Microburst schematic from NASA. Note the downward motion of the air until it hits ground level, then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is completely opposite to a tornado.
, sometimes referred to as windshear
or wind gradient
, is a difference in wind speed
over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere
. Wind shear can be broken down into vertical and horizontal components, with horizontal wind shear seen across weather fronts
and near the coast, and vertical shear typically near the surface, though also at higher levels in the atmosphere near upper level jets and frontal zones aloft.
Wind shear itself is a microscale meteorological phenomenon occurring over a very small distance, but it can be associated with mesoscale or synoptic scale weather features such as squall lines and cold fronts. It is commonly observed near microbursts and downbursts caused by thunderstorms, weather fronts, areas of locally higher low level winds referred to as low level jets, near mountains, radiation inversions that occur due to clear skies and calm winds, buildings, wind turbines, and sailboats. Wind shear has a significant effect during take-off and landing of aircraft due to their effects on steering of the aircraft, and was a significant cause of aircraft accidents involving large loss of life within the United States.
Sound movement through the atmosphere is affected by wind shear, which can bend the wave front, causing sounds to be heard where they normally would not, or vice versa. Strong vertical wind shear within the troposphere also inhibits tropical cyclone development, but helps to organize individual thunderstorms into living longer life cycles which can then produce severe weather. The thermal wind concept explains with how differences in wind speed with height are dependent on horizontal temperature differences, and explains the existence of the jet stream. (Full article...)
The Tupolev TB-3 (Russian: Тяжёлый Бомбардировщик, Tyazholy Bombardirovschik, Heavy Bomber, civilian designation ANT-6) was a heavy bomber aircraft which was deployed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1930s and during World War II. It was the world's first cantilever wing four-engine heavy bomber. Despite obsolescence and being officially withdrawn from service in 1939, TB-3 performed bomber and transport duties through much of WWII. The TB-3 also saw combat as a Zveno project fighter mothership and as a light tank transport.
- Span: 41.80 m (137 ft 2 in)
- Length: 24.4 m (80 ft 1 in)
- Height: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
- Engines: 4× Mikulin M-17F V12 engines, 525 kW (705 hp) each
- Maximum Speed: 196 km/h (106 knots, 122 mph) at 3000 m (9,840 ft)
- First Flight: 22 December 1930