microburst

[mahy-kruh-burst]
noun Meteorology.
an intense, localized downdraft of air that spreads on the ground, causing rapid changes in wind direction and speed; a localized downburst.

Origin:
1980–85; micro- + burst

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Collins
World English Dictionary
microburst (ˈmaɪkrəʊˌbɜːst)
 
n
another name for downburst

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
microburst   (mī'krō-bûrst')  Pronunciation Key 
A sudden, violent downdraft of air over a small area (less than 16 sq km or 6.24 sq mi) that lasts at least 25 minutes. Microbursts can cause winds with speeds as high as 270 km (167 mi) per hour. They are difficult to detect and predict with standard weather instruments. They are especially hazardous to airplanes during landing or taking off.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

microburst

pattern of intense winds that descends from rain clouds, hits the ground, and fans out horizontally. Microbursts are short-lived, usually lasting from about 5 to 15 minutes, and they are relatively compact, usually affecting an area of 1 to 3 km (about 0.5 to 2 miles) in diameter. They are often but not always associated with thunderstorms or strong rains. By causing a sudden change in wind direction or speed-a condition known as wind shear-microbursts create a particular hazard for airplanes at takeoff and landing because the pilot is confronted with a rapid and unexpected shift from headwind to tailwind.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Most damage was due to a microburst, the starting point being the two blue pins on the map below.
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