It’s Official: We Were Hit by a ‘Macroburst’ May 16, 2018

The verdicts are coming in. Some of Tuesday’s storms across the Northeast were officially macrobursts.

Macrobursts are large swaths of damaging, straight-line winds. Many times you’ll hear us say “microbursts” which are (of course) smaller in size and impact. Macrobursts don’t come around all too often.

The National Weather Service in Albany provided an excellent description of some of their findings Wednesday:

“A National Weather Service team determined that a macroburst occurred in southern Dutchess County, NY along the I-84 corridor roughly between Beacon/Wappingers Falls and East
Fishkill/Hopewell Junction. The macroburst toppled/uprooted hundreds of trees. Some trees  fell on structures. There was limited direct damage from wind to structures with a fallen chimney noted as well as some siding ripped off a few homes. The damage is consistent with wind speeds in the 85 to 105 mph range. For reference…

A macroburst is a thunderstorm downdraft affecting an area at least 2.5 miles wide with peak winds lasting 5 to 20 minutes. The macroburst is a straight-line wind phenomena not associated with
rotation…used to differentiate from tornadic winds. Macrobursts can produce as much if not more damage as tornadoes due to the size and scope of a macroburst.”

– Courtesy NWS Albany

All of the storm reports from Tuesday, May 15 where blue dots show wind damage and red show tornadoes.

The above-mentioned Dutchess County, NY macroburst was 8 miles long! Thus, these kinds of straight-line-wind events can be extremely dangerous. At 100-110 miles per hour we’re talking a strong category 2 hurricane strength, or strong EF-1 tornado (but over the course of several miles!)

When storm surveys are conducted, meteorologists look at the way the trees were knocked over. A simplistic way of determining if a tornado hit is to observe if all the trees fell in the same direction, or are knocked on the ground in many, differing directions.

More storm surveys will be completed across the Northeast with more conclusions. If we find anything interesting from them, we’ll pass it along!

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

It was a cloudy and wet day in Portland for the start to the work week. Rain continues today! https://t.co/J31mFyM12Q

12 minutes ago by WeatherNation

Wind alerts for the High Plains and the Northern Rockies through Thursday. Here is the very latest --->… https://t.co/el3s3u1XwB

28 minutes ago by WeatherNation

If you need some Christmas spirit to go along with those chilly temps, check out this scene in Duluth as the sun wa… https://t.co/boJBxyZil9

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

We love when all the pets can get in on the snow fun! 😍 https://t.co/CVhR1DdtQn

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

Driving in this amount of snow definitely takes the right vehicle. What do you think this viewer is driving? #VAwx https://t.co/qPRC4VahFn

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

DO YOU SEE WHAT WE SEE? Wave clouds rolling through the sky in this time lapse, also known as Kelvin Helmholtz clou… https://t.co/pLbAiGwpVu

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

Here's another look at the stormy seas along the Carolina coast on Monday as the last of the powerful storm system… https://t.co/eRUbmgEAn2

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

That looks different! For the first time in several weeks, the @NWSCPC forecast is showing higher-than-average chan… https://t.co/ctI0FRwPGF

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

NEW: A blizzard warning has been issued for northwest Montana in advance of the next, strong winter storm. Wind gus… https://t.co/MTi43ZO1Cq

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

Series of storms in the Pacific Northwest could bring close to 3 feet of #snow for parts of the Northern Cascades o… https://t.co/qq3Lx0SLvH

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

One for the record books? Our Meteorologist @SteveGlazier compares the latest #winterstorm to top December snowfall… https://t.co/maffNOSC9g

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

GOES-17 is set to become operational in January as GOES West. Details: https://t.co/C3TmTV4Lvv https://t.co/FowX6BHTjT

12 hours ago by WeatherNation

ANGRY SEAS - Whoa, look at these waves crashing off the Carolina coast! A gale warning continues through tonight… https://t.co/xRcStYByuq

12 hours ago by WeatherNation

The sea along the North Carolina coast is turning foamy as the current system continues its trek east. https://t.co/M1KP2Vnjvh

13 hours ago by WeatherNation

**JUST IN** TWO tornadoes confirmed near Tampa Bay, FL on Sunday, wind damage across Pasco County...here's the late… https://t.co/PgIk3SY6iJ

14 hours ago by WeatherNation

Flakes are flying in Alabama! https://t.co/rsLb1ajWfc

15 hours ago by WeatherNation

Heavy snow led to a gas station roof collapse in Morganton, North Carolina. 🎥 @ScottyPowell_WX. https://t.co/RB6eOwMb3d

17 hours ago by WeatherNation
Follow Us