A heat burst occurred in the QCA overnight Tuesday

Temperatures quickly rose overnight
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:38 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:32 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Another rare weather phenomenon occurred in the QCA Wednesday morning, a heat burst.

A heat burst occurs when very warm and dry air plummets from a decaying thunderstorm. For example, around 2 am. Muscatine’s temperature went from the mid-70s to mid-80s in the span of 10 minutes, before slowly cooling back to the mid-70s.

Heat burst occurred around 2AM
Heat burst occurred around 2AM(KWQC)

Heat bursts are more common at night and occur when warm moist air stops rising into the storm. This allows the rain to begin to evaporate and initially cooling this layer and increasing its downward descent. As this air descends it will evaporate all the moisture out of it and eventually begin to compress and warm. The heat burst will be complete once the warm dry air hits the surface and spreads out in every direction.

Warm dry air descends from dissipating thunderstorm.
Warm dry air descends from dissipating thunderstorm.(kwqc)

Heat bursts are known to produce very strong winds as well as increase temperatures over 100º. One example is from Wichita, Kansas in June of 2011 when the temp rose from 85º at 12:22 a.m. to 102º at 12:42 a.m.

Another example is one in Clovis, New Mexico where winds were recorded between 70mph and 80mph bringing widespread wind damage.