heat burst

Quick Reference

A rare, sudden, and short-lived temperature rise that occurs behind a decaying severe thunderstorm when dry warm air is forced to descend from the middle troposphere, temporarily displacing the pool of rain-cooled air at the surface. Heat bursts may be accompanied by extremely strong gusts. During an event that occurred near Oklahoma City on 22–23 May 1997, the temperature rose from 87.6 °F to 101.9 °F (30.9 °C to 38.8 °C) between 21:00 and 21:25 at Chickasha, and a gust of about 170 km h-1 was recorded at Tipton. On 14 June 1960, a heat burst at Kopperl, Texas raised the temperature to nearly 140 °F (60 °C), roasting corn on the plant, and turning grass into hay.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

Reference entries