weatherch21 - ATOC 1050 Chapter 20 study guide Downburst A...

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ATOC 1050 Chapter 20 study guide Downburst: A strong downdraft that originates within the lower part of a cumulus cloud or thunderstorms and descends to the ground Microbursts and Macrobursts Downburst Formation: - Form by two mechanisms - Virga: it is raindrops that evaporate below a cloud during a rainstorm before they make it to the ground - When rain falls from the cloud, latent heat is used to evaporate the rain and as the air around the cooling rain is cooled even more, it becomes denser and colder than the air surrounding it. It can travel very fast downwards towards the Earth. A second mechanism is rain drag. This contributes to downdrafts in all thunderstorms but in a downburst formation, all the heaviest rain is concentrated in a smaller area and makes the downward movement that much more intense. Environmental Conditions associated with Microburst Development: 1. A large environmental Lapse rate below the cloud 2. Dry Air Below the cloud Base
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