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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 9:00 AM EDT on April 29, 2016


... Severe weather preparedness week continues -- downburst winds
from severe thunderstorms can be powerful...

the National Weather Service has declared the week of April 25 to
April 29 as severe weather preparedness week for southern New
England. The following is the fifth in a series of five
informational statements about severe weather.

While not as notorious... or perhaps as spectacular to witness as
a tornado... straight-line winds are responsible for most
thunderstorm wind damage... especially across southern New
England.

A downburst is a strong... relatively small... area of rapidly
descending air beneath a thunderstorm. It can result from
stronger winds aloft being transported downward to the surface...
or it can result as air within the downburst is cooled
significantly as rain evaporates into initially drier air. This
cool... thus dense... air sinks rapidly to the surface. A downburst
is differentiated from common thunderstorm winds because the
downburst winds have the potential to cause damage near the
ground. Surface damage patterns have shown that whether the
winds are straight or even a little bit curved... they tend to
spread out... or diverge... considerably as they reach the surface.
Conversely... damage patterns resulting from a tornado generally
converge toward a narrow central track.

Intense downbursts can be phenomenal. Speeds have been clocked as
high as 175 mph near Morehead City North Carolina and at 158 mph
at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Closer to home... 104 mph
downburst winds were measured at both Worcester Massachusetts on
may 31 1998 and Whitman Massachusetts on may 21 1996. Strong
downbursts will definitely cause roaring sounds and people may
often refer to a sound like a freight train... terms typically
associated with tornadoes. Although downbursts are not
tornadoes... they can cause damage equivalent to that of a small
to medium tornado. After all... wind is wind.

Downbursts are classified as either macrobursts or microbursts...
depending on the areal extent of the damaging wind swath. A
macroburst/S damage extends horizontally for more than 2.5 miles.
A microburst is a small downburst with its damaging winds
extending 2.5 miles or less. The small horizontal scale and
short time span of a microburst makes it particularly hazardous
to aviation.

The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm warnings
for thunderstorms that are expected to produce damaging wind
gusts of 58 mph or greater... or hail that is one inch or greater
in diameter.


Weather Severe Map
Alaska - Special Statement , Record Report
Arizona - Record Report
Arkansas - Severe Thunderstorm Warning , Flash Flood Warning , Flood Warning, Flash Flood Warning , Flood Warning , Flash Flood Watch , Special Statement
California - Wind Advisory , Record Report
Colorado - Winter Weather Advisory , Winter Storm Warning , Public Information Statement
Connecticut - Public Information Statement
Florida - Public Information Statement
Illinois - Flood Warning
Indiana - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Iowa - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Kansas - Flood Warning , Special Statement , Public Information Statement
Kentucky - Public Information Statement
Louisiana - Flood Warning , Lake Wind Advisory , Special Statement
Maine - Special Statement , Public Information Statement
Massachusetts - Public Information Statement
Michigan - Public Information Statement
Minnesota - Record Report , Public Information Statement
Mississippi - Flood Warning
Missouri - Flood Warning
Montana - Record Report
Nebraska - Flood Warning , Winter Weather Advisory , Winter Storm Warning , Public Information Statement
Nevada - Record Report
New Hampshire - Public Information Statement
New Jersey - Public Information Statement
New Mexico - Wind Advisory , High Wind Warning , Winter Weather Advisory , Winter Storm Warning , Fire Weather Warning, Fire Weather Watch , Fire Weather Warning
New York - Public Information Statement
Ohio - Public Information Statement
Oklahoma - Flood Warning, Flash Flood Warning , Flood Warning , Flood Watch, Flash Flood Watch , Flood Watch, Flood Advisory, Flash Flood Watch , Flash Flood Watch , Special Statement
Pennsylvania - Public Information Statement
Puerto Rico - Flash Flood Warning , Flood Watch, Areal Flood Advisory
Rhode Island - Public Information Statement
South Dakota - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Texas - Flood Warning , Flash Flood Watch , Coastal Flood Advisory , Coastal Flood Advisory, Coastal Hazard Statement , Wind Advisory , High Wind Warning , Lake Wind Advisory , Fire Weather Warning , Special Statement , Record Report
Utah - Winter Weather Advisory
Vermont - Public Information Statement
Wisconsin - Record Report , Public Information Statement
Wyoming - Winter Weather Advisory , Winter Storm Warning

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