Dramatic Video Captures 'Tsunami From Heaven'

A still from a video of a microburst captured by photographer Pete Maier. (Photo: Pete Maier/YouTube)

The beauty and fury of a wet microburst has been captured in a dramatic new time-lapse video.

Swedish photographer Pete Maier was enjoying a holiday in Lake Millstatt in Carinthia, Austria, when he spied what he later called a "tsunami from heaven" rapidly approaching. Setting up his camera on a hotel terrace overlooking the glacial lake, Maier looked on in astonishment as the storm dumped an intense amount of precipitation on the small region below.

"One can’t plan on capturing such images," he wrote on Facebook. "It was a lucky shot."

Wet microbursts are extremely dangerous storms that feature strong winds and significant precipitation rushing downwards out of a thunderstorm. As their name suggests, they generally only impact a small area, up to 2.5 square miles, and can cause damage similar to that of a small-scale tornado. As you can see in the video below, felled trees in a straight line are good indicators that a microburst has occurred.

Once microbursts reach the ground, they can produce wind gusts in excess of 150 mph.