June 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM
categories: photography

The city in summer floated in a daze that moved otherwise sensible people to repeat endlessly the brainless greeting “Hot enough for ya? Ha-ha!” It was like the final joke before the meltdown of the world in a pool of sweat.

New York City's first summer heat wave broke on Friday evening, and the Empire State Building seemed like a fine place to watch the lightning as the cold front slid in from the west.

Lightning strikes New Jersey the evening of June 22, 2012
photo from the Empire State Building Observation Deck

Shortly after taking the photo, there was a flash and immediate crack of thunder, and the outdoor deck was closed. The web is conflicted on whether the skyscraper is struck by lightning 10 times, 25 times, or 100 times a year.

A variety of weather instruments are visible above the 86th floor deck. The wind speed and direction are shown on this beautiful Art Deco dial in the lobby, restored in 2009: