Widespread Regional Damaging High Wind Event
Wednesday Late Afternoon - Early Thursday Morning
April 4-5, 2018

Snapped Bull Pine Tree in Broadalbin, Fulton County - Tree top wind gusts estimated to 60 mph
Photograph contributed via facebook by Melissa Gladman

Tree damage in Old Niskayuna, Thursday, March 2, 2017 

The Event - The strongest winds occurred from 5pm to midnight on the 4th with peak gusts ranging from 40-60 mph. Strong, but slightly diminished winds then continued through 4am Thursday the 5th with gusts ranging from 40-50 mph with the wind slightly diminishing again in gusts from 30-40 mph through the afternoon.

An intensifying area of low pressure tracked north then northeast of the region through Wednesday afternoon and night April 4th dragging a cold front from west to east across the local area between 11am and 2pm. The front was accompanied by a line of blustery showers with localized gusts from 30-40 mph. A strong temperature inversion was in place at the time of the frontal passage (warmer air over colder surface air with surface temperatures in the low 40s) which prevented much of the strong wind which was blowing at the time aloft from being mixed down to the ground. That atmospheric set-up, however, changed significantly by the late afternoon and evening when powerful wind gusts began developing.

What changed was a shift in the stability of the atmosphere from that of high stability to that of low stability as the core of a sharp upper level low pressure system (cold air aloft) moved into the region as the surface cold front departed which acted to erase the low level temperature inversion which opened the atmosphere up to deep mixing. Because the storm system moving through the Northeast was quite intense, strong wind fields were present at fairly low levels of the atmosphere which began effectively mixing down to the ground during the late afternoon and early evening as the instability increased. These initial strong gusts, especially in the Mohawk valley, were aided by the downdrafts in the convective mixed precipitation showers that were occurring at the time.

With the air cooling much faster aloft than it was at the surface through midnight, strong westerly wind gusts effectively mixed to the ground in bursts which brought down trees and power lines knocking power out at the height to an estimated 35,000 Capital Region National Grid customers. The westerly flow was also effectively channeled down the Mohawk valley through the Capital Region into Berkshire County which had the effect of enhancing the gusts through that corridor.

As the air at ground level cooled through the pre-dawn hours of the 5th, with surface temperatures dropping into the 20s and low 30s, the mixing gradually decreased with the gusts subsequently diminishing as well. However, the diminishing trend was gradual with strong wind gusts of 40-50 mph persisting through the pre-dawn hours of the 5th and gusts from 30-40 mph common through the afternoon.

The peak gust on the 4th at the Albany International airport was 52 mph with a 51 mph gust recorded during the pre-dawn hours of the 5th. Peak wind gusts at the summit of Whiteface mountain as well as Mount Mansfield in VT both came in at a whopping 113 mph!

Peak Gust Wind Measurements - All from the 4th unless otherwise marked

Town County Peak Gust Time of Gust
Pittsfield, MA (Downtown Berkshire 57 mph 8:05pm
North Adams, MA Berkshire 58 mph 8:05pm
Pittsfield, MA (Airport Berkshire 55 mph 8:00pm
Lenox, MA Berkshire 52 mph 9:05pm
3 Miles SW of Williamstown, MA Berkshire 48 mph 12:06am/5th
       
Albany (Airport) Albany 51 mph 9:09pm
Voorheesville Albany 51 mph 10:10pm
       
6 Miles ESE Pleasant Valley Dutchess 51 mph 11:11pm
       
Broadalbin Fulton 49 mph 8:16pm
2 Miles ESE Johnstown Fulton 47 mph 6:28pm
       
1 Mile ENE Indian Lake Hamilton 45 mph 5:20pm
       
Hessville Montgomery 60 mph 7:20pm
Amsterdam Montgomery 56 mph 8:00pm
4 Miles ENE E. Springfield Montgomery 51 mph 7:50pm
2 Miles N. of Tribes Hill Montgomery 47 mph 7:50pm
       
Cherry Valley Otsego 56 mph 6:27pm
       
3 Miles ESE of Castleton-on-Hudson Rensselaer 52 mph 8:05pm
3 Miles WSW Hoosick Falls Rensselaer 49 mph 6:16pm
Troy Rensselaer 41 mph 5:53pm
       
Schenectady (100' above ground level) Schenectady 61 mph 5:39pm
East Glenville Schenectady 48 mph 12:23am/5th
       
