A cameraman for a local television station in Phoenix, Arizona, couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a huge mushroom-cloud shape in the skies while shooting footage from his news helicopter.
Being in the right place at the right time, Jerry Ferguson managed to capture the moment perfectly.
“Arizona may not get much rain, but when we do, it is dramatic,” he said in a Facebook post. “Here’s an aerial photo of a strong microburst that dumped rain and high winds in south Phoenix.”
Arizona may not get much rain, but when we do, it is dramatic. Here’s an aerial photo of a strong microburst that dumped rain and high winds in south Phoenix – from the Penguin Air & Plumbing Newschopper Penguinair.com
The gigantic mushroom cloud was a “microburst”, a weather phenomenon which occurs when sinking air – or a downdraft – in a thunderstorm is created by a combination of falling rain, hail and evaporation. Once the water evaporates, it cools down the air, making it dense and powerful.
Microbursts can be dangerous because they spread wind out in all directions after hitting the ground. Small and powerful bursts of wind typically rush downwards out of a thunderstorm and gusts can reach up to 150mph (240kph).
Ferguson called the microburst he witnessed over Phoenix an “atomic blast from Mother Nature.”
The Arizona monsoon season arrived with an atomic blast from Mother Nature. penguinair.com
Another Phoenix resident also managed to get an impressive photo from the ground.
Awesome shot of a microburst taken by @Nayster55 out in Arizona yesterday!
But, of course nothing beats Ferguson’s views from the sky, including a dust storm in the days after.
Check out these aerial photos of a massive dust storm hitting Phoenix
A separate video by photographer Bryan Snider also showed a spectacular timelapse of the microburst over the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.