List of microbursts

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This is a list of notable microbursts.


  • July 13, 1890 – A microburst capsized the vessel Sea Wing on Lake Pepin between Wisconsin and Minnesota, killing 98 people.[1]
  • A particularly violent microburst is a possible alternative explanation to the 1961 sinking of the American school brigantine Albatross. The ship's captain Dr. Christopher Sheldon claimed that the ship was hit by a white squall on the voyage from Progreso, Yucatán, to Nassau in the Bahamas.[citation needed]
  • 1980–1995 – FAA-supported investigations into microburst morphology and microburst detection and warning systems. Principals: Ted Fujita, U. Chicago, John McCarthy and James Wilson, NCAR, J. Evans and Marilyn M. Wolfson, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, R Bowles and F Proctor, NASA). Hundreds of microbursts were detected and studied, many by dual Doppler weather radar analysis. Several had intensities in excess of 80 knots (92 mph; 150 km/h).[2][3][4]
  • August 1, 1983 – The strongest microburst recorded at an airport was observed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, near Washington, DC. The wind speeds may have exceeded 150 mph (240 km/h) in this microburst. The peak gust was recorded at 2:11 PM –-7 minutes after Air Force One, with the President on board, landed on the same runway.[5]
  • May 1986 – A microburst squall with windspeeds of 80 mph (130 km/h) is responsible for capsizing and sinking the Pride of Baltimore in the Caribbean Sea, about 250 mi (400 km) north of Puerto Rico. The ship took the lives of her captain and three of her other 11 crew members.[6]
  • July 8, 1989 – Denver Stapleton International Airport. After being alerted by LLWAS of an imminent encounter with a 95 kn (109 mph; 176 km/h) microburst, Captain Craig Levine initiated a missed approach, taking his Boeing 737 to full takeoff power, climbing 400 ft (120 m) and adding 40 kn (46 mph; 74 km/h) of airspeed. Encountering the microburst at full takeoff power, they lost 400 ft (120 m) of altitude and lost 50 kn (58 mph; 93 km/h) of airspeed in about one-half of a minute. This event is a documented "save" of an airplane by a windshear alert system.[7][8][9][10]
  • August 7, 1994 – Severe thunderstorms produce numerous reports of damaging winds (and large hail) across central, southern, and southeastern Oklahoma. The worst damage occurs in Prague, where estimated winds of 90 mph (140 km/h) produced widespread damage across town, downed the steeple of a church, partially unroofed the high school, and damaged to destroyed mobile homes.[11]
  • August 17, 1994 – A series of extreme downbursts are produced by a southward moving long-lived supercell thunderstorm across south-central Kansas and western Oklahoma, whereafter new severe storms fire in western Oklahoma and drop into north Texas. Severe damage occurs across a long and narrow swath with numerous reports of 80–100 mph (130–160 km/h) winds and a then record gust of 113 mph (182 km/h) is measured at the Lahoma Oklahoma Mesonet site. At least two tornadoes and windblown hail the size of softballs and footballs also occur.[12][11][13]
  • July 15, 1995 – A series of microbursts hit northern and eastern New York State, killing 5 people, injuring 11, and causing nearly a half billion dollars in damages. It was the second derecho of a series during mid-July. The storms severely damaged 125,000 acres (51,000 ha; 195 sq mi; 510 km2) of forest in the Adirondack Park, necessitating the helicopter rescue of 31 hikers/backpackers stranded in the backcountry due to blocked trails.[14]
  • May 21, 1996 – A microburst caused extensive damage and 60 injuries in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, where winds were clocked at 104 mph (167 km/h). Brockton, Whitman, and Abington were the hardest hit towns.[citation needed]
  • On August 14, 1996 a severe thunderstorm and its accompanying dry microburst hit the northwest portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area, ripping off tile roofs and causing $160 million in damage. An Arizona-record wind gust of 115 mph (185 km/h) was recorded at the Deer Valley Airport. A few locations had to go without power for several days.[15]
  • In the early hours of September 7, 1998, a microburst hit the city of Syracuse, New York. Three people were killed and the area suffered $130 million in damages.[16]
  • On March 12, 2006, at approximately 8:10 AM, a severe microburst with winds varying from 70–90 mph (110–140 km/h) damaged large portions of Lawrence, Kansas. Reported damage included downed power lines, stop lights and trees, overturned semi-trailers, collapsed farm silos and damage to roofs. Seventy buildings on the University of Kansas campus reported damage. In total, over $8 million in damages was estimated.[17]
  • On May 6, 2008, a microburst made by a LP/HP supercell hit Olton, Texas. It did no damage.
