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Pic of the week: A volcano in Guatemala erupts and severe storms explode with lightning

Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala erupts as sky explodes in lightning overhead. (Brad Guay)
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It doesn’t get more epic than this — a 12,346-foot volcano in Guatemala erupts in lava as the sky explodes in lightning in the distance. Wow!

Meet Volcán de Fuego, “Fuego” for short, which is known for being constantly active as it sits above Antigua, Guatemala. In fact, records of Fuego spewing ash and lava go all the way back to the Spanish Conquest. While this volcano may be well-known for its constant low-level explosions, photographer Brad Guay timed his visit perfectly capturing an eruption while an electric thunderstorm blasted the sky with vivid lightning in the distance. A perfect merriment of geology and meteorology, captured in a single photo.

Now, Guatemala is no stranger to summertime thunderstorms. Located near 14 degrees latitude, afternoons often light up with thunderstorms thanks to its geographic proximity to the ITCZ, or Intertropical Convergence Zone. The ITCZ is a narrow band of showers and thunderstorms near the equator that circles the globe year-round. The location of the ITCZ actually fluctuates with the seasons, where it actually moves farther north during the northern hemisphere season because of the heating of the land masses. The result is a stormy season along Central America, centered right over Guatemala and Volcán de Fuego. Kaboom!

Here are a few other jaw-dropping looks at Volcán de Fuego, courtesy of Guay:

Weather is awesome. #cwgpicoftheweek