What is a microburst?


Quick Answer

Microbursts are columns of sinking air in a thunderstorm that are 2.5 miles or less in diameter. There are three types of microbursts: wet, dry and hybrid. Wet microbursts are accompanied by precipitation, dry microbursts come with little precipitation, and hybrid microbursts possess characteristics of both wet and dry.

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What is a microburst?
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Full Answer

Microbursts are not recognized as often as tornadoes, but they can cause just as much damage. Winds in microbursts can reach speeds as high as 150 miles per hour. Weather experts use several factors to forecast microbursts, including dry air in mid levels, strong winds in the dry layer, high precipitable water (PW) and instability.

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