Microburst in Niles causes morning mess

NOW: Microburst in Niles causes morning mess

Some folks in southwest Michigan had a rude wakeup call this morning as a destructive microburst went through the city.

A microburst a small scale downburst. A downburst is simply a burst of air that is heading down towards the ground. Downbursts are powerful winds that descend out of a thunderstorm, and they can cause damage similar to a weak tornado.

A thunderstorm usually has upward moving air (called an updraft) and downward moving air (called a downdraft). Sometimes the upward moving air is so strong it suspends rain and hail in the cloud until the cloud can’t hold it anymore. Once that pocket of air moves towards the ground, it happens rapidly and can bring some strong winds with it. And when the downdraft hits the ground, it has nowhere else to go, so it spreads out in all directions and can cause a lot of damage. The warm and very muggy morning conditions contributed to that microburst forming over Niles

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