News And Field Notes: Grand Canyon Monsoon Magic - July 27, 2020

Late last week I was at home, in my office, preparing for upcoming photography workshops at the Grand Canyon when I heard (and felt) the rumble of distant thunder. Storms aren't unusual during the summer months here in Arizona as it is our monsoon season, but what was a bit unusual was how early the storms were starting on this day.

I quickly checked the RadarScope Pro radar app and saw numerous thunderstorms across our region, many of which were active in producing lightning. The weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms through sunset, and even a good chance of rain overnight, so I packed a bag and hit the road, my destination was Grand Canyon.

The photos in this post were all made in just one overnight stay at the canyon. Luckily, I already had a campsite reserved at Mather Campground in the park which would be very convenient as it's a short drive to the rim from camp.

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A rainbow gracefully arcs into the depths of Grand Canyon as morning light paints the ridges and cliffs in golden hues. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

AZ, Arizona, Grand Canyon, Monsoon, National Park, Rainbow, South Rim, The Battleship, Yavapai Point, photo

A rainbow gracefully arcs into the depths of Grand Canyon as morning light paints the ridges and cliffs in golden hues. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

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A cloudy sunrise at Grand Canyon creates a dreamy atmosphere. From Mather Point on the South Rim. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

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A foggy sunrise creates a dream-like atmosphere within the depths of Grand Canyon. From Mather Point on the South Rim.

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A gentle rain silently falls into Grand Canyon just after sunrise creating a beautiful atmosphere and accentuating the many ridges below the rim. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

AZ, Arizona, Grand Canyon, Monsoon, National Park, Rain, South Rim, Yavapai Point, photo

A gentle rain falls into Grand Canyon just after sunrise creating a beautiful atmosphere and accentuating the many ridges below the rim. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

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Sunlight filters through low-hanging clouds over Cedar Ridge and O'Neill Butte. From the South Rim of Grand Canyon. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

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A gentle rain falls into the Grand Canyon at sunset. From Yavapai Point on the South Rim. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

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God beams stream into Grand Canyon illuminating its shadowy depths. From Mather Point on the South Rim. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

AZ, Arizona, Grand Canyon, Monsoon, National Park, South Rim, Sunset, Yavapai Point, photo

A light rain falls into Grand Canyon as sunset approaches. The light in the canyon was faint and only lasted for a very short time before fading away. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

This was my first monsoon storm chasing photography outing to the canyon this year. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.I've been photographing the Grand Canyon for 12 years, and it's always a treat to see and photograph the storms at the canyon. Getting to photograph the fog, clouds, rain, thunderstorms, and rainbows, all in a one-day trip just proves that Grand Canyon is magic.