Monday, August 29, 2016

Torrential Thunderstorms In Far Northern Vermont, Rest Stays Dry

A stromg thunderstorm with an impressive
shelf cloud rolls into St. Albans, Vermont Sunday evening. 
Some impressive thunderstorms blossomed ahead of a fairly weak cold front Sunday afternoon, prompting a flurry of severe storm and flash flood warnings.

The most intense aspects of the storms was the rainfall, which was absolutely torrential. South Hero, Vermont reported 2.1 inches of rain in just one hour.

Although it has been quite dry, the incredible rainfall rates with these storms prompted flash flood warnings across a stripe of far northern Vermont near the Canadian border.

Another reason for the warnings is that a few waves of thunderstorms went over the same general region.. Ultimately, all I found in the form of flooding was small streams at bank full and relatively minor erosion along the sides of some roads and many driveways.

The force of the water popped manhole covers off in downtown St. Albans.

The thunderstorms stayed far to the north. Burlington, Vermont, just 30 or so miles south of the drenching rain zone, received just a trace of rain. Pretty much all of Vermont, south of Route 2 had no rain, so the dry times continue.

Shelf cloud, omimous scud clouds and a heavy rain
shaft behind them Sunday evening, St. Albans, Vermont.  
Some of the storms got severe, especially a last wave that came through in the evening.

That wave prompted a pretty amazing, fast moving shelf cloud that many saw coming in northwestern Vermont.

 Raw video of it that I took as it came through St. Albans, Vermont is at the bottom of this post.

The storms took down trees and power lines along a long path through northern Vermont, all the way from  South Alburgh on Lake Champlain, where falling tree branches pierce a roof, to Lunenburg, on the New Hampshire border, where fallen trees blocked Route 2.

The intensity of the storms came as a surprise, at least to me. We did know ahead of time that the presence of the cold front and favorable upper level winds would create an environment that would favor isolated severe storms.

But these were more widespread and intense than I thought they'd be.

The cold front has passed through, and no severe weather is expected in Vermont in the foreseeable future.

Here's the video of the St. Albans shelf cloud. Especially starting midway through the video, you can see how fast the cloud rolled in.:

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