Monday, July 11, 2011

July 6 Severe Thunderstorms near Burlington, Vermont

On July 6, another line of severe thunderstorms passed through Vermont, causing wind damage in many areas.  I had the opportunity to get a very good view of these storms, because we ended up driving through the line in Charlotte, Vermont.

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Disclaimer:  I am not advocating driving through lines of severe thunderstorms.  We weren't doing this intentionally, and also knew the road very well and could have taken shelter if necessary.  Never drive your car into flooded areas, especially during flash flooding, and get to shelter inside IMMEDIATELY if you see a tornado.

The picture above is of the line of storms from Vergennes, Vermont.  It was evident that there was some heavy weather moving in, and we even heard the 'emergency broadcast system' on the radio while in the storm.  However, based on the radar, it looked like we'd miss the brunt of the storm.

The sky on Highway 7 is more open than most of Vermont.  It's a great place to watch storms, but also gets hit hard by wind, and, in the winter, blowing snow.  There was no snow on July 6th, of course...

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The squall line was very dramatic.  Some of the streaks below are from reflections on the window, but the rain (and hail) falling from the storm was very evident.  The long, lowered cloud base was well defined and was moving fast...  It was moving from the west, and we were driving north... so it was very evident from the car just how fast the line was moving.

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The rain hit in Charlotte.  It was very short-lived, though heavy.  There was also plenty of lightning.

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Luckily, we did slip through a weak spot in the storm.  Both to our north and our south there was some wind damage, and we came across some fallen limbs in southern Shelburne, after emerging on the other side of the storm.

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It cleared up fast.  But, when the storm hit the mountains to the east, it seemed to intensify.  There was lots of lightning, and nasty-looking clouds.  The storm went on to do some damage along Highway 100 just east of the crest of the Green Mountains.

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It turned out to be a beautiful evening.  There were a few scattered evening showers and thunderstorms in Burlington, but they were quite mild and short-lived.

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The line of storms resulted in high wind and hail scattered across much of Vermont.  Wind damage was extremely localized... to the extent that there was significant tree damage a few blocks from our home but our garden and yard were unaffected.

There is a chance of thunderstorms again today, though severe storms are unlikely.  It seems that we are finally getting a break from the severe weather.

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