2 Miles ESE Cobleskill Schoharie 49 mph 7:29pm
       
9 Miles NW of Bolton Landing Warren 49 mph 10:15pm
Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport Warren 48 mph 7:34pm
Lake George Warren 44 mph 6:43pm
       
5 Miles S. of Whitehall Washington 50 mph 10:30pm
Granville Washington 48 mph 10:20pm
       
1 Mile NNE of Old Bennington, VT Bennington 53 mph 6:30pm
3 Miles WSW Peru, VT Bennington 52 mph 10:00pm
Bennington Airport Bennington 47 mph 9:05pm

 

Wind Damage Reports
Note: These reports are used by the National Weather to verify the High Wind Warning that was in effect and are therefore only a sampling of the wind damage that occurred, not a complete list. Wind damage reports are from the 4th unless otherwise noted

Town
County Wind Damage Report Time of Damage
Schuyler Herkimer Trees blown down on power lines 3:00pm
Salisbury Herkimer Multiple reports of trees and limbs down between Route 170 to Route 29 4:00pm
3 Miles ENE of Kerhonkson Ulster Multiple trees and wires down 4:00pm
Gilboa Schoharie Multiple trees blown down 4:52pm
Marlboro Ulster Pole blown down, wires down 4:53pm
Indian Lake Hamilton Tree blown down onto a building 5:00pm Est.
5 Miles NNW of Salisbury Herkimer Trees and wires blown down on Dairy Hill Rd. Between Route 29 and the Mexico Road 5:00pm
1 Mile W. of Dolgeville Herkimer Trees and wires blown down on Carlson Road 5:00pm
1 Mile W. of Speculator Hamilton Two trees blown down on Route 30 near the Jessup River Bridge 6:00pm
4 Miles NW of Frankfort Herkimer Roof blown off a barn on Route 5 7:00pm Est.
5 Miles ESE of Phoenicia Ulster Multiple trees blown down 7:00pm
Kinderhook Columbia 2 Trees reported blown down 7:00pm
1 Mile SW of Milton Saratoga Two power poles down, power knocked out 7:00pm
Galway Saratoga Multiple trees blown down 7:00pm
1 Mile ESE of Ravena Albany Tree blown down onto wires 7:40pm
Northville Fulton Tree blown down onto a house 8:00pm
1 Mile SW of Mayfield Fulton Tree blown down onto a house 8:00pm
4 Miles NNW of Philmont Columbia Multiple trees down 8:00pm
1 Mile ESE of Hudson Falls Washington Tree down on a house on Parry Street 8:10m
Lenox, MA Berkshire Tree blown down onto Route 41 8:17pm
1 Mile S. of Voorheesville Albany Wires down and burning 8:40pm
Salem Washington Many trees blown down across the southern part of the county 8:58pm
Hebron Washington Tree down across Darfler Rd. 9:16pm
Castleton-on-Hudson Rensselaer Tree down on Route 9J at Berkshire Connector 9:23pm
LaGrange Dutchess Tree blown down 9:30pm
Peru, VT Bennington Multiple trees and wires down 9:30pm
2 Miles NW of Glens Falls Warren Several fallen limbs 10:00pm
4 Miles E. of Westerlo Albany Multiple trees and wires down across Lawson Lake Road 10:00pm
Richmond, MA Berkshire Tree down on a house with roof and structural damage 10:47pm
Fort Ann Washington Trees and wires down across Buttermilk Falls Rd. 11:37pm
2 Miles SE of Oppenheim Fulton Trees on lines with a fire 12:10am/5th
3 Miles E. of Northwood Herkimer Warney Road closed due to downed wires 12:30am/5th
2 Miles NNE of Lake George Warren Lake Shore Drive closed due to downed trees and wires 12:50am/5th
4 Miles North of Hague Warren Lake Shore Drive closed between Trout Brook Rd and new Hague Rd. due to downed trees 1:00am/5th
Glens Falls Warren Tree blown onto a house 1:00am/5th
Hudson Falls Washington Tree blown onto a house 1:00am/5th
4 Miles SE of Phoenicia Ulster Downed pole and wires due to the wind. Road closure at NY 212 and Vicino Drive 2:25am/5th
Lake George Warren Route 9L closed from Amitola Lane to Bay Road due to downed trees and wires 3:15am/5th
4 Miles SE of Phoenicia Ulster Vicino Drive closed due to downed pole and wires 6:50am/5th