Classroom 9: What’s a microburst and why take it seriously

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For Monday’s Classroom 9 lesson, I will explain what a microburst is and why you should take it seriously if one occurs where you’re at.

A microburst forms when an updraft pulls warm, moist air into the thunderstorm.

The top of the thunderstorm is cold and the strong updraft keeps rain droplets and hailstones suspended in the cloud.

When dry air is introduced at the mid-levels of the storm, the water drops at the top of the cloud which begins to evaporate, and that cools the air at the top of the cloud even more.

The colder air weakens the updraft and the cool air accelerates as it falls to the ground.

The air then hits the ground and disperses outward with strong winds up to 150 MPH.

The strong winds can damage trees and houses on the ground.

Any time there is a severe thunderstorm warning for your area, take it seriously, because a microburst can occur in these storms.

For more Classroom 9 experiments and presentations, visit

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