Severe microburst in Cooks Falls leads to death of a woman

DELAWARE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) — 90 mph winds in a severe weather phenomenon resulted in the tragic death of a woman in Delaware County over the weekend.

A strong microburst wind event occurred Sunday morning near Cooks Falls, with the highest concentration being between Cooks Hollow and Butternut Grove in the Beaver Kill Valley and up the Russell Brook drainage area.

What is a microburst?

A microburst is an outward and downward burst of strong winds in a small, confined area with a diameter of about two miles. They usually spawn from an existing thunderstorm from above when dry air combines with the precipitation of a storm forcing rain drops to quickly evaporate.

This causes a rapid drop in temperature with the cooled air dropping towards the ground at high speeds, accelerating as it drops. This sensation causes powerful wind gusts straight at the ground and, once it hits, fans out in all directions causing damage to anything in its path.

What happened in Cooks Falls?

According to NWS, the microburst formed late Sunday morning, June 30, at approximately 10:35 a.m.

The some 90mph winds damaged cars, trees, camper units, and tents in Cooks Hollow and Butternut Grove. Trees and large branches were falling onto the campers, cars and tents, which resulted in the death of a woman when a large tree snapped and fell onto her site and crushed it.

The microburst only lasted about five minutes, but the damage was plentiful, according to witnesses at the scene. At least one other person was confirmed to be injured with a hit to the head.

This is a developing story, stay with News 34 as more information becomes available.

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