  • On November 16, 2008, a microburst during a severe supercell thunderstorm unleashed major havoc on the suburb of The Gap in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[18]
  • On February 12, 2009, high winds from a microburst caused a 92 mph (148 km/h) wind gust in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Several damages were reported including roofs and garages collapsing.[citation needed]
  • On May 2, 2009, a microburst struck the Dallas Cowboys indoor practice facility in Irving, Texas, causing the roof to collapse. 12 people were hospitalized.[19]
  • On July 11, 2009, winds believed to be caused by a microburst uprooted trees and brought down close to 30 utility poles in Mississauga, Ontario.[20][21]
  • On July 21, 2009, a strong thunderstorm produced a probable microburst in the western and southern suburbs of Denver, Colorado, causing extensive damage to trees and property. Cities that were most affected were Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Arvada.[22]
  • In the evening of August 18, 2009, an isolated thunderstorm originated in Bridgewater when a boundary generated from rain-cooled air associated with the isolated thunderstorm quickly shifted east toward Newark, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, the isolated thunderstorm quickly intensified strong-to-severe while in the vicinity of Newark and after the intensification, the isolated severe thunderstorm produced 0.75 in (1.9 cm) hail in Hoboken and Weehawken. The isolated severe thunderstorm changed direction from moving east to northeast as the thunderstorm approached and shortly affected Manhattan, New York City. The isolated severe thunderstorm was responsible for producing 70 kn (81 mph; 130 km/h) thunderstorm wind gust, resulted a possible microburst that downed over few more than 500 trees, damaged several automobiles and spread debris across some streets.[23]
  • On February 17, 2010, a microburst caused the capsizing and sinking of the tall ship Concordia some 550 km (340 mi) southeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in rough seas.[24] All 64 people who were on board (48 students attending school on board, eight teachers and eight crew) were rescued from 5 life rafts by merchant vessels.
  • In the afternoon of June 24, 2010, there were reports of 52 kn (60 mph; 96 km/h) thunderstorm winds that downed tree limbs with some roads temporarily blocked by fallen tree limbs as the linear cluster of severe thunderstorms impacted across northern New Jersey and southeastern New York. Nutley, Cliffside Park, and Pompton are locations that reported downed tree limbs. 61 kn (70 mph; 113 km/h) thunderstorm wind was reported in SUNY Maritime College that knocked down trees and tree limbs when the linear clusters quickly changed into a severe thunderstorm after leaving The Bronx and central portions of Manhattan counties. 54 kn (62 mph; 100 km/h) thunderstorm gust was reported twice in LaGuardia Airport and fallen trees destroyed two homes and one car in College Point. 70 kn (81 mph; 130 km/h) thunderstorm wind was reported in Whitestone, responsible for downed numerous utility poles, street lamps, trees, at least one collapsed chimney, and damaged several vehicles, including a destroyed mini-van. Besides from thunderstorm wind damage, a funnel cloud was reported over Flushing Bay and the severe thunderstorm dumped at least golf ball sized hail in Queens side of Throgs Neck Bridge that was reported earlier with at least one car dented. After the aftermath of northeastern Queens, the severe thunderstorm produced 64 kn (74 mph; 119 km/h) thunderstorm gust in Kings Point and 87 kn (100 mph; 161 km/h) thunderstorm wind that was reported near Great Neck, resulted a microburst that accompanied dime-to-quarter sized hail and downed numerous large trees, powerlines and uprooted trees. The microburst produced winds exceeding 60–100 mph (97–161 km/h) that caused significant damage to homes and automobiles across Long Island.[25]
  • In the afternoon of June 24, 2010, a severe thunderstorm resembling characteristics of a supercell produced a wet microburst exceed 100 mph (160 km/h) winds and severe hail in the townships of Drexel Hill, Springfield, and Broomall, Pennsylvania in Delaware County, uprooted trees and damaged homes.[26]
  • On August 25, 2010, a microburst storm squall hit in the Lake Elsinore, California had snapped power poles.
