Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quite A Lightning Light Show Over Vermont Friday Evening; More Noisy Storms Today

The first storm of what proved to be a loud,
lightning filled evening in northern Vermont is seen
blossoming over Lake Champlain west of St. Albans.  
UPDATE 1:45 p.m Saturday.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has upped the chances of severe storms across northeastern New York and most of Vermont and New Hampshire today.

There's now giving it a slight risk, which is level two of five risk levels, with five being the highest risk.

Earlier today, the Storm Prediction Center was giving us Level 1, or marginal risk for isolated severe storms.

The atmosphere is more unstable than first thought, there was plenty of sun this morning to activate the atmosphere, and it's still fairly humid, so the chances of damaging winds and hail have increased.

There's a good chance they'll issue a severe thunderstorm watch for the rest of the afternoon in the North Country. That watch could  come at any minute now.

As always, not everybody will get a severe or damaging storm. But some towns will see more trees and power lines topple, much like last night. And some gardens and crops here and there might be damaged by hail.

As of 1:45 p.m. Saturday, weather radar was lit up like a Christmas tree with lots of showers and storms, some strong, over southern Quebec, ahead of an approaching cold front

The storms were heading toward the southeast, and would start to cross the International Border by 2:30 p.m,. or even possibly sooner.

The storms will move southeastward and be out of our hair in northern New England by tonight


As expected, a bunch of thunderstorms, a few strong to severe, got going over southern Quebec, northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine Friday evening.

I don't know if any of you saw it, but it was quite the light show. I don't think I've seen that much nighttime lightning in ages.

This was a weird outbreak of storms.

Friday turned out to be the hottest day of the summer, reaching 94 degrees in Burlington. That certainly added a lot of energy to atmosphere, priming it for storms.

As noted yesterday, all we needed was a trigger, and that came in the form of a pool of cooler air aloft and a weak cold front sagging down from Quebec in the evening.

As always with photos in this blog thingy, click on the photos to make them bigger and easier to see.

Skies grew ominous over Georgia,
Vermont at sunset Friday.  
Things got off to a late start. A few rogue showers and storms started firing in the North Country around 4 p.m. but they would pop up and peter out without amounting to much.

Then, shortly before sunset, the influence of that system from Canada began nudging in. The initial storms I noticed were weird: Tall, skinny things that didn't look like much from a distance, but were pretty intense once you got inside them.

One of the first storms of the night fired up in far southern Quebec and moved into my area, St. Albans, Vermont shortly before sunset. As you can see in the first photo in this post, it was a thing of beauty over Lake Champlain.

Soon, other tall, skinny storms formed near this one. There were pockets of hail and strong winds as they passed through.

One of the storms, which downed some branches in the southern end of St. Albans, seemed to have a small, slowly rotating wall cloud-like structure on the storm's back side as it moved east of town.

I doubt this storm was anything near tornadic (I'm guessing the rotation was probably just different updrafts and downdrafts and outflows influencing the shape of this particular cloud) but it was certainly interesting to watch the clouds grow and rotate a bit

This storm, shortly after I saw that, triggered the first severe thunderstorm warning of the evening in central Vermont.

Soon larger clusters of storms formed near Ottawa and crossed into northern New York and Vermont

This small wall-cloud like cloud structure slowly
rotated on the tail end of a thunderstorm
Friday evening southeast of St Albans.
I want to be careful and note this wasn't a tornadic
type storm, but the cloud feature was i
interesting nontheless.   
Later, at one point, all of Vermont north of a Rutland to White River Junction line was under a severe thunderstorm warning.

 I don't know the last time I saw such an extensive area of Vermont  under a storm warning.

Damage reports were spotty, with trees and wires down in places like North and South Hero, on Lake Champlain, near Hardwick, Cambridge and Middlesex.

Some of the storms produced torrential downpours, too. Radar estimates show spot totals in excess of 1.5 inches north of Route 2 in Vermont.

The lightning, as noted, was something else, too!  

A second, more intense cluster of severe thunderstorms moved west to east across most of Massachusetts and much of Connecticut as we in northern Vermont had our light show.

There was tree and wire damage, and some other destruction in the Bay State from Interstate 91 in the west all the way to Cape Cod.

We're not done with the storms yet. Another cold front will trigger more thunderstorms across the North Country today.

A few of the storms, once again, will become strong to severe, but there will be only isolated spots that have any more damage. Many of us will get some thunderstorm drama today but nothing totally destructive

Today's round of storms will come through much earlier than Friday's By noon, they will be firing up and generally heading southeastward across New York and Vermont.

The storms should rapidly wind down by evening, and we will have a much quieter night in Vermont than last night.

Sunday looks gorgeous with sun, seasonably warm temperatures and fairly low humidity, but more storms are possible Monday. Stay tuned!

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