PICTURESQUE DOWNBURST OBSERVED NEAR PUEBLA DE ALCOCER IN BADAJOZ, SPAIN! (credit: David Mancebo Atienza via Meteo Europe)
DISCUSSION: As strong thunderstorms erupted over parts of Central to Eastern Spain earlier in the day on Wednesday, some of these storms moved into regions which were dominated by what are referred to as low-level lapse rates and facilitates the development of strong downward motions within thunderstorms which are scientifically referred to as downdrafts. Last rates are simply a measure of the amount of temperature change measured every 1 kilometer vertically in the atmosphere. As a result of stronger low-level lapse rates, the thunderstorms that formed in certain parts of Spain such as this storm which formed over Puebla De Alcocer in Badajoz, Spain produced an atmospheric phenomena known as a downburst. A downburst occurs within a thunderstorm when there typically is a strong gradient in the temperature and/or the moisture content within or just below the base of storm which forces the rain-cooled air descending through the middle to lower parts of the storm to speed up towards the ground. This is often visually observed as a downburst such as that seen in the image below. Often times, downbursts can often be quite destructive as well as life-threatening in many situations (particularly in more densely populated areas where more objects can easily become hazardous projectiles under the circumstances of a downburst moving through a given region)! To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across all of Europe, be sure to click here!