  • On September 1, 2010, a microburst was reported in West Yellowstone, Montana. The microburst, originally thought to be a tornado, topped at 80 mph (130 km/h), and ripped off 90% of the roof at Yellowstone Park Inn and Suites.[27]
  • On September 16, 2010, a macroburst was reported in the Middle Village and Forest Hills areas of Queens, New York during an unexpected linear/bowing segments contained intense thunderstorms that spawned two weak tornadoes. In a city with a population of 9 million people,[28] only one fatality was reported. A tree fell on a Pennsylvania couple's vehicle and killed the wife.[29]
  • On September 22, 2010, in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, a wet microburst hit with winds upwards of 100 mph (160 km/h), causing severe localized damage and power outages, including fallen-tree impacts into at least four homes. No fatalities were reported.[30]
  • On May 27, 2011, in the Morgantown, West Virginia neighborhood of Westover, a wet microburst hit with winds in the 70–80 mph (110–130 km/h) range. The National Weather Service, reported that "numerous trees came down in the Westover area. A metal roof from a car dealership was blown off in downtown Morgantown...while trees were uprooted on the campus of West Virginia University, including a 122-year-old silver maple which was the fifth oldest tree on the campus. The strong winds knocked down or uprooted trees sporadically eastward until the storm reached the Pleasant Hill Cemetery."[31][32]
  • On June 14, 2011 a microburst hit Norman, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City) with windspeeds of up to 82 miles per hour (132 km/h) and hail up to golf ball size. An inch (2.54 cm) of rain fell within 20 minutes, causing areas of flash flooding. The storm caused widespread damage to both residences and businesses across the town. Electrical poles were snapped causing power outages to 33,000 residents.[33]
  • On July 31, 2011, a microburst hit in the Victorville, California thousands were customers had lost power.
  • On July 18, 2012, a microburst hit in Arlington, Massachusetts. Gusts were 70 to 80 mph, with worst damage in about a square mile area. Many trees and utility poles were damaged, tearing power lines from homes. There was one report of a fish blown five blocks from a pond that was near the center of the storm.[34][35]
  • On August 30, 2012, a severe microburst hit in Moreno Valley, California, and winds gust to 90 mph squall line in Apple Valley, California.
  • On July 19, 2013, a microburst hit in Las Vegas, Nevada causing severely knocked out trees and power lines. Wind gusts have been reported to reach 70-80 mph.[citation needed]
  • On July 3, 2014, in the town of Cherryville, North Carolina a wet microburst tore apart a portion of a gas station car wash and brought down powerlines and trees. One tree fell on top of a mobile home nearly cutting it in half. The resident was injured when the fallen tree pinned him to the floor.[36]
  • On July 7, 2014, a microburst hit Tomball, Texas causing severe localized damage and power outages, including fallen-trees.[37]
  • On July 26, 2014, a wet microburst hit northern parts of Phoenix, Arizona felling trees, damaging homes, and causing power outages.[38]
  • On August 7, 2014 an apparent microburst toppled dozens of boats in the Dillon Reservoir in Dillon, Colorado, leaving emergency workers scrambling to get boaters out of the cold water.[39]
  • On June 23, 2015, a microburst hit Gloucester County and Camden County, New Jersey, causing major power outages across the region. Many homes and roads were damaged by fallen trees and debris from the storm.[citation needed]
  • On July 29, 2015, a microburst hit in the Phelan, California had knocked out power.[citation needed]
  • On May 4, 2017, a microburst hit in Lacey, Washington had uprooted trees and fallen power lines.
