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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Convective Downbursts


Ken Pryor - Center for Satellite Applications and Research (NOAA/NESDIS)



Archived Training





Last Updated:



The objective of this session is to better understand and utilize techniques for predicting the risk of convective downbursts using GOES sounder derived product data.

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based videoYouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (32 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

  2. Live VISIT teletraining (with an instructor leading the session). Check the VISIT Training Calendar to signup for teletraining. The session will last 60 minutes. This teletraining session uses the VISITview software, where a Windows PC with an Internet connection is needed.

    Please follow the teletraining installation instructions to install the session

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.
  • GOES Sounding Point Retrievals in AWIPS VISIT session
  • Papers in
  • Atkins, N.T., and R.M. Wakimoto, 1991: Wet microburst activity over the southeastern United States: Implications for forecasting. Wea. Forecasting, 6, 470-482.
  • Caracena, F., and J.A. Flueck, 1988: Classifying and forecasting microburst activity in the Denver area. J. Aircraft, 25, 525-530.
  • Caracena, F., R.L. Holle, and C.A. Doswell, cited 2009: Microbursts-A handbook for visual identification. Available online at
  • Doswell, C.A., 2001: Severe convective storms- An overview. Severe Convective Storms, C.A. Doswell, Ed., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 1-26.
  • Ellrod, G. P., 1989: Environmental conditions associated with the Dallas microburst storm determined from satellite soundings. Wea. Forecasting, 4, 469-484.
  • Ellrod, G.P., J.P. Nelson, M.R. Witiw, L. Bottos, and W.P. Roeder, 2000: Experimental GOES sounder products for the assessment of downburst potential. Wea. Forecasting, 15, 527-542.
  • Fujita, T.T., and R.M. Wakimoto, 1983: Microbursts in JAWS depicted by Doppler radars, PAM and aerial photographs. Preprints, 21st Conf. on Radar Meteorology, Edmonton, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 638-645.
  • McCann, D.W., 1994: WINDEX-A new index for forecasting microburst potential. Wea. Forecasting, 9, 532-541.
  • Pryor, K.L., 2011: Microburst Nowcasting Applications of GOES. NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 140
  • Pryor, K.L., 2008a: An initial assessment of the GOES Microburst Windspeed Potential Index. Preprints, 5th GOES Users’ Conf., New Orleans, LA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Pryor, K.L., 2008b: A GOES imager-derived microburst product. arXiv:0802.3340v3 []
  • Wakimoto, R.M., 1985: Forecasting dry microburst activity over the high plains. Mon. Wea. Rev., 113, 1131-1143.
  • Wakimoto, R.M., 2001: Convectively Driven High Wind Events. Severe Convective Storms, C.A. Doswell, Ed., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 255-298.
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites