Microburst causes damage in Collierville, TN on April 14, 2014

Strong straight-line thunderstorm wind, the result of a microburst, was the cause of damage observed in Collierville, TN from storms that moved across the area in the early morning hours on April 14, 2014, according to the National Weather Service in Memphis.  The wind was estimated at 70 mph and affected roughly a half-mile path that was about 100 yards wide.  Details from the NWS are below.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEMPHIS TN
511 PM CDT MON APR 14 2014

…NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR STORM DAMAGE IN COLLIERVILLE TENNESSEE…

.THUNDERSTORM WIND IN COLLIERVILLE TENNESSEE…

PEAK WIND /ESTIMATED/: 70 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: .5 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 100 YARDS
FATALITIES: NONE
INJURIES: NONE

START DATE:04/14/2014
START TIME:0215 AM
START LOCATION: COLLIERVILLE TENNESSEE
START LAT/LON: 35.0540 -89.6810

END DATE: 04/14/2014
END TIME: 0218 AM
END LOCATION: COLLIERVILLE TENNESSEE
END LAT/LON: 35.0590 -89.6755

SURVEY SUMMARY:
A MICROBURST OCCURRED IN COLLIERVILLE TENNESSEE. SEVERAL HOMES HAD MINOR ROOF DAMAGE AND FENCES WERE BLOWN DOWN. THERE WAS ALSO A NUMBER OF LARGE TREE LIMBS DOWN AND FALLEN TREES.

NOTE: INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS STORM DATA.
$$

A microburst is a downdraft of cold air descending quickly from a collapsing thunderstorm and is a common phenomena with thunderstorms. The down-rushing air hits the ground and spreads out like a fan and can leave a great deal of destruction in it’s wake. This is why we say to take precautions from Severe Thunderstorm Warnings similar to Tornado Warnings. The destroyed property doesn’t care whether the wind was straight-line or rotating – objects can be lofted and blown about by either!

Microbursts are perhaps best known for being significant hazards to low-flying aircraft, such as those on approach or departure from airports. Fortunately these days sophisticated detection systems are in place at all major airports that have resulted in no major accidents in a couple of decades.

Photo of damage from MWN followers on social media:

Photo credit Chelsea Fennell
Photo credit Nick Iacobucci
Photo credit Stephanie Soper

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