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Tornados and microbursts can both cause devastating damage, but what’s the difference?

Thunderstorms, dust storms, and torrential rains! Monsoon Season is just around the corner. June, July, and August the climate in the borderland changes dramatically from very dry to humid, muggy and rainy.

The official start of Monsoon season is June 15 to September 30th; Jason Laney with the National Weather Service El Paso stopped by the ABC-7 studio to discuss a weather phenomenon, called a microburst.

Laney says microbursts can cause destruction just as devastating as a small tornado. He explained that a microburst is a small column of intense sinking air that results in a violent uprush of air at the ground. The air can rush towards the ground at speeds of 70 MPH before impacting the surface and spread out in all directions.

During the demonstration, Laney used a water balloon– Nichole Gomez placed the water balloon above the model while Jason pops the balloon. The dense water (represents the cold, damp air associated with downbursts) drops rapidly to the ground and spreads out with excessive force.

“This is what downbursts do and wind speeds can reach 100 mph in the bigger ones. “Laney said.

Unfortunately, you can’t look at a thunderstorm and “see” if it will turn severe. StormTRACK Doppler radar is able to view the inside of the thunderstorms and check the movement of air.

This allows StormTRACK Weather Meteorologists and StormTrackers to track indicators of a microburst. By tracking Doppler Radar this allows the Weather team to issue Weather Alerts through the StormTRACK Weather and Traffic App.

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