30 July 2016

This is a "rain bomb"

The phenomenon is known in meteorology circles as the more sober “wet microburst.” They are supposed to happen rarely; conditions must be just right. A thunderstorm runs into a dry patch of air that sucks some moisture away. The air underneath the storm cloud cools, making it more dense than the air around it. The cooler air begins to drop into even warmer air and then accelerates. When the faucet really flips on, air can blast out of the sky at more than 115 miles per hour. It deflects off the ground and pushes winds outward, at or near tornado strength. 
More details about this event in Phoenix at Bloomberg.

Image credit: Chopperguy photographer Jerry Ferguson and pilot Andrew Park, via Bruce Haffner's Twitter feed and Bloomberg.


  1. Absolutely fantastic! Thank you for this!

  2. We had a microburst hit our area a couple weeks ago, it was a freaky couple of minutes at my house where it looked like and also didn't look like a hurricane at the same time but an area 2 towns over got the brunt of it.

  3. I see these a lot where I live, actually. In central Florida, we just call it 'summer'.


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