  • On Sept 3, 2017, a microburst hit in Santa Barbara, California and knocked off numerous trees and many landed on cars with many power lines down. Multiple traffic accidents occurred and 56 people were tossed into the water. A 22-foot sailboat was also overturned and was sinking into the ocean.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "July 14, 1890: Sea Wing capsizes on Lake Pepin".
  2. ^ 1982 John McCarthy, James Wilson, T. Theodore Fujita. The Joint Airport Weather Studies Project, Bull. AMS 83.
  3. ^ 1989 Kimberly L. Elmore and John McCarthy, A Statistical Characterization of Denver-Area Microbursts, DOT/FAA/NR-92/13
  4. ^ 1994 Marilyn M. Wolfson, et al, Characteristics of Microbursts in the Continental United States, Lincoln Laboratory Journal Volume 1, Number 11
  5. ^ Fujita, T. T., 1984. Andrews AFB microburst on 01 August 1983. The impact of weather on aviation safety. Hearings before the subcommittee on investigations and oversight, 97th Congress, 1st Session and 98th Congress, 1st Session: U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 475-477.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Case Study.
  8. ^ 1990 F. Wesley Wilson, et al, An Intense Microburst at Denver's Stapleton International Airport. Proceedings of the Air Traffic Assoc., Boston
  9. ^ 1990 D. Hughs, LLWAS credited with helping 737 survive major microburst. Aviation Week & Space Technology;7/16/90, Vol. 133 Issue 3, p91
  10. ^ 1993 F. H. Proctor, Case Study of a Low-Reflectivity Pulsating Microburst: Numerical Simulation of the Denver, 8 July 1989, Storm. 7th Conference on Severe Local Storms, St. Louis, Missouri. American Meteorological Society
  11. ^ a b "Storm Data, August 1994" (PDF).
  12. ^ England, Gary (1996). Weathering the Storm: Tornadoes, Television, and Turmoil. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 198–201. ISBN 0-8061-2823-2.
  13. ^ Blackburn, Stdrovia. "OK-FIRST Case Study: The Lahoma, Oklahoma Storm of August 17, 1994".
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Labor Day Derechos of 1998".
  17. ^ National Weather Service 2006 Report, National Weather Service Institute.
  18. ^ SEQ Severe Thunderstorm and Microburst at The Gap, Bureau of Meteorology - Australian Government.
  19. ^ "Injuries reported at Cowboys' facility", 3 May 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  20. ^ [1], 680 News.
  21. ^ [2], Toronto Star.
  22. ^ "Storms Knock Out Power, Uproot Trees In Denver", 21 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  23. ^ "Storm Toppled Scores of Trees in Central Park", 19 August 2009.
  24. ^ "Students safe after capsizing of N.S.-based ship". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. February 19, 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  25. ^ [3] Long Island Press, retrieved 25 June 2010.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Microburst tears path of destruction through West Yellowstone, West Yellowstone News. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2011-03-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Authorities: 2 tornadoes struck NYC during storm, Yahoo! News, Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  30. ^ "Breaking News - Chicago Tribune".
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather. "Norman, OK".
  34. ^ Parker, Brock. "Trees damaged by winds in Arlington". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  35. ^ Scalese, Roberto. "PHOTOS: Microburst Hammers Arlington". Arlington Patch. Patch Media. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  36. ^ Portion of Cherryville Hit Hard by Strong Storms, Time warner Cable News, Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  37. ^ Cuervo, Mary (8 July 2014). "Microburst does major damage in Tomball".
  38. ^ "Storm damage, outages around metro Phoenix".
  39. ^ Zelinger, Team , Marshall (8 August 2014). "Dozens of boaters thrown into Dillon Reservoir by apparent microburst".
  40. ^ "Massive storm system quickly rolls through Santa Barbara".