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microburst

[mahy-kruh-burst] /ˈmaɪ krəˌbɜrst/
noun, Meteorology
1.
an intense, localized downdraft of air that spreads on the ground, causing rapid changes in wind direction and speed; a localized downburst.
Origin
1980-1985
1980-85; micro- + burst
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for microburst
  • Most damage was due to a microburst, the starting point being the two blue pins on the map below.
British Dictionary definitions for microburst

microburst

/ˈmaɪkrəʊˌbɜːst/
noun
1.
another name for downburst
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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microburst in Science
microburst
  (mī'krō-bûrst')   
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 Article for 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.

Learn more about microburst with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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