Rare ‘reverse waterfall’ phenomenon captured on drone footage in Utah

A photographer captured a rare "reverse waterfall" in southwest Utah earlier this month.

Strong winds ripped across the state on Jan. 16, creating intense updrafts along a cliff in Kayenta that caused a waterfall to spray back upwards.

"Seriously, the most incredible day for such unique conditions," the drone's pilot, RJ Hooper, said in a Facebook post.

Kayenta is near Snow Canyon State Park and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, which are about 50 miles west of Zion National Park. 

Conditions have to be right for the rain to wash over the cliffs — let alone flow in "reverse." 

"In the last 20 years, I can only remember a couple of time(s) the waterfalls in Kayenta (Utah) flowed backwards," Hooper said.

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Rare ‘reverse waterfall’ phenomenon captured on drone footage in Utah. Credit: RJ Hooper via Storyful

He said his drone struggled against the 60 mph winds over the cliff edge.

The Southwest has been hit especially hard this monsoon season thanks to a weather condition known as "atmospheric rivers" — long, narrow bands of water vapor that form over the ocean and flow through the sky.

The atmospheric rivers have brought several storms across Utah in recent weeks — and with them, an abundance of snow. As Park Record, a newspaper in Park City, said, Utah "is having its best winter in nearly 20 years."

The atmospheric river rains have also slammed California, causing major damage and disruption and President Joe Biden to issue a disaster declaration

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 17, California was deluged by 11.47 inches of rain and snow on average across the state, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, with some reports of up to 15 feet of snow in the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

RELATED: California farmers trying to assess damage after massive winter storms

This story was reported from Detroit. FOX Weather and The Associated Press contributed.