Wind? No, it was a microburst

SEATTLE - An exceptionally strong wind that hit a two-block area in West Seattle on Tuesday afternoon was a weather phenomenon - rare in this area - known as a microburst, the National Weather Service said yesterday.

A microburst is a brief downward surge of cold, dense air from a shower with heavy rainfall, according to the weather service. Tuesday's gusts were estimated at 50 mph.

The wind caused major property damage along a short stretch of Erskine Way Southwest shortly before 4 p.m.