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Mulmur sustains storm damages

July 25, 2013   ·   0 Comments

While most of us were glancing to see whether or not tornadoes were about to strike last week, the folks in Mulmur were experiencing the effects of what meteorologists are describing as a “microburst.”

It wasn’t a tornado that struck the north of Dufferin, but Mayor Paul Mills described it Monday as having been something closely akin, and as having wreaked similar damage.

“It tore a roof clear off one barn, and even damaged the roof of Honeywood United Church,” he said.

“It took a wide swath out of a cornfield. It looked like the corn had been planted (back and forth through the field, missing wide sections) or that a different kind of corn had been planted (in swaths).”

Dufferin County Emergency Measures Co-ordinator Steve Murphy said there had been extensive agricultural damage. An estimate wasn’t available.

There were no reports of injury to persons or livestock.

For persons affected by the storm, it doesn’t much matter whether it’s being called a microburst or a tornado. What, exactly is a microburst?

Wikipedia describes it thus: “A microburst is a very localized column of sinking air, producing damaging divergent and straight-line winds at the surface that are similar to, but distinguishable from, tornadoes, which generally have convergent damage.

“There are two types of microbursts: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their life cycle: the downburst, outburst, and cushion stages. The scale and suddenness of a microburst makes it a great danger to aircraft due to the low-level wind shear caused by its gust front, with several fatal crashes having been attributed to the phenomenon over the past several decades.

“A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. They usually last for a duration of a couple of seconds to several minutes,” Wikipedia says.

I continues to says that the term is defined “as affecting an area 4 km (2.5 mi) in diameter or less, distinguishing them as a type of downburst and apart from common wind shear which can encompass greater areas.”

Microbursts are recognized as capable of generating wind speeds higher than 75 m/s (168 mph; 270 km/h).

By Wes Keller

 Microburst2 Microburst1 Microburst

         

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