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Photos: Likely "microburst" storm pummels Black hawk and Box Elder

Aug 26, 2023

Chief Meteorologist

BLACK HAWK, S.D. - After some discussion with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, it's been determined that a likely microburst occurred in the Black Hawk area Thursday afternoon. This resulted in uprooted trees and snapped power lines.

A microburst occurs when a strong updraft suddenly collapses. The rain-cooled air drops like a lead weight and cannonballs towards the surface. This carries all the high winds and rain usually contained to a higher altitude of a thunderstorm.

The outflow that raced ahead of the thunderstorm also slowed the return flow of heat and moisture into the thunderstorm leading to the sudden collapse.

The Box Elder area also saw its fair share of wind damage.

This video from Amy Marie shows the intensity from around 5:25 p.m. Thursday.

Chief Meteorologist