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Severe Thunderstorms

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Thunderstorms also can produce strong wind gusts. These straight-line winds have been known to reach 100 miles an hour and produce tornado-like damage. Treat severe thunderstorms just as you would tornadoes. Move to an appropriate shelter if you are in the path of a severe storm.

The strong outrush of wind from a thunderstorm is often called a downburst. One of the primary causes is rain-cooled air. The rain-cooled air accelerates downward rapidly, producing a potentially damaging gust of wind.

Strong downbursts are often mistaken for tornadoes. They can produce extensive damage. They are often accompanied by a roaring sound similar to a tornado. Downbursts can easily overturn mobile homes, tear roofs off houses and topple trees.