Severe Wx!

2009-08-22 05:26:04.000 – Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist


Yesterday was one of those days on the summit when I was reminded why I am in this profession in the first place.

I was downstairs just waking up around 2:30 PM EST when Steve came down and told me that the radar was looking rather interesting. I hustled up into the weather room, still half asleep, to find everyone staring at either the computer screen or out the windows. Glancing at the radar, I quickly finished the waking-up process and became quite excited. The screen before me was littered with approaching lightning strikes and heavy bouts of rain.

For the next two hours, all observers, interns, and even our volunteer remained glued to the spectacle playing out on the summit. The thunder was first, followed by rain, followed by lightning. The winds quickly picked up, gusting to just shy of 60 mph, driving the rain that was already falling at a heavy rate. The summit picked up 2.35″ of rain in the 6 hour period from 12:30 PM EST to 6:30 PM EST, with almost 2″ of that falling in the hour from 3-4 PM! It is by far the most liquid equivalent precipitation (including all of those snowy winter days) I have ever seen in a 6 hour period in my time here (about one year). Lightning was striking dangerously close to the summit (although, incredibly, no direct hits were taken) and thunder seemed nearly constant at times (when the howl of the wind did not mask it).

And in the midst of all of this, we kept an eye open to the weather going on in the valley. Here are some of the highlights of the day (there are many more storm reports than these):

Overnight: Storm Prediction Center placed most of NH and eastern ME in a slight risk for severe thunderstorms
10:50 AM: NWS issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for most of NH
2:16 PM: Hanover, NH: Downed trees reported
2:55 PM: Littleton, NH: Downed trees reported
4:11 PM: 2 miles S Chatham, NH: Downed trees reported
4:11 PM: NWS issues a Tornado Warning for southern Oxford County, ME
4:20 PM: NWS issues a Tornado Watch for southeastern NH and eastern ME
4:25 PM: 2 miles NW Norway, ME: Funnel cloud spotted
4:30 PM: Fryeburg, ME: Lightning strikes transformer, causing a fire
4:34 PM: 5 miles NNW Ossipee, NH: Downed power lines reported
4:39 PM: Sweden, ME: Golf Ball Size Hall reported
4:45 PM: Paris, ME: Downed power lines reported
5:23 PM: 1 mile E of Naples, ME: Hail reported
5:23 PM: 1 mile ENE of Brownfield, ME: .92″ of rain reported in previous 15 minutes
5:40 PM: NWS issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for central and northern ME
5:40 PM: Poland, ME: 58 mph wind gust reported

It was quite a busy day on the summit AND in the valley. For us weather nerds, it was a spectacular sight to see! But even the non-weather nerds on the summit seemed glued to this spectacle!


Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

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