FORT DAVIS, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Tuesday shared this photo of a beautiful storm at sunset. The photo was taken by Kenny Braun at Davis Mountains State park, near Fort Davis.
The small downpour over the wide-open spaces of West Texas makes for a picturesque scene with a range of colors. While it is hard to tell from the picture, the caption mentions that the phenomenon is a microburst.
Several users commented on the beauty of the photo in the post. “Wow! We were just there a week ago. What an awesome picture,” one woman said. Another asked: “What’s a microburst?”
A microburst is a localized burst of downward moving air that can sometimes accompany a thunderstorm. The winds associated with a microburst are usually strong and can cause damage. The damage left forms a circular pattern. Thankfully, in this case, the winds would only affect a few jackrabbits.
While there are different ways microbursts can form, often it is dry air in the upper part of the atmosphere — which happens quite often in West Texas — that helps to develop the phenomenon.
Brief desert rain shafts from isolated thunderstorms are another weather phenomenon that create a similar appearance to a microburst and make for fantastic picture opportunities around the Big Bend. While most of the state remains dry, air forced upward thanks to West Texas’ mountains can create summertime thunderstorms, like this one.
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