down·​burst | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbərst How to pronounce downburst (audio) \

Definition of downburst

: a powerful downdraft usually associated with a thunderstorm that strikes the ground and deflects in all directions also : microburst

Examples of downburst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Forecasters there said damaging winds from downbursts will be the main threat with any stronger storms that develop. Leigh Morgan, al, "Isolated severe storms possible today in parts of Alabama," 7 Aug. 2019 The National Weather Service warned that some storms could produce gusty downburst winds, frequent lightning and flooding in some areas. Jesus Jimenez, Dallas News, "Dallas-Fort Worth could feel like 111 degrees Wednesday afternoon, then a cold front could bring storms," 10 July 2019 Some storms may produce gusty downburst winds and hail. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Scattered storms possible later today," 29 June 2019 Rain, hail and cold air hits the ground and spreads across the landscape in something called a downburst. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "This mesmerizing storm makes it look like a bomb went off over Memphis last night," 13 July 2018 But in a derecho, the windy blasts from dozens of extreme storm downdrafts (called downbursts) coalesce into a single, massive wind surge that races forward at speeds of up to 60 to 70 mph. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Northeast severe-weather threat: Destructive winds could hit New York and Boston this evening," 15 May 2018 The temperature tumbled, as the downbursts cascaded through the atmosphere. Brian Schutmaat, Smithsonian, "Racing the Storm: The Story of the Mobile Bay Sailing Disaster," 25 Apr. 2015 On Mobile Bay, the downbursts sent an invisible wave of air rolling ahead of the storm front. Brian Schutmaat, Smithsonian, "Racing the Storm: The Story of the Mobile Bay Sailing Disaster," 25 Apr. 2015 The strongest of these storms may contain damaging downburst winds and hail to an inch in diameter. Domingo Ramirez Jr.,, "Some North Texans might get rain, some others will stay dry," 1 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downburst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downburst

1977, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of downburst was in 1977

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Cite this Entry

“Downburst.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on downburst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downburst Encyclopedia article about downburst

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to state or do over again or repeatedly

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