Columbus Microburst on 7-23-13

At around 6:35 PM MDT on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 a wet microburst descended from a severe thunderstorm and caused damage to manufactured homes in Columbus, New Mexico. A downburst is a rapidly descending wind from a thunderstorm which spreads out upon impact with the surface of the earth. Downbursts less than 2.5 miles in diameter are called microbursts.

Based upon photos from El Paso television stations as well as from a WFO El Paso forecaster in Columbus last evening, and also from radar data of the storm structure and wind fields, the cause of damage was from microburst winds of up to 90 MPH. The winds were consistent with a microburst damage swath.

Downburst winds and flash floods are the leading causes of weather related damage in the state of New Mexico. Mobile homes are not safe in in stronger downbursts, even when anchored. Seek shelter in a strong building, away from windows which can shatter from flying debris.

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