Tuesday June 9, 2015
Severe T'Storm Event - Brief EF0 Scotia Tornado and Microburst

A strong upper level disturbance followed the morning passage of a front/wind shift line triggering a fast moving line of strong thunderstorms which swept across all of eastern New York and western New England roughly between 1 and 5pm. A few of these thunderstorms within the line became severe as they moved into and through the Hudson valley where instability was higher due in part to surface dewpoints remaining in the lower 60s along with slightly greater low level wind shear than across the surrounding area. Pockets of wind damage occurred with a few of the cells in Saratoga, Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Washington and Berkshire counties with a brief spin up type tornado which touched down in conjunction with a microburst (small scale straight line wind burst) in the village of Scotia at approximately 2:41pm. It was in Scotia where most of the wind damage occurred with a pocket in Albany County around Glenmont also experiencing a number of blown down trees.

A large uprooted tree on Bruce Street in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015, photograph contributed by Christene Dickershaid

A large uprooted tree in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015

Albany National Weather Service Tornado/Microburst Report

Tornado Report:
Location: Scotia, Schenectady County
Estimated Time: 2:41pm
Maximum EF Rating: EF0: Peak winds 80 mph
Estimated Path Width: 25 Yards
Estimated Path Length: 0.25 Miles
No Injuries or Fatalities

Microburst Report (Straight Line Wind)

Location: Scotia, Schenectady County
Estimated Time: 2:41pm
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 80 mph
Maximum Path Width: 300 Yards
Path Length: 1/2 Mile
No Injuries or Fatalities

Severe T'Storm Warning in Effect at the Time

Wind Damage in Scotia, June 9, 2015

Wind Damage in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015 

Set Up:
A cold front/wind shift line moved across the region during the morning with scattered showers and downpours through the early to mid morning time frame followed by a drier period during from the mid morning through the early afternoon allowing some periods of sunshine and temperatures quickly warming well into the 70s. Often after a frontal passage and wind shift, moisture levels will quickly diminish with little threat for showers and thunderstorms. This was not the case here as an area of upper level low pressure moving into western New York during the morning created a southwest flow aloft which slowed the surface drying process allowing dewpoints behind the front to remain in the lower 60s into the afternoon, especially in the Hudson valley and across western New England. Thunderstorms triggered on this day due to the cooling aloft as the upper level area of low pressure swung in from the west. That cooling aloft, coupled with ample surface moisture and the heating caused by the late morning period of sunshine which allowed the atmosphere to destabilized supporting a line of thunderstorms along the leading edge of the upper level low. The following three Instant Doppler 6 radar images show the progression of the line roughly between 1:30pm and 3pm as it moved into the Hudson valley.

Instant Doppler 6 image around 1:30pm showing a line of strong thunderstorms with heavy rain stretching from the Adirondacks through the Mohawk valley into the western Catskills. No severe weather was occurring at this time

Instant Doppler 6 Image around 1:30pm Tuesday June 9, 2015

Instant Doppler 6 image around 2:30pm showing the line of thunderstorms moving into the Hudson valley becoming severe as they moved into the slightly richer moisture and more unstable conditions which had developed in the Hudson valley. This image was just prior to the microburst and brief spin up tornado in Scotia.

Instant Doppler 6 Image around 2:30pm Tuesday June 9, 2015

Instant Doppler 6 image around 3pm showing a bowing line of locally severe thunderstorms stretching from Saratoga County through the Capital Region south into the mid Hudson valley. Strong and locally damaging wind gusts were occurring at this time in parts of Saratoga, Schenectady, and Albany counties with tornado and microburst in Scotia having already occurred as of this image.

Instant Doppler 6 Image around 3pm Tuesday June 9, 2015 

The concentrated area of damage in the village of Scotia was the result of an intense microburst coupled with a brief tornado touch down, lasting only a minute or so as the updraft of the parent thunderstorm collapsed over the village. Some weak rotation was noted on Doppler radar as the storm was approaching eastern Schenectady County giving this cell the ability to produce damaging surface winds and the brief spin up tornado. (A microburst is defined as convective downdraft with an affected outflow area of less than 2.5 miles wide and peak winds lasting less than five minutes. In this case a brief period of rotation occurred with an area of circular winds.) Rotating thunderstorms can be prolific downburst/microburst producers. Both the tornado and microburst had estimated peak winds of 80 mph which is what downed the trees in the village. A few other damaging downbursts occurred within the line in Saratoga, Albany, Washington, Rensselaer, and Berkshire counties as the line moved east. The following are some additional pictures of the wind damage in Scotia.

Wind Damage in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015 

Wind Damage in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015 

Wind Damage in the Village of Scotia, June 9, 2015

STORM REPORTS June 9, 2015
(Note: These are the reports received by the Albany NWS used to verify the warnings which were issued on this day and do not necessarily represent all of the tree damage which may have occurred with this line of thunderstorms. The list, however, does fairly represent the areas which had wind damage.

Town County Storm Report Time
Scotia Schenectady EF0 Tornado (Winds to 80 mph) 2:41pm
Scotia Schenectady Microburst, straight line wind damage, winds to 80 mph 2:41pm
Houcks Corner Albany Wind Damage: Numerous trees reported down on Feura Bush Rd. and Flint Drive 2:45pm
Clifton Park Saratoga Wind Damage: 1 Tree blown down on Route 146 2:50pm
Delmar Albany Wind Damage: Trees blown down 2:53pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Multiple large tree limbs blown down in the Central Square area of downtown Albany 2:55pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Estimated Wind Gust to 60 mph 2:55pm
West Sand Lake Rensselaer Wind Damage: One large tree blown down on wires on Route 43 and Hoags Corners
Wilton Saratoga Wind Damage: Trees down and snapped on Parkhurst Road 3:00pm
Hudson Falls Washington Wind Damage: One tree blown down 3:13pm
Gansevoort Saratoga Wind Damage: 2 Trees down 3:15pm (Est.)
Fort Ann Washington Wind Damage: Trees down on Cherry Hill Road, Power out in Fort Ann 3:20pm
Greenwich Washington Wind Damage: Tree down on Bunker Hill Road 3:20pm
1 Mile NE of Stillham Rensselaer Wind Damage: Trees blown down 3:26pm
Granville Washington Wind Damage: One Tree blown down 3:35pm
Richmond, MA Berkshire Wind Damage: Multiple branches down 3:40pm

Additional Pictures

Wind Damage in Glenmont, Albany County: Multiple trees reported to have been blown down, Tuesday June 9, 2015. Picture posted to Facebook by CBS6 viewer Shelly Howe

Wind Damage in Glenmont, June 9, 2015 

Apparent wall cloud and cloud to ground lightning strike over the city of Albany. This photograph was taken by storm chaser and former WeatherNet 6 weather spotter Sean Organ from East Greenbush looking west toward Albany at 2:40 pm Tuesday June 9, 2015

Wall cloud and lightning strike over Albany, June 9, 2015 

Another shot of an apparent wall cloud, taken from the Port of Albany and posted to Facebook by CBS6 viewer William Roberts, Tuesday afternoon June 9, 2015

Wall cloud seen from the Port of Albany, June 9, 2015 

Large uprooted tree on Colonie Street in Albany, Tuesday June 9, 2015, photograph contributed by Letisha Monique Johnson

Downed tree on Colonie Street in Albany, June 9, 2015 

Spectacular double rainbow after the storms from Hillsdale, NY, Columbia County late in the afternoon on Tuesday June 9, 2015. Picture posted to Facebook by CBS6 viewer Shelly Brennan

Rainbow seen in Hillsdale, Columbia County, June 9, 2015