Environment Planet Earth Watch Storms and Stars Sail Over the Colorado River By Noel Kirkpatrick Writer Georgia State University Young Harris College Noel Kirkpatrick is an editor and writer based in Tacoma, Washington. He covers many topics including science and the environment. our editorial process Noel Kirkpatrick Updated March 18, 2018 A lightning bolt visible over the Colorado River at river level in the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Planet Earth Weather Outdoors Conservation #1 The SKYGLOW Project filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović are at it again, continuing their time-lapse films of the Grand Canyon, this time from river level. In "Colorado Requiem," Mehmedinović captures the ebbs and flows of monsoon season over the Colorado River. Storm clouds gather over the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) You may be thinking, "Wait. Monsoons? In Arizona?" That's an understandable question, but weather is relative. The Grand Canyon only gets about 8 inches of rain a year, according to rafting company Grand Canyon Whitewater, so thunderstorms that drop 2 or 3 inches are sort of like monsoons in that they can result in flash floods or water accumulation. Storm clouds gather over the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon at sunset. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) Perhaps because of their rarity, or because of the stunning landscape in which they occur, thunderstorms along this section of the Colorado River are beautiful. Grand Canyon Whitewater, which provided SKYGLOW with rafting support for "Colorado Serenade," writes that "rafters on the Colorado River will see lots of waterfalls (pour-overs from the rain runoff) and features that aren't often there" when rafters typically go down the river. A lightning bolt visible over the Colorado River at river level in the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) Monsoon season in this area lasts for about a month, from mid-July to mid-August, and there's plenty of lightning to be seen. Indeed, the National Park Service estimates that lightning strikes within Grand Canyon National Park an average of 26,073 times per year. A lighting strike over the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) But just because there are storm clouds doesn't mean there aren't plenty of stunning views of the heavens. Mehmedinović's cameras capture (and speed up) the movements of clouds and stars to create a beautiful experience. Tents along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. (Photo: Harun Mehmedinović) The SKYGLOW Project is "a crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America." If you want more of SKYGLOW's beautiful photography and videos, there is a book and a video series chronicling the project's nighttime views of North America.