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A closer look at the microburst in Bouckville and Madison

A Severe Thunderstorm produced a microburst in Bouckville and Madison causing downed power lines and trees.

Posted: Jul 28, 2018 6:58 PM

On July 27th, a severe thunderstom warning was issued for Southern Oneida, Eastern Madison, Northern Otsego, and Southern Herkimer counties as we just passed 8:00. About ten minutes later we had a microburst of straight line winds just east of
Bouckville on Falin Road along Route 26 and extended northward onto Canal Road. The microburst downed several trees and wires along the path and damaged a roof on Canal Road. A few additional trees were downed due to wind further east on Route 26 in Madison. The National Weather Service in Binghamton estimate the  maximum wind speed experienced by this was 75 mph and it travelled 92 miles. This puts the wind speed at the equivalency of and EF-0 tornado, but we did NOT have a tornado!

To get these kinds of conditions it all starts with the updraft of a thunderstorm and the water droplets/ hailstones being suspended within it. If the updraft is strong (like it was in this case), it can suspend these droplets and hailstones in upper portions of the thunderstorm. Once the storm starts to weaken and the downdraft forms, it is no longer capable of holding the large core of rain/hail up in the thunderstorm. As a result, the core plummets to the ground. As it hits the ground it spreads out in all directions. The location in which the microburst first hits the ground experiences the highest winds and greatest damage. That is what happened in Bouckville and Madison.

Our two attached images show the radar and velocity of the storm around this time. Looking at the radar the dark pink/ purple is the hail in this system. We got reports of hail sizes being a quarter of an inch. Taking a look at the velocity image you can see the signature of the microburst where the red and green meet. The bright red indicates winds blowing away from the radar, and the bright green indicates winds blowing toward the radar.

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