Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Threat of Microbursts Present in Lower Great Lake Today

DISCLAIMER: Some microbursts can be deadly. These POTENTIAL microbursts would most likely
NOT be life-threatening.

Shown above are the values of Downdraft CAPE at the time of publishing (1:18 PM CDT) across the Midwest. The image above does show elevated values along the lower Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley of downdraft CAPE.

But what is downdraft CAPE in the first place?
Essentially, downdraft CAPE can determine how strong a downdraft can be. A downdraft is also known as a gust front or outflow boundary, and is a pool of cold air that has been shot from the storm onto the ground.
Downdraft CAPE measures the potential strength of these downdrafts. The higher the downdraft CAPE, the stronger an outflow boundary may be, and an increased number of downdrafts in general.
If the downdraft is strong enough and has enough downdraft CAPE behind it, those ingredients can come together and form a microburst, which is a strong downdraft that can be deadly. However, as mentioned in the disclaimer, today's microbursts do not look to be life-threatening.


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