Photographer and news helicopter pilot Jerry Ferguson managed to capture a microburst storm that was hovering over Phoenix, Arizona while shooting footage for a local television station. Simply put, it’s a small downdraft that moves in a way opposite of a tornado, and are found in strong thunderstorms. They usually last for a couple of seconds to several minutes, and are accompanied by high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Within a thunderstorm there are two types of microbursts: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their life cycle: the downburst, outburst, and cushion stages. Microbursts can be particularly dangerous to aircraft, especially during landing due to the wind shear caused by its gust front. Several fatal crashes having been attributed to the phenomenon over the past several decades, and flight crew training goes to great lengths on how to properly recover from a microburst/wind shear event.