microburst

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noun mi·cro·burst \ˈmī-krō-ˌbərst\

Definition of microburst

  1. :  a violent short-lived localized downdraft that creates extreme wind shears at low altitudes and is usually associated with thunderstorms

microburst was our Word of the Day on 11/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of microburst from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Credit for the invention of the word microburst is generally given to tornado expert Tetsuya Theodore Fujita. Fujita first described these extremely intense wind patterns in 1974. He noted that microbursts are usually short-lived, lasting only 5 to 15 minutes, but that they are extremely dangerous, especially for aircraft, because they cause sudden unexpected changes in wind direction or speed. Since the mid-1970s, many airports have installed Doppler radar systems to help detect potentially deadly microbursts.

First Known Use of microburst

1980


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