Heat Bursts Occurred in SW Oklahoma Last Night

| July 7, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

You may ask yourself, what is a heat burst. It is a phenomenon that causes extreme winds, a dramatic rise in temperature and a rapid drop in humidity. It happens when air transported high in the atmosphere by a thunderstorm comes crashing back to earth in a downdraft. Most downdrafts are cool in nature, cooled by evaporating rain. But in a heatburst, there is no rain, and the air heats rapidly by compression, rises at 5.5 degrees F as it descends. The air can warm by over 100 degrees F. It rushes outward when it strikes the ground, much as any downburst. Most result in a 20 degree F rise in temperature.

Hobart, Oklahoma, had a temperature reading soar from 81F at 11:00PM to 104.4F at 12:15AM. A nearby storm collapsed with all of the air rushing to the ground rapidly, producing wind gusts of 45 MPH. While that was happening, the dewpoint and relative humidity crashed, as well as the pressure.

Heat bursts are a semi-rare event that usually occurs across the Plains. One of the worst ones on record happened in Kopperl, Texas (read about it here). There has been an occurrence of this happening in the southeast recently. Decaying thunderstorms caused a heat burst in Jackson, Mississippi in April of last year. Even though the temperature only rose by 2 degrees, the dewpoint dropped by 15 degrees.

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Category: Alabama's Weather

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Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

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