wind shear


Definition of wind shear 

: a radical shift in wind speed and direction that occurs over a very short distance

Examples of wind shear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The belt of strong winds also enhances wind shear — the change of wind speed and direction with height — and adds to the rotation of the storm. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Striking in the dark of night, the Wilkes-Barre tornado was a freak," 15 June 2018 This could have been because wind shear forced eddies to stay in their respective thin horizontal layers instead of stretching vertically. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "Flattened Fluids Help Scientists Understand Oceans and Atmospheres," 7 July 2018 CBS Miami chief meteorologist Craig Setzer says Beryl remains a very small tropical storm surrounded by dry air, marginal water temperatures and soon, increasingly hostile wind shear. CBS News, "Tropical Storm Beryl forms in the Atlantic," 5 July 2018 That's due to strong wind shear, dry air and dust, which should all combine to weaken the system, AccuWeather said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Atlantic storm may soon develop into Tropical Storm Beryl," 5 July 2018 Many models for future climates show an increase in wind shear, the crisscrossing high-altitude winds that tear up incipient tropical cyclones. David Fleshler,, "The world has never seen a Category 6 hurricane. But the day may be coming," 7 July 2018 That includes decreased wind shear across the tropical Atlantic, which creates favorable conditions for tropical development. Taylor Ward, CNN, "Get ready for an above-average hurricane season in 2018," 24 May 2018 Years ago, for example, downburst wind shear was the leading cause of plane crashes. Tom Keane,, "Our sense of danger needs a reality check.," 17 May 2018 But just when the waters will be reaching their maximums, the El Nino is expected to increase wind shear across the Tropical Atlantic, which would keep a lid on the developing tropical systems., "Hurricane activity predicted higher than normal," 30 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of wind shear

1941, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wind shear

Share wind shear

Statistics for wind shear

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wind shear

The first known use of wind shear was in 1941

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on wind shear

See words that rhyme with wind shear Encyclopedia article about wind shear

Comments on wind shear

What made you want to look up wind shear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!