On the morning of Tuesday May 4th, the folks at the National Weather Service received a report of damage from a storm that passed through Watkins Glen the previous day. The damage reports included a roof partially torn off a shed, a small chicken coop moved off its foundation by about a foot and several downed tree branches as well.
Upon inspection, officials at the National Weather Service in Binghamton concluded that a microburst was responsible for the level of damage created.
A microburst is a convective downdraft associated with thunderstorms. Cold air from inside the thunderstorm rushes out of the base of the storm and crashes into the ground with considerable force. The winds spread out in all directions and can cause a great deal of damage.
The key difference between microburst damage and tornadic damage lies in the pattern in which the damage is strewn about. Microbursts produce a straight-line damage pattern with the debris generally facing a uniform direction, whereas tornadoes with their violently rotating winds, deposit debris in all different directions.
For more information on this report visit: the National Weather Service website