JR Hott of Panhandle Helicopter Tours out of Panama City, Florida has captured a remarkable and rare weather phenomena during a helicopter tour over the city. Called an “Air Tsunami”, the photos show a visually-vibrant, low-lying haze swooping over the high-rise buildings on the Panama City coastline. The event is rare but for safety reasons, helicopter pilots remain grounded when they pass through. In this case however, Hott’s curiosity got the better of him.

“When the temperature, humidity and winds are just right, we’ll get this fog that forms on the high rise condos on the beach. This time it was progressing west to east. We jumped into helicopter and took off. Within a few minutes after we landed, it covered up the helipad.”

Scientists explain what causes the rare occurrence:

“Warm masses of air are coming from the Gulf of Mexico, meet obstacles and rise above the skyscrapers. And at height colder air turns them into the clouds. Then they “slide” down on the opposite walls of buildings, where the clouds heat and then dissipate.”

Check out the amazing Air Tsunami photos below.



Sources: JR Hott of Panhandle Helicopter Tours

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