Volcano Lightning, Iceland Photograph by Sigurdur H. Stefnisson, National Geographic Lightning cracks during an eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010. The eruption’s ash clouds delayed European air travel for nearly a week. Storms over volcanoes contain the same ingredients as storms over your hometown—water droplets, ice, and occasionally hail. The interaction of all of these elements creates an electrical charge that sparks lightning. Active craters add ash to the mix. (Related: “Iceland Volcano Pictures: Lightning Adds Flash to Ash” and “Pictures: Volcano Lightning, Illuminated.”) For an in-depth exploration of extreme weather events around the world, read National Geographic magazine's September feature "Weather Gone Wild." --Tasha Eichenseher
Frozen Lighthouse, Michigan Photograph by Mike Gatch, Your Shot A Lake Michigan lighthouse takes the brunt of a frigid winter in Saint Joseph, Michigan. The southeastern shores of all of the Great Lakes often experience lake-effect snow. When strong winds blow across an unfrozen and relatively warm lake, the moist air coming off the water encounters cooler temperatures over land and lake water becomes precipitation, or ice. (See pictures of other winter wonders.)
As Felix Baumgartner broke the world record for a free fall jump from higher than 120,000 feet in space—becoming the first person to free fall while breaking the sound barrier—the National Geographic Channel and BBC detailed every second with more than 20 cameras. The footage will be combined with exclusive behind-the-scenes access following Baumgartner's four-year metamorphosis from an elite BASE jumper to an extreme altitude specialist who can think and act like an astronaut.