Monday, May 30, 2016

First Decent Severe Thunderstorms Of Season In Vermont

A large tree fell  and blocked Route 105 between Sheldon
and St. Albans, Vermont Sunday during a severe thunderstorm
Wires were down, too as you can see.  
Well, this was convenient for me.

Thunderstorms developed in Vermont Sunday, and there were a couple isolated severe thunderstorms.

The worst one was just up the road from my house in St. Albans, Vermont, so it was easy for me to storm chase, as I like to do.

Vermont storm chases aren't anything like what goes on in the Midwest and Plains, when chasers have close encounters with large, dangerous tornadoes.

Chases here are much safer. By, say Oklahoma standards, Vermont's Sunday storm wasn't that bad, but for us it was.

The damage was pretty much exclusively in the form of fallen trees and power lines in a concentrated area of the northern parts of St. Albans, and adjacent Sheldon, Franklin and Highgate.

The storms I was in were dramatic enough, with incredibly heavy rain - rainfall rates were close to two inches an hour. The winds were strong, and there were a few dime-sized hail stones pinging off my truck.

This big tree fell and barely missed a house during
a severe thunderstorm in Sheldon, Vermont Sunday.  
It wasn't the worst thunderstorm ever, but I've never had so much trouble getting back home after a chase.

The major routes south from Sheldon and Highgate back to St. Albans were all blocked off by fallen trees and wires.

So were all the back roads I tried. Finally, someone was able to clear a tree from Route 207 coming out of Highgate so I made it out.

Boy, we needed the rain, though. The storms started to train in northern New York. By that I mean a string of storms kept going over the same spot, over and over again.

That prompted flash flood warnings in parts of the northern Adirondacks, as a few places got a quick four to five inches of rain out of the storm train.

The train briefly continued into the northwest corner of Vermont. But aside from the initial severe storm I chased, the storms weren't intense by the time they got to Vermont. So no serious flooding.

And bonus! My gardens were parched before the rain.  The storm at my house in the southeastern corner of St. Albans wasn't at all severe, but I did get a downpour out of the storm, followed by a few hours of repeated showers. That helped a lot.

Here's a very raw video compilation I took of Sunday's storms, that kicked off Vermont's summer storm season:  The video is most intense toward the end:

No comments:

Post a Comment