Advertisement

High wind on Thursday- here’s how strong some of the wind gusts were

Peak winds
Peak winds(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:01 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WHSV) - High winds across the area for many on Thursday but not everyone experienced the strong wind. The strongest was across the Allegheny mountains, the Potomac Highlands and on the far western sides of the Shenandoah Valley, closest to Shenandoah and Great North mountain.

We basically had two surges of strong winds. One around the late morning, early afternoon and the second later in the evening as the dry cold front was crossing.

Take a look at the list of wind gusts for Petersburg, West Virginia. Winds had pretty much very strong all day. At 8:55 pm a gust of 59mph was recorded at the Grant county Airport! On this graphic the time is on the left, then the wind direction, the wind speed, and then the gust speed after the G.

So at 8:55 pm the station reported wind direction from the west-northwest with a sustained wind speed of 29mph and a wind gust of 59mph. And of course a warm temperature at 63°.

A wind gust of 59mph was recorded
A wind gust of 59mph was recorded(WHSV)

TEMPERATURE RISE

While parts of the Shenandoah Valley saw a lull in some of the wind gusts in the early evening Thursday, once they picked up, the temperature rose. Yes, the temperatures were rising as some of the wind picked back up again. This, as the dry cold front was crossing.

Weather stations in Bridgewater and Harrisonburg showing a drastic rise in temperatures...
Weather stations in Bridgewater and Harrisonburg showing a drastic rise in temperatures Thursday evening as the wind increased.(WHSV)

Take a look at these weather stations above. The first one from Bridgewater, shows the temperature rising from 47° to 62°! Now that was in 2 hours total but, 10 degrees of that rise was in just 30 minutes.

The second weather station in that graphic is from Harrisonburg. The temperature rose from 53° to 63° in 30 minutes.

In the daytime strong wind will lead to more mixing in the air and will lead to lower temperatures than on the same day if it wasn’t windy. It’s the opposite at night.

At night, the wind keeps the air mixed and prevent temperatures from dropping and can also lead to a rise in temperatures a few degrees. Thursday night was a more extreme event because we had the downsloping factor.

Downsloping is really a factor with the winds perpendicular to the mountains. The westerly wind will do that across our area. As air rises up a mountain it cools. As it sinks on the other side, it warms. Because we have strong winds racing down the mountains on the east side, the warming effect was enhanced tonight as well as the high wind.

Wind that races down the lee side of a mountain sinks. Sinking air warms and accelerates.
Wind that races down the lee side of a mountain sinks. Sinking air warms and accelerates.(WHSV)

PEAK WIND GUSTS

Here are the peak wind gusts we saw across the area on Thursday
Here are the peak wind gusts we saw across the area on Thursday(WHSV)

We certainly had some strong wind gusts across the area, the strongest of which occurred across our West Virginia areas along the Allegheny Mountains, where Brushy Run saw a peak gust of 62 mph! Elsewhere, we had an official report of a 59 mph gust at the Petersburg airport. We mentioned leading up to Thursday that the strongest of the gusts would occur west of about Route 42, and that verified, with lesser gusts across much of the Shenandoah Valley, although Swoope did pick up a 48 mph gust.

The best news is that there have been no official reports of damage across the region, so even with the strong winds, we were able to make it through largely unscathed, but we’ll keep you updated should any reports come in throughout the day today.

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.