Don’t get kicked by a “rain foot”

rainfoot3Thank you to Ashley Jordan for this stunning photo from Leaf River on Sunday. What looks like a normal rain shower is actually evidence of a wet microburst! What’s abnormal with this photo is the presence of a “rain foot.” A rain foot is where the rain shaft (which is normally at an 80-90° angle to the ground) actually bends into the horizontal. The photo to the left is the unedited version she shared on Facebook. But let’s analyze the photo to learn what’s going on here.

Look closely at the base of the cloud and you can see the opening where hail and heavy rain is falling. The rain shaft also shows us where the heavy precipitation is occurring. Yesterday’s storms produced quite a bit of hail at their mature stages and this one probably did produce at least pea-sized hail.

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Now look closely at the leading edge of the rain shaft. See how it juts out along the ground to the right? That’s a rain foot. A rain foot gives us visual evidence of a wet microburst, a very strong wind pushing down and out ahead of the thunderstorm. Most times, it’s hard to see a rain foot head on. If you drive into one from the front, you’ll be buffeted by very strong horizontal wind with pelting rain. But this photo from Ashley shows the rain foot at a perfect angle.

I’m interested to know if anybody saw any damage with this rain foot near the Leaf River area Sunday. If so, pass the information along to us!

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Posted under weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on May 12, 2014

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