What’s the difference between a gustnado and a microburst?
My sister in Champaign said they recently experienced a gustnado. What’s the difference between a gustnado and a microburst?
Kimberly Sorrentino, Schaumburg
A gustnado is a short-lived, shallow and usually weak tornado that spins up along the leading edge of a thunderstorm outflow. Gustnados do minor damage and become visible from rotating dust or debris. A microburst is a powerful burst of rain-cooled air plunging earthward from a thunderstorm that spreads out in all directions after impacting the ground. It has been likened to a stream of water from a hose aimed at the ground. By definition, they are less than 2.5 miles in diameter. Microbursts are capable of severe damage and are often the culprit when isolated areas of major storm damage are embedded in a larger field of minor damage.