Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Wet Microburst" Sounds Wimpy, But This Video Will Change Your Mind.

Arizona storm chaser and photographer Bryan Snider captured what is known as a wet microburst earlier this summer smashing to the ground around Phoenix, Arizona.

It's really cool. Watch it below.

No, a wet microburst is not a small water balloon bursting. Microbursts are when a great gush of wind rapidly descends from a thunderstorm, hits the ground and spread out.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal, an airplane passenger
captured a wet micrburst hitting Las Vegas
this past July.  
Wet microbursts are accompanied by great gushes of torrential rain. (Dry microbursts, on the other hand, have little rain with them, but a lot of wind)

Microbursts cover a small area, usually less than 2.5 miles in scale, says NOAA.  But microbursts in some cases are as dangerous as tornadoes.

Winds often exceed 70 mph in a microburst, and there have been cases where wind speeds in a microburst have gotten to near 150 mph.

Wet microbursts are caused by dry air getting entrained into a thunderstorm, which causes air to start sinking fast in part of a thunderstorm, combined with the weight of all those raindrops suddenly getting caught in that downdraft.

The combination of the sinking air and the weight of the water causes the burst of air to slam into the ground, hence your microburst.

These microbursts can look pretty scary, especially when you see them in a time lapse, like the one from Snider:


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