What is a Microburst?
Thunderstorms can be strong, and in some cases produce strong straight line winds. That's when some damage can be so severe, it may look like a tornado has hit but it actually hasn't.
That's exactly what happened to a thrift store in Woodstock in August of 2011.
Some of those straight line winds can reach well over 100 mph from just a thunderstorm.
This is why even though if we are expecting thunderstorms, it's important to pay attention to the warnings because even thunderstorms can produce damage and put your safety at risk.
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FACTS ABOUT MICROBURSTS:
* Happen generally in a small concentrated area and can last for a few minutes. This is an illustration:
*There are two types of microbursts. Wet microbursts and dry microburst. The difference? Well you guessed it, wet microbursts occur with rain and dry ones happen with little or no precip hitting the ground. Wet microbursts are the common ones for our area.
*Ted Fujita, the same Meteorologist who came up the Tornado F-scale is the one who coined the term microburst and discovered the process. He discovered it while researching a 1975 airline crash that killed over 100 people. Microbursts are very dangerous especially to airplanes, and have been the cause of many weather related crashes especially in the 1970's.
*Forecasting Microbursts is very, very difficult.
*Downbursts are actually more common than tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service for every 1 tornado reported there are 10 reports of downbursting thunderstorm winds.