Weather phenomena are not a new thing, and if you have ever witnessed such an event in person then you know some are common and some are rare. And many can also be deadly.

Take your pick. There are tornadoes, tsunamis, ice storms, cyclones, dust storms, and more. And as showcased in this video, there is also something called a microburst. Filmed in Austria at Lake Millstatt by 27-year-old Peter Maier, this video features one in action.

It is quite a remarkable sight to see the clouds open up and drop what seems like huge buckets of water below. Maier shot the video during a visit to the lake this past June and was lucky enough to capture the moment from his hotel.

Calling it a tsunami from heaven, he decided to post it online as a time-lapse video, and you can see the rush of rain affect the lake and lands around it. Amazing!

Unlike your average downpour, a microburst is considered dangerous for the amount of damage it can cause. There are two types, dry and wet, and the one seen in this clip is a wet microburst.

Less common than a dry microburst, wet ones are formed when air and rain mix in a cloud, causing the air to cool. This coolness (of the air) combined with the precipitation becomes extremely dense and then rapidly shoots to the ground in a column.

Its action has been compared to a water balloon hitting the ground and sending water shooting everywhere. When a microburst descends, it creates a range of intense force in the area around it. People often mistake them for tornadoes due to their shape and power, as their fast-moving winds have the ability to move people and structures.

Pilots are cautioned against flying near or through one as they can be a hazardous, life-threatening event and not always easily predictable. Radar helps, but it is not entirely reliable if one forms quickly. These weather events have been a major contributor to airplane accidents.

What may surprise you is that microbursts have short lives. They can last anywhere from just a few seconds to 10 or 15 minutes. But those winds can get up to 100 miles per hour. Additionally, they fit neatly into the category of microburst as long as their reach is less than 2 ½ miles.

Anything larger than that is considered a macroburst (you probably guessed that). Scientists explain that although rare, wet microbursts are typically seen in regions that are prone to a lot of humidity. When you see thunderclouds or hear thunder booming, it is possible that conditions are ripe for a microburst.

The images seen in Maier’s video are quite stunning, but they are also a reminder of what Mother Nature can do. Beautiful and dangerous are quite the combination. Just watch the video to see!

Weather forecasters do their best to warn us ahead of time if they know one is coming, but remember, that these can easily catch you off guard.

What do you think of this captivating video? Have you ever seen or been caught in a microburst? Which type got you?


Live Science