Rare Bay Bridge lightning strike captured on camera

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Upshot

Phil McGrew (Flickr)

The San Francisco Bay Area has been buffeted by bad weather lately, and as a rare thunder storm rumbled through, photographer Phil McGrew thought to set up his camera and snapped rare sight: Eight bolts of lightning hitting the Bay Bridge.

The San Francisco currency trader, who took up photography two years ago, set up his camera from his office in San Francisco, and set the lens to a long exposure. He wrote on Flickr, "This shot has been on my list since moving to San Francisco. Unfortunately, I've only seen lightning 3 times in the 2 years I've lived here. Tonight, I got lightning in 3 seperate 20 second exposures. This is a single exposure."

The photo shows each of the four towers of the bridge that connects the East Bay with San Francisco lit up with lightning against the murky sky and rain-spattered window.

McGrew told the Daily Mail: "You can count the strikes, the Bay Bridge has four distinct towers and you can see the lightning hitting each tower."

You sure can.  The shot, which was trending on Twitter, received over a hundred comments on Flickr. Fans called it   "eerily beautiful," and "stunning."