Friday June 12, 2015
Severe T'Storm Outbreak - Mohawk Valley - Capital Region Supercell

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms occurred over eastern New York and western New England from the late afternoon through the late evening on Friday June 12, 2015 resulting in thirty four reports of wind damage locally as well as torrential rainfall and frequent violent cloud to ground lightning strikes. Most of the wind damage was attributed to a lead supercell thunderstorm (a thunderstorm with a rotating updraft) which remained discrete through its long track lifecycle on a path which took from from southwest of Syracuse from the mid afternoon, through northern Otsego County during the late afternoon and early evening through the eastern Mohawk valley and into Rensselaer County through 9pm. The storm was well photographed frequently developing a well defined rotating wall cloud with occasional funnels along its track. Although tornado warnings were issued for the storm through various points during its long lifecycle, no tornado was confirmed to have occurred. However the storm did produce areas of wind damage along its path along with torrential rain and frequent lightning. Two additional lines of thunderstorms immediately followed the supercell ultimately merging into one area of storms as it moved to the east south east through the Catskills, mid Hudson valley, Berkshire and Litchfield counties through midnight.

Supercell Thunderstorm coming into Rotterdam, NY Friday evening June 12 - The photograph shows a well defined storm structure with some striations in the clouds indicating a rotating updraft. Photograph contributed by John Gallo


Supercell Thunderstorm structure, Rotterdam, NY, June 12, 2015

Well defined wall cloud near Howes Cave, NY Schoharie County Friday evening June 12, 2015. Photographer unknown

Well defined wall cloud near Howes Cave, Schoharie County Friday evening June 12, 2015 

Apparent funnel cloud near Oaksville, just south of Richfield Springs, Otsego County late Friday afternoon June 12, 2015: Photograph by storm chaser and former WeatherNet 6 weather watcher Sean Organ and John Bulmer

Apparent funnel cloudy near Oaksville just south of Richfield Springs, Otsego County, Friday evening June 12, 2015 

Set Up:
Low pressure moving northeast over Lake Ontario pulled a warm front north through the region during the morning and early afternoon with the front slowing its northward motion hanging up over the southern Adirondacks, Lake George - Saratoga Region into southern Vermont by the late afternoon and early evening. A surge of very warm and humid air moved north into eastern New York and western New England, especially from the Mohawk valley and Capital Region on south and into the Berkshires as a SSE flow developed in the storm's warm sector. Dewpoints climbed into the mid 60s with air temperatures warming into the lower to mid 80s. The atmosphere late in the day was characterized by CAPE values (convective available potential energy) of 1000 to 1500 j/kg, indicating moderate instability. Moderately strong wind shear was also present meaning a significant turning and increase in the speed of the wind with height from the surface up into the mid levels existed, an ingredient necessary to develop storm updraft rotation and supercell thunderstorms providing sufficient instability.

A lone supercell thunderstorm developed southwest of Syracuse during the mid afternoon well in advance of several lines of thunderstorms which were developing over the lakes in close proximity to the surface low pressure system and attendant cold front. The supercell remained discrete as it tracked east at only 20-25 mph moving into northern Otsego County after 5pm where local storm chasers picked it up and indicated strong rotation within the updraft region as it moved across the northern portion of the county near Richfield Springs to Cherry Valley. (Close to this time, a second isolated severe thunderstorm developed over southern Ulster County which went on to produce an estimated 90-100 mph microburst in the town of Gardiner at 5:10pm resulting in major damage to trees and power lines along a 2.25 mile path in the town before the storm weakened as it tracked across southern Dutchess County.)

Meanwhile the supercell storm, with occasional tornado warnings posted for it, moved along and to the south of the warm front which took it right along the Montgomery-Schoharie County line affecting Sharon Springs, Ames, Central Bridge, Carlisle and Esperance between 6:15pm and 7pm. Schenectady and Albany counties were next between 7pm and 8:30pm with the storm weakening over Rensselaer County through 9pm. The following series of two Instant Doppler 6 images show the solitary nature to the storm as it tracked in advance of several lines of strong thunderstorms which trailed it to the west.

Instant Doppler 6 image around 5:30pm showing the supercell over northeast Otsego County moving slowly east at 20-25 mph and the trailing line of strong thunderstorms coming out of the Adirondacks.


