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Lightning Watching

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Lightning (Photo: iStockphoto/Martin Fischer)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on March 24, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Antarctica, Cannon Beach, Christine Sarkis, Colorado, Costa Rica, destination, Gold Beach, Hawaii Volcanoes Natl Pk, Montserrat, Mount Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Republic of Congo, Tampa, Texas, Tofino, Venezuela, Washington.

Lightning is a very dangerous spectacle, but at The Lightning Field in New Mexico, you can witness its terrifying beauty up close and in relative safety. The art installation, a grid made up of 400 stainless steel poles one mile wide by one kilometer long, was created by Walter de Maria and is maintained by Dia Art Foundation.

From May through October, visitors can spend the night in a cabin adjacent to the installation and watch for lightning. Lightning storms are most common between mid-July and the end of August, though they may also occur at other times during the visiting season.

More Lightning Watching

Its pattern of afternoon thunderstorms in summer makes Tampa the "Lightning Capital of the U.S." And in Venezuela, the famed Catatumbo Lightning phenomenon creates lightning without thunder about 150 days per year. When watching lightning, do so from indoors and take the proper precautions.

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