CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Rounds of strong thunderstorms came through north central West Virginia Tuesday afternoon.
This thunderstorm produced a strong surge of air that blew wind gusts up to 40 MPH in all directions in the northern half of the Mountain State. This is called a downburst.
According to the National Weather Service, a downburst begins with a strong thunderstorm with a powerful updraft.
This will allow the cloud to stretch vertically and allow for raindrops and ice pellets (or hailstones) to begin development.
Once hail and heavy rain begin to form, colder air builds in the middle of the cumulonimbus (or storm) cloud.
This causes the updraft to weaken and allows hailstones and heavy rain to fall from the storm cloud.
Once the updraft collapses, a strong burst of air from the storm pushes downward toward the ground and spreads strong wind gusts in all directions.
This could cause power outages, flooding, and downed tree limbs from the burst of heavy rain and damaging wind gusts.