Instant Doppler 6 Image around 5:30pm Friday June 12, 2015



Instant Doppler 6 image around 6:30pm showing the supercell over southern Montgomery and northwest Schoharie County with the hook echo in Schoharie County (the area of rotation) as it was tracking east at 20-25 mph. A strong line of thunderstorms trailed the supercell

Instant Doppler 6 Image around 6:30pm Friday June 12, 2015

A series of Doppler radar images from the ENX (Albany NEXRAD) tilt 1 base reflectivity from 6:25pm to 7:38pm showing the progress of the classic supercell as it tracked along the Montgomery Schoharie County line, through Schenectady and into northern Albany County. The yellow polygons in the images indicate severe thunderstorm warning areas. The red polygons indicate tornado warning areas. The storm maintained a classic comma shape with a distinct hook echo on the southwest end of the cell. It's in that lower appendage, or hook area, that the storm's rotating updraft was located and it was in and near that location that most of the wind damage occurred. The areas of dark red in the cell was where torrential rain and hail was falling as it moved east at 20-25 mph. The radar image at 9:37pm shows a bowing severe thunderstorm line segment, which followed the supercell and produced damaging gusts of wind, going through the immediate Capital Region.

Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 6:25pm, Friday June 12, 2015 Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 6:56pm, Friday June 12, 2015 Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 6:40pm, Friday June 12, 2015 Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 7:22pm, Friday June 12, 2015
Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 7:38pm Friday June 12, 2015  Albany Tilt 1 Base Reflectivity at 9:37pm, Friday June 12, 2015 


A clear picture of the storm's wall cloud from Central Bridge looking toward Carlisle at 6:50pm on Friday June 12, 2015. Photograph contributed by Joeann Kathleen Spaulding. The wall cloud is the lowered section in the middle of the photograph and is the center of the storm's updraft. Lower air pressure in that region due to rapidly rising air allows water vapor to condense into cloud droplets at a lower elevation forming the lowering.

Classic wall cloud, near Central Bridge looking toward Carlisle, Schoharie County around 6:50pm June 12, 2015

This is a compelling photograph taken by Heather Nay near Delanson Friday evening June 12, 2015. The significant cloud lowering could be a funnel cloud or even a tornado, but it could also be scud, which is simply harmless cloud that forms in updraft areas of showers and t'storms where lower air pressure exists allowing water vapor to condense into cloud droplets below the surrounding cloud base. Without video, which would indicate if the cloud was rotating or not, it cannot be determined from this photograph what exactly the cloud formation was.

Possible funnel cloud near Delanson, Friday evening June 12, 2015

NWS Storm Reports for Friday June 15, 2015. Note, these reports are used to verify the NWS warnings which were issued for this event and therefore do not necessarily represent an accounting for all of the wind damage which may have occurred during the event.

Town County Storm Report Time
Gardiner Ulster 90-100 mph microburst producing significant damage to trees and power lines over a 2.25 mile path 5:05pm
Ireland Corners Ulster Wind damage, multiple trees down on Route 208 5:10pm
Plainfield Center Otsego Funnel cloud with rotating wall cloud 5:45pm
West Winfield Herkimer Wind damage, trees and wires blow down 6:15pm
Ilion Herkimer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 6:22pm
Esperance Station Schenectady Wind damage, two trees blown down along Rt 30 7:03pm
Canajoharie Montgomery Wind damage, trees blown down 7:24pm
Root Center Montgomery Wind damage, trees blown down 7:35pm
Minaville Montgomery Wind damage, trees blown down 7:35pm
Randall Montgomery Wind damage, trees blown down on Route 5s by the intersection of Argersinger Road 7:40pm
1 Mile NE of Hawthorne Hill Schenectady Wind damage, trees down, one on a home on Ardmore Court 8:02pm
1 Mile N of Delanson Schenectady Wind damage, multiple trees down at the intersection of Route 20 and Route 395 8:06pm
Schenectady Schenectady Wind damage, tree down at the intersection of Park Ave. and Union Ave. 8:16pm
Maryland Otsego Funnel Cloud 8:20pm
Oneonta Otsego Wind damage, several trees blown down in the city with some uproots, damage to wires 8:20pm
Waterford Saratoga Wind damage, multiple trees uprooted 8:33pm
Loudonville Albany Wind damage, large tree down blocking road along with fence damage, wires burning 8:35pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:38pm
Summit Schoharie Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:38pm
Jefferson Schoharie Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:38pm
Brunswick Rensselaer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:43pm
Colonie Albany Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:45pm
Boght Corners Albany Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:45m
Cohoes Albany Wind damage, multiple trees and wires blown down 8:49pm
Grafton Rensselaer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:54pm
Berlin Rensselaer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 8:59pm
Davenport Delaware Wind damage, trees down, also in Trout Creek and the Walton area 9:00pm
Windham Greene Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:07pm
Greenville Greene Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:26pm
Catskill Greene Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:26pm
Stockport Columbia Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:37pm
Stephentown Rensselaer Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:37pm
Athens Greene Wind damage, trees and wires blown down 9:39pm
Adams, MA Berkshire Wind damage, trees down on Commercial Street 9:45pm
Lee, MA Berkshire Wind damage, one large tree down on Laurel Street 10:15pm



