Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
I think we can all agree that the weather can be pretty unpredictable and crazy. But the weather in Arizona? It’s on a whole other level! Arizona weather year-round is confusing, to say the least. Maybe you’ve heard of Arizona’s monsoons and haboobs… and you probably thought those were the weirdest things that Arizona could cook up. Nope.
Okay, so the technical term is microburst (or wet microburst) but rain bomb does seem pretty fitting, don’t you think? Either way, Arizona’s Granite Mountains are getting soaked!
Microbursts are born from strong thunderstorms, and Arizona certainly has plenty of those during certain times of the year. You might be wondering what causes this crazy phenomenon…
Microbursts are caused when a column of cool air drops suddenly through the storm and towards the surface. In the case of wet microbursts, lots of precipitation falls along with this cool air. In fact, the air is actually cooled by the precipitation, usually as a result of melting ice or hail.
By definition, microbursts only affect a small area — about 2 1/2 miles across! But, when the wind and precipitation reach the surface they spread out with a lot of force! They can generate winds over 150 miles per hour!
So, basically, a whole lotta rain and wind come crashing down on one unlucky spot all at once. Unfortunately, this has been known to do some serious damage! Back in August of 2014, in Mesa Arizona, a dry microburst that didn’t even bring any rain ripped the entire roof off a building!
Unfortunately, microbursts are very hard to forecast. As we said, Arizona weather year-round is confusing and never predictable. That’s why catching one on camera or video is such a rare occurrence! Bryan Snyder is one storm chaser and photographer who has been lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time! In August of 2015, he was in Tucson hoping to grab some time-lapse footage of a storm! Instead, what he got was this rare footage of Arizona’s incredible weather. Check out this awesome video!
Have you ever been lucky enough to witness this crazy weather phenomenon? We want to hear about it in the comments below!