Monsoon Downburst

I love seeing a thunderstorm in action. Normally when you are just minding your own business, you just see the clouds move in, maybe some dust blows ahead of them and then the rain/lightning starts. But rarely do you get to see the origin of all that stuff.


This is the second opportunity I've had this summer to see a dust storm forming. The first I posted last week, The Birth of a Monsoon Dust Storm, which was a fun "time lapse" of sorts. But today's photo really shows you the raw power of a thunderstorm's downdraft and what it can do. You might also consider this a microburst.


I shot this on Saturday afternoon where storms were producing 65mph winds, hail and all kinds of lightning. Sometimes you can get a downdraft like this and not see the same results, but the storms were fairly severe on this day and so you get to see something kind of cool. The dust you see forming on the edges above looks like it's just on either side of the storm, but in reality, it was spreading in all angles and just hadn't picked up any dust yet.


While this is a great way to see how a dust storm begins, it's nothing like the giant Haboobs we sometimes get where multiple cells like the above storm are all grouped together and producing many downdrafts that join forces to send massive walls of dust headed towards Phoenix.

  • maurice.heuts 5y

    cool shot! love all the different kind of clouds!
  • Ian Chamberlain 5y

    Nice cloud-burst. The dust clouds are awesome!
  • Lina 5y

    Wow - this is an incredible shot!
  • Steven Maguire 5y

    Love the perspective!!!
  • Raul gonzalez 5y

    Great Photographer Member Award

    This Fantastic image was seen by a Member in:

    *** A Place For Great Photographers*** Sweeper

    Post 1 Award 3.

    Please tag this photo "greatphotographers"
  • Susan Littlefield 5y

    An amazing capture of a downdraft, Mike!! I've never seen the formation of a dust storm like this....absolutely incredible!
  • ROCIO Ysapy 5y

    Great capture, you are great. Love this
  • al.gc 5y

    Un shoot, un nuage incroyable !! superbe prise !!!
  • Jess Bossé 5y


    Hope to see you around my photostream!

    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • photoaz 5y

    Storm chaser..the Discovery and Weather Channel would love this. Unbelievable capture of the power these have. Excellent !!
  • regeniabrabham 5y

    This is incredible!!! I can almost smell it in the air and feel the power.
  • John Tammaro 5y


    -- (?)
  • Jeff D. Welker 5y

    A tremendous image that shows the power of Mother Nature - well done.
  • John Salisbury 5y

    The reality of the down drafts going on is wonderful. Great capture.
  • Viveca Koh 5y

    Fabulous photo - what a sky!
  • Ken Peterson 5y

    You really captured the essence of a monsoon... excellent image!
  • carlosbezz 5y

    This is a wonderful shot!
    You are invited to post it to:

  • Elysium 2010 5y

    Impressive & excellent pic !
  • Jouni Tyrisevä 4y

  • Matt Granz Photography 3y

    --------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------
    You are invited to post this awesome cloud based image at:
    Please help us Storm Chase our way across flickr!
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Taken on August 28, 2010
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  • 17.0 mm
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