Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Severe Weather Continues: New England Slammed

Impressive storm approaches town of Glen Lake, MI
Sunday in a severe weather outbreak that
 moved east into New England Monday and Tuesday.  
The severe weather that blasted the Great Lakes region Sunday moved east and hammered New England Monday.

The bad thunderstorms appeared to lose none of their ferocity as they reached the Northeast.

Even worse, the severe weather is continuing in New England today, and possibly tomorrow as well.

The biggest and by far the most tragic headline from the New England storms is the severe winds that hit a local fair in Lancaster, New Hampshire, in the far northern part of that state near the Vermont border.

Two people - a father and daughter - and at least 15 were injured when the severe storm collapsed and blew away a big circus tent. About 100 people were taking shelter from the downpour in the tent when the wind gusts hit.

The severe thunderstorms, one of which was the one that hit Lancaster, were fascinating in a scary way. They developed explosively along or just west of the spine of Vermont's Green Mountains, that south-to north running mountain chain running up the entire middle of the state.

The storms seemed to come out of nowhere. One minute, they're just some small clouds producing a few local shower, and seemingly minutes later, they were severe.

One storm developed near Monkton, Vermont in the early afternoon, and within a half hour moved northeastward to the town of Richmond, where it deposited hail almost the size of golf balls

Police cruiser smushed by fallen tree in
a severe thunderstorm in Barrington,
Rhode Island Tuesday morning.  
Once the storms developed they raced northeastward into eastern Vermont, and then they pummeled much of New Hampshire and Maine.

There were many, many reports of trees downed and power out in the eastern half of Vermont, much of New Hampshire and the northwestern half of Maine on Monday.

Other destructive thunderstorms were reported in Ohio and Pennsylvania on Monday.

The severe weather roared on this Tuesday morning.

Before 7 a.m., the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass. warned of a "particularly dangerous situation" as a severe thunderstorm possibly packing winds of 80 mph ripped across Rhode Island and into southeastern Massachusetts.

This morning's pack of storms lit up the sky over New York City with lightning early this morning, tossed down numerous trees in Connecticut before trashing Rhode Island. Warwick reported a gust of 68 mph, and winds reached 67 mph in Providence with these storms.

An enteire lawn was upended when a very severe thunderstorm
uprooted a large tree in Cranston, Rhode Island Tuesday
morning. Photo from @Hayleigh_Meeker via Twitter.  n
As I write this, there are reports of multiple injuries from the storms at a Charlestown, Rhode Island campground, and police cars at the public safety building at Barrington, Rhode Island were smushed by a large falling tree.

Today, more severe thunderstorms will likely develop in New England, especially in the eastern half of the region. Strong winds and big hail are the biggest threats.

Yet more damage is possible on Wednesday, especially in the northern half of New England. A pool of very cold air for this time of year will pass overhead. The strong August sun will heat the ground.

When that happens, you get rapid updrafts and lots of showers and thunderstorms, some with gusty winds. Worse, with the cold pool overhead, you don't have to go up all that high to get below freezing.

That means lots of hail could form in the thunderstorms, and since the atmosphere will be relatively cool, the hailstones won't melt that fast on the way down. So damaging hail is possible in spots Wednesday, especially in parts of far northeastern New York, and much of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Things should settle down nicely toward the end of the week, with somewhat cooler than normal conditions for August in the Northeast.

Here's something that I've never understood on YouTube:

I look up "severe thunderstorm" and 99 percent of the results are a boring still shot of a weather radio squawking out a severe thunderstorm warning.

Is there some weird club that does this?

Here's a time lapse of a beach being hastily evacuated as Sunday's supercell thunderstorm approached:

Here's a neighborhood in Chicago being trashed by huge winds and hail:

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