Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why The High Wind Gusts With Today's Storms?

Today's storms provided some beneficial rains to Deep East Texas, but it did come at a cost. That cost was damaging winds, which at times, were gusting over 50 mph.

These high winds occurred along a "gust front." A gust front is a boundary of rain cooled air that rushes out of a thunderstorm and then spreads out along the ground. They are often times associated with thunderstorm complexes, much like the one we saw today.

I was able to capture this radar image at 3:09pm this afternoon, when the gust front was encroaching on the Pineywoods. The gust front is the thin blue line that stretched from Center to near Mount Enterprise at this particular time.

It is that boundary which surged to the south and southwest preceding the rain that soon followed. Due to our drought situation, the high winds not only knocked down trees, but also kicked up a bunch of dirt, creating a scene you would typically see in West Texas.

Despite the fact the rain did not last as long as many of you would have liked, we did see a big drop in the temperatures once the storm complex moved through. Have you stepped outside this evening? The overcast skies and rain cooled air are something we have not seen in quite a long time.

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