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wind shear

[wind]
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noun
  1. the rate at which wind velocity changes from point to point in a given direction.
  2. a condition, dangerous to aircraft, in which the speed or direction of the wind changes abruptly.
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Compare microburst.

Origin of wind shear

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for wind shear

wind shear

noun
  1. stress on an aircraft in an area in which winds of different speeds and directions are close together
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

wind shear in Science

wind shear

  1. A change in wind direction and speed between slightly different altitudes, especially a sudden downdraft. Depending on its scale, wind shear can cause a variety of effects, from minor turbulence to tornadoes. Wind shear caused by interactions between oceanic and atmospheric winds can be so strong that it can dissipate hurricanes. See also shear force.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.