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Picture This: Lucky Lightning Photo & Crazy Bug Swarm

When weather strikes, it can lead to some amazing and unexpected photos, like the shot of lightning one flier caught from her plane window. It can also set up the conditions for some stunning scenic shots, as storms in Glacier National Park showed earlier this week. And then, sometimes what looks like weather on a radar screen isn't actually weather at all, but instead an apocalyptic-looking swarm of insects. See what we have in store for you in this week's roundup of the best weather and climate photos:

Lucky Lightning Photo

Holy awesome lightning photo, Batman!

Airline passenger Gina Hyams snapped this lucky shot of a lightning strike in a downpour over Denver while her plane was circling the airport because of storms, the Capital Weather Gang reported. Lightning is notoriously tricky to photograph even for professionals, they note. Hyams got this shot with her iPhone. Amazing.

 

Is That Rain? No, It’s Mayflies

Looks like a squall line is rolling over La Crosse, Wis., in this radar, doesn’t it? Actually, not a drop of rain was falling. What the radar detected was a massive swarm of mayflies. Ugh!

And because those radar images aren’t sufficient to convey the sheer scale and gross factor of the swarm, we’ll throw in a photo of cars and the ground carpeted in the creatures.

The mayflies live at the bottom of lakes and streams when they are young, for a year or two, then emerge and transform into adults, creating swarms of varying size. The adult mayflies only live for a few days and only exist to mate and create the next generation.

The National Weather Service office in La Crosse keeps a page devoted to noting the emergences of the mayflies.

 

 

Typhoon Matmo Swallows Taiwan

It’s been a busy few weeks for typhoons in the Northwest Pacific, with Typhoon Neoguri swerving into Japan, Typhoon Rammasun soaking the Philippines and this week Typhoon Matmo barreling straight into Taiwan.

Its head-on hit put the storm in the position to cover the entire island with its swirling clouds, as seen in this satellite image.

Matmo made landfall with winds of nearly 100 mph, but its torrential rains were the main concern. Some locations did see flash flooding and landslides, according to AIR Worldwide. The storm was blamed for the crash of a TransAsia Airways flight.

 

Calm After the Storm

The passing of another storm set the stage for a beautiful sky over Montana’s Glacier National Park on Wednesday.

The height of the clouds that linger after the storm means they can catch the rays of sunlight traveling through the atmosphere at sunset, like a blank screen for the rays to project onto.

Beautiful.