It might look like a lost piece of art by Jackson Pollock, but this colorful map actually shows data. Specifically, it shows the location of every lightning strike from July 2012.
Local lightning expert and VAISALA consultant Ron Holle, who shares this map of last month's lightning totals around Southern Arizona and northern Mexico, says 280,294 lightning strokes are depicted here.
Each of these strokes — and every stroke of lightning in the United States — is detected by VAISALA's U.S. National Lightning Detection Network, which is based in Tucson.
To learn more about lightning, check out this chat Holle had with Arizona Daily Star readers earlier this summer.