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Winter in Northern Arizona

Aerial Photography

January 31, 2021

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Winter in Northern Arizona. Aerial image of a snow-blanked Mount Elden at sunset in Flagstaff, Arizona.

There’s nothing quite like winter in Northern Arizona and seeing snow in the high country. We received quite the winter storm last week. A Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service was in effect for much of the week, especially the Flagstaff area sitting at approximately 7000 feet in elevation. Difficult driving conditions, heavy snowfall, and whiteouts were all a part of the mix.

For the duration of the storm, I watched from the window as Flagstaff quickly turned into a winter wonderland and kept a close eye on UAV Forecast. I couldn’t wait to finally capture aerial images of the snow.

I’ve had the DJI Mavic 2 Pro for two years, yet I never managed to shoot in the snow (as you can see from my portfolio). The timing never seemed to work out – I was always working or the temperatures were too cold…by the time I was free to fly, the snow had already started to melt.

Until the storm last week.

I knew the storm was coming well in advance and I planned ahead. I charged the batteries and controller the evening before; checked the weather forecast every few hours for changes; conducted all of the airspace research; physically inspected the batteries, body, gimbal, and propellers; reviewed the area on Google Maps; updated the firmware on the controller and drone…I was READY.

By 4:45 PM on January 28, 2021, the drone was airborne above the shimmering snow. Although I had to keep a close eye on the battery level the entire flight, the experience was worth it! I got in a good hour of flight time, stopping just before the sun set after I captured the aerial image included above. I have to say, it’s now one of my favorite photos!

All in all, the storm ended up breaking records as one of the largest in the history of the City. It is one I will remember without a doubt.

  1. Amy says:

    Beautiful image – glad you finally had the chance to experience the snow with your drone!

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