Storm Prediction Center Storm Damage Reports for June 12, 2015

Storm Prediction Center storm reports for Friday June 12, 2015 

Albany National Weather Service graphic highlighting the location of the storm damage reports for Friday June 12, 2015. Notice most of the reports are lined up down the Mohawk valley and through the Capital Region along the supercell track.

Albany, NWS graphical display of low storm reports for June 12, 2015 

WeatherNet 6 Rainfall Reports for Friday June 12, 2015 

Town County Rainfall Report Town County Rainfall Report
Savoy, MA Berkshire 1.00" Lanesborough, MA Berkshire 0.60"
           
Colonie Albany 1.50" Latham Albany 1.65"
Glenmont Albany 0.45" Delmar Albany 0.30"
           
Livingston Columbia 0.60" Taghkanic Columbia 0.77"
Germantown Columbia 0.88" Ancramdale Columbia 0.29"
           
Arkville Delaware 0.80" Red Hook Dutchess 0.30"
           
Broadalbin Fulton 0.50" Gloversville Fulton 0.72"
           
South Cairo Greene 0.80" West Kill Greene 1.23"
Greenville Greene 0.34" Halcott Greene 0.78"
           
Wells Hamilton 0.73"      
           
Canajoharie Montgomery 0.75" Palatine Bridge Montgomery 0.77"
Fonda Montgomery 1.82" Glen Montgomery 1.07"
Amsterdam Montgomery 0.80"      
           
Oneonta Otsego 0.74" Worcester Otsego 0.52"
E. Worcester Otsego 0.52"      
           
Speigletown Rensselaer 2.00" Lansingburgh Rensselaer 2.00"
Grafton Rensselaer 2.80"      
           
Milton Saratoga 0.38" Wilton Saratoga 0.34"
Edinburg Saratoga 0.38"      
           
Rotterdam Schenectady 1.78"      
           
Gilboa Schoharie 1.00"      
         
Whiteport Ulster 0.39" Saugerties Ulster 0.32"
Phoenicia Ulster
0.49"
West Shokan Ulster 0.81"
         
Warrensburg Warren 0.32" Lake Luzerne Warren 0.83"
Queensbury Warren 0.57"      
         
Hebron Washington 0.50"      
         
Landgrove, VT Bennington 0.55" Pawlet, VT Rutland 0.25"

Additional Storm Photographs

Wall cloud moving over Esperance, NY Friday evening June 12, 2015. Photograph contributed through Facebook by CBS6 viewer Bryan Devoe. (It appears the photograph was taken through a screen accounting for the somewhat fuzzy appearance of the image.)
Wall cloud moving over Esperance, June 12, 2015
Distinct Shelf cloud going over the Thruway just before Fonda. Photograph contributed by CBS6 viewer Cori Birdsall through Facebook. A shelf cloud is formed by cool thunderstorm outflow lifting the warm and humid air in advance of the storm, like a mini cold front, to produce lift which allows this type of cloud to form. Gusty wind and a temperature drop usually follows the passage of a shelf cloud
Shelf cloud over the Thruway just before Fonda, Montgomery County, June 12, 2015 Another view of the shelf cloud as it went over Glen, Montgomery County Friday June 12, 2015. This photograph was contributed by CBS6 viewer Katey Eckler via Facebook
Shelf cloud over Glen, Montgomery County, June 12, 2015 Turbulent wall cloud region with likely low hanging scud cloud formation. Photograph by storm chaser and former WeatherNet 6 spotter Sean Organ and John Bulmer near Oaksville south of Richfield Springs, Otsego County Friday June 12, 2015
Turbulent wall cloud region with scud formation, Otsego County, June 12, 2015 Tree damage in Waterford, Saratoga County Friday June 12, 2015. Photograph contributed by Amanda Goyer via Facebook
Tree damage in Waterford, Saratoga County, June 12, 2015 
Time exposed lightning photograph from Catskill, NY, Greene County Friday evening June 12, 2015 with the Rip Van Winkle bridge in the background. Photograph contributed by Del Higgins
Lightning over Catskill, June 12, 2015