Word of the Day : November 1, 2015

microburst

play
noun MY-kroh-burst

Definition

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

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.


Examples

"A microburst struck Osage City early Friday, causing downed trees and power lines, closing the town's schools and making streets nearly impassable, said Police Chief Fred Nech." — Ann Marie Bush, The Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal, 18 Sept. 2015

"One farmer has captured an unusually good video of a severe microburst—a massive shaft of cold air that plunges to the Earth—in a thunderstorm in outback Queensland." — Jenni Ryall, Mashable (mashable.com), 27 Jan. 2015



Test your Vocabulary

_Brontophobia _is the fear of what natural phenomenon?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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