Storm Chaser Patiently Waits and Finally Captures Rare Quadruple Microburst

Quadruple Microburst by Mike Olbinski

Storm chasers live for the beauty of intense weather. Photographer Mike Olbinski is no different. His love of weather started at a young age and, actually, it was this love that inspired him to pick up the camera. Now, he's a professional wedding and portrait photographer while continuing to chase storms any chance he gets. His hard work recently paid off when he was rewarded with a rare quadruple microburst.

According to the National Weather Service, a microburst is a “localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm.” These microbursts can be dry or wet, with a high concentration of precipitation, and can cause a lot of damage where they touch down. What Oblinski witnessed was four clear columns of precipitation shooting toward Earth, which is quite rare to see. The photographer was out on a storm-chasing tour with two guests and an assistant when they witnessed the event.

“The microburst was such an amazing catch for us. I've seen a lot of them in Arizona, but it's always always a single downburst or column of rain,” Oblinski tells My Modern Met. “This was something else. We had two for a few minutes and it was unreal looking and then we quickly realized the right side of the storm was beginning to dump as well and suddenly before us were just these four massive columns of rain and hail crashing down, all clearly visibly separated which was unreal.”

The sighting was a great way to end the day, which has been largely uneventful until that point. In fact, the group was on their way to the hotel when they saw the storm developing near Andrews, Texas. They decided to get in front of the storm to see what would happen when the microburst appeared.

“We were the only storm chasers on it—which is a rare thing—so our photos and time-lapses were all that captured it,” Oblinski recalled. “[It] was an amazing feeling. But beyond that, just standing there, watching it unfold was magical. Euphoric. This is why we chase, to see stuff like this.”

Watch the rare quadruple microburst unfold in these behind-the-scenes video.

Check out some other incredible photos from storm chaser Mike Olbinski.

Hail Microburst by Mike Oblinski

A massive hail core microburst happens right before our eyes south of Arthur, Nebraska.

Purple Supercell by Storm Chaser Mike Oblinski

A stunning supercell moves over the wheat fields and plains near Cotton Center, Texas just after sunset.

Lightning by Mike Oblinski

A bolt from the blue explodes out the top of a stunning supercell east of Chester, Oklahoma.

Tornado Photo by Mike Oblinksi

A powerful, EF4 tornado spins through the small rural community of Katie, Oklahoma.

Supercell with tornado by Mike Oblinksi

A stunning, structured supercell drops a tornado beneath it near the town of Sudan, Texas

Supercell by Mike Oblinksi

A stunning supercell moves slowly near the town of Ulysses, Kansas.

Mike Olbinski: Website | Instagram | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Mike Olbinski.

Related Articles:

The Hair-Raising Art of Chasing Supercell Storm Clouds

Photographer Captures Storm Cloud That Looks Like a Fiery Explosion in the Sky

Storm Chasing Photos Capture the Beauty and Destruction of Powerful Storm Clouds

Storm Chaser Turns 2 Years’ Worth of Amazing Lightning Adventures into Epic 4K Video

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content