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Microburst

Heavy rains slipping south, improving conditions on the way

Posted by David Epstein June 18, 2013 05:32 PM

Quite the day of rain and storms again. Some areas saw road closures and flooded basements. The line of showers and thunderstorms that caused all those issues is pushing south towards Cape Cod. The rest of the evening will see improvement from north to south. The shower area is also weakening as it moves past Plymouth. The radar loop below shows where the line of rain was as of about 5:30 PM.
BOX_loopa latest rain.gif

I'll be updating the details of the afternoon storms on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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What is a microburst?

Posted by David Epstein July 20, 2012 08:46 AM

Microburst, it seems like that is the new buzz word meteorologists are pushing. However, the word isn't new, I think we are just hearing it more as meteorologists are using scientific terms more often than a few years ago. I think that is a good thing. Very often after severe weather moves through an area you hear that the damage was caused by a microburst, not a tornado. People who experience a severe microburst often think they have been in a small tornado, but in reality they haven't. A microburst forms very differently from a tornado, but the damage can be significant nonetheless. When thunderstorms form, warm and moist air rises from the ground to help create the storm. Air that rises needs to be replaced. Some of the replaced air comes from the sides of the storm and some comes from above the ground. As the storm matures, the colder air at the top of the storm is pulled down towards the earth. Heavy rain and hail can drag down more cold air down from the upper parts of the storm. The air can start rushing down at terrific speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. storm develp.jpg In a matter of minutes, the air moving towards the earth will hit the ground. The air moving downward is called a downburst, a small downburst is called a microburst. Either a downburst or a microburst can cause damage.
Have questions about the weather in your area? Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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