Sunday June 22, 2008 Schectady-Saratoga-Rensselaer County
Damaging Supercell Thunderstorm

A small thunderstorm developed in a rapidly destabilizing atmosphere over western Schenectady County around 4pm on Sunday June 22. The storm rapidly intensified, developing a modest mid level rotating updraft, becoming a supercell, and subsequently becoming severe between 4:20pm and 4:30pm over Schenectady and Niskayuna producing frequent vivid cloud to ground lightning, large hail, up to two inches in diameter, torrential rain, and damaging wind. The combination of the mid level rotation evident on Doppler radar and a public funnel cloud report over Guilderland at 4:22pm caused the Albany National Weather Service to upgrade a severe t-storm warning that had been issued for the storm to a tornado warning at 4:30pm valid until 5:15pm. The tornado warning included the far northern portions of Albany County, eastern Schenectady County and southern Saratoga County. A tornado warning was extended for southeast Saratoga County and issued for northern Rensselaer County at 5:12pm, valid until 6:15pm. As the storm tracked into northern Rensselaer County the mid level rotation weakened which marked the end of the severe weather. The tornado warning was cancelled shortly before 6pm as a result. Large hail (up to 1" in diameter ) and pockets of wind damage also occurred in Saratoga Springs and Wilton between 5:15pm and 5:22pm as a small locally severe t-storm split off of the main supercell and tracked to the northeast before weakening over South Glens Falls.

An Albany National Weather Service damage survey conducted on June 23 across northern Albany, Schenectady, and southern Saratoga counties concluded straight line winds ranging from 60-75 mph caused the pockets of wind damage along the path of the supercell. No tornado occurred. The damage survey also found areas where hail, up to two inches in diameter, stripped the leaves off of trees in parts of Schenectady and Niskayuna.

Supercell Storm Damage Reports

Town County Storm Report Time
Schenectady Schenectady 3/4" Diameter hail (Penny sized) 4:20pm
Guilderland Albany Funnel Cloud sighting @ Queens & E. Lydius Streets 4:22pm
Niskayuna (CBS6 Studios) Schenectady 1" Diameter hail (Quarter sized) 4:29pm
Niskayuna (River Rd. & Balltown) Schenectady 2" Diameter hail (Hen egg sized) 4:30pm
Guilderland Albany Wind damage, trees down at Coons Rd. and I-90 4:30pm
Guilderland Albany Additional Funnel cloud sightings by the public 4:30pm
Schenectady Schenectady 1" Diameter hail 4:30pm
Schenectady Schenectady 1" Diameter hail near Schd'y High School 4:50pm
Jonesville Saratoga Wind damage, many trees down at Route 146A and Route 146, including the Sherwood Forest Sub-division 5:05pm
Clifton Park Saratoga Trees, wires and signs down at the Clifton Common and Bruno Road among others 5:05pm
Mechanicville Saratoga 3/4" Diameter hail 5:24pm
Reynolds Rensselaer Wind damage, wires down at Hemstreet Park 5:30pm
Schaghticoke Rensselaer Wind damage, trees down 5:31pm

Radar Images


#1: Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity, lowest tilt, 4:55pm, June 22, 2008: Supercell t-storm over eastern Schenectady and southern Saratoga Counties. An inflow notch is clearly evident west of the Northway and just south of Clifton Park Center. The pendant area of heavy precipitation just north of Vischer Ferry at this time was the storm's hook echo as the circulation caused the precipitation to wrap around the rotating updraft. Damaging wind and large hail were occurring at this time in Clifton Park.

Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity at 4:55pm, Sunday June 22, 2008 

#2: Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity, lowest tilt, 5:04 pm Sunday June 22, 2008: Supercell over southern Saratoga County with damaging wind and large hail falling over a small portion of Clifton Park, marked generally by the magenta colored region north of the inflow notch

Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity 5:04pm, Sunday, June 22, 2008 

#3: Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity, lowest tilt, 5:27 pm Sunday June 22, 2008: Weakening supercell over northern Rensselaer County. The mid level rotation was disappearing at this time, noted by the loss of the hook echo feature that briefly became well defined over southern Saratoga County. The last of the straight line wind damage was occurring in the vicinity of Schaghticoke at this time.

Albany NEXRAD base reflectivity 5:27 pm, Sunday, June 22, 2008 


Photographer: WeatherNet 6 spotter Jim Meehan: A view of the supercell from the Chatham area in Columbia County. Photographer: CBS6 Chief Meteorologist Steve LaPointe: Downed maple tree at Clifton Common in Clifton Park on Vischer Ferry Road.
Supercell T'storm viewed from Columbia County  Wind damage in Clifton Park, June 22, 2008   
Photographer: CBS6 Chief Meteorologist Steve LaPointe: Clifton Common maple tree damage, Clifton Park, Sunday June 22, 2008 Photographer: WeatherNet 6 spotter Ed Kostek: Hail from Niskayuna, June 22, 2008
Wind damage in Clifton Park, Sunday June 22, 2008  Niskayuna hail, June 22, 2008