The National Weather Service Office in Lake Charles is reporting an extremely rare phenomenon that took place along the coast of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana during the early morning hours of this past Saturday. It's called a Heat Burst and in the span of 12 minutes, the air temperature over that specific area rose almost 20 degrees Farenheight.

According to the National Weather Service Office, the Heat Burst happened at about 1:30 in the early morning hours of Saturday. At that time a large thunderstorm complex was situated very near Calcasieu Pass. Weather Service instruments recorded wind gusts with the storm at 70 mph. That's just four miles an hour shy of Category 1 Hurricane strength.

The temperature in the area jumped from just under 64 degrees to almost 83 degrees in a little over 10 minutes. The air pressure around the storm system also dropped an impressive 4.9 millibars during that short period of time as well.

Most of us are not familiar with Heat Bursts. They are certainly not a normal occurrence in nature but they do happen. A Heat Burst occurs when downdrafts from strong thunderstorms, such as the one that was occurring south of Calcasieu Pass, bring dry air aloft down to the surface. This giant "whoosh" if you will, leads to strong winds and a sudden increase in temperature.

In some cases, Heat Bursts can raise the temperature even more dramatically than what was experienced in Southwest Louisiana over the weekend. For example, in Lisbon Portugal in 1949 the temperature jumped from 100 degrees to 158 degrees in two minutes as a result of a Heat Burst.

Heat Bursts themselves are not particularly dangerous, however, they usually happen around dangerous weather such as strong thunderstorms. They most often occur during the nighttime hours as well as many thunderstorms are decaying or dying out with the loss of daytime heat energy.

I guess that's just nature being nature and there really isn't much we can do about it. However, we can observe, for example, were you aware that Mother Nature already had solutions to problems you never even thought about before?

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