Definition of microburst
: 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!
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
Learn More about microburst
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about microburst
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