Video: Las Vegas monsoon sends garbage cans skidding

Screen grab of video showing intense microburst in Las Vegas area on July 17, 2017 (Photo: Magic Estrada via KSNV-TV)

LAS VEGAS -- It always seems to happen on garbage day, doesn't it?

It's the heart of the desert monsoon season, and residents in a Las Vegas neighborhood were treated to a rousing game of "Garbage Can Slalom" after an intense thunderstorm drenched the area with blistering rains and blustering wind speeds.

"INSANITY!" says videographer Magic Estrada:

The "insanity" was due to what's called a "Wet Microburst."

It's when a cloud essentially lets go of a massive amount of rainfall that would be akin to taking a several hundred yard-wide diameter water balloon, and dropping it on the region.

As the "water balloon" (very intense rain) hits the ground, it spreads out in, creating a sudden and intense wind along the surface. The result is a freight train of wind and rain that can cause instant flooding and wind damage. Wind speeds in microbursts can be 60-80 mph or stronger.

You can see this in action via another photographer at the National Weather Service office in Las Vegas, who happened to catch the microburst in action before it hit the office. Watch the rain fall in buckets -- that's not a tornado, it's a clump of rain!

In this case, the intense rains caused localized flash flooding, which on garbage day, is an issue -- although the rushing waters will take anything left outside.

And in the Las Vegas area, Wetlands Park ends up consumed with trash after heavy monsoon rains.

"We found surfboards, the number of soccer balls and basketballs, mattresses, and yard debris," Elizabeth Bickmore, supervisor at Wetlands Park, told KSNV-TV.

The National Weather Service in Las Vegas reports 0.55" of rain was the peak amount received during the thunderstorms in the region.

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