, two tourists were killed by lightning strikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, north-northwest of Denver, the Associated Press reported. They were the first such deaths in the popular park in 14 years, the AP reported.