Friday August 16, 2019
Isolated Severe T'Storm - Albany to Poestenkill 5:45pm-6:45pm
80 mph Confirmed Microbursts in Albany, Menands, and North Greenbush

Troy Freihofer's Sky Camera view of the severe thunderstorm enveloping Albany around 5:45pm Friday August 16, 2019

Troy Skycam looking toward Albany as the Severe T'Storm was moving into the city around 5:46pm August 16, 2019 

A spatially small and isolated, but high impact severe thunderstorm slammed into Albany around 6pm Friday August 16 with damaging wind, hail, and a brief period of blinding rainfall. The storm tracked to the east at about 20 mph spreading damaging wind and hail into Menands, North Greenbush, Wynanstkill and Poestenkill through 6:45pm before weakening near Petersburg and ultimately dissipating over southern Vermont by 7pm. An Albany National Weather Service damage assessment team determined that a microburst, or series of microbursts with top wind gusts speeds of approximately 8 mph over a 5 mile long path was responsible for the wind damage in Albany, Menands, and North Greenbush.

NWS Severe T'Storm Report 

The storm originated out a cluster of thunderstorms that formed much earlier in the afternoon (around 2pm) near Oneonta and subsequently tracked to the northeast along I-88 then expanded into the Mohawk valley and Schoharie County through 4pm. A particularly strong cell in Schoharie County, around Middleburgh at 4:00 pm, became the problem storm, developing a transient mid level rotating updraft, subsequently becoming severe. (Updraft rotation occurred due to some low level turning of the wind in the boundary layer (weak southerly flow in the low levels) coupled with some deeper mid level speed and directional shear (westerly winds aloft in the mid levels blowing at 20-35 mph) that was present in the atmosphere on this day. The shear and level of instability, which was somewhat modest, with CAPE (convective available potential energy values around 1000/j/kg) was sufficient to support this one storm, which likely got a little boost from somewhat higher dewpoint air (dewpoints in the mid to upper 60s) and enhanced low level turning of the wind, when it moved into the Hudson valley as the valley acts to back the surface flow a bit. The storm peaked out from Albany to Poestenkill, then rapidly weakened when it moved further east out of the Hudson valley. The updraft rotation supported a large hail core as well as damaging straight wind which blew trees and power lines down throughout the city of Albany, in Menands, North Greenbush and Wynantskill. Large hail, estimated to 1.00" in diameter, was reported in Poestenkill prior to the storm's core weakening.

Instant Doppler 6 base reflectivity image a little before 6pm Friday August 16, 2019 - The image shows a spatially very small but intense cell extending from Delmar through Albany with an apparent inflow notch and developing hook feature indicating mid level storm rotation.

Severe thunderstorm on Instant Doppler 6 over Albany just before 6pm Friday August 16, 2019 
Instant Doppler 6 base reflectivity image at 6:03 pm Friday August 16, 2019 - The inflow notch and hook feature were more defined at this time with damaging wind and hail, and frequent cloud to ground lightning on going in Albany and Menands at this time.

Severe thunderstorm on Instant Doppler 6 over Albany at 6:03pm Friday August 16, 2019 

Wind Damage in North Greenbush, Rensselaer County - Friday August 16, 2019 - Photo Credit: Alicia M. Bentley

Wind Damage in North Greenbush, Rensselaer County Friday August 16, 2016 

Wind Damage in North Greenbush, Rensselaer County - Friday August 16, 2019 - Photo Credit: Alicia M. Bentley

Wind Damage in North Greenbush, Rensselaer County Friday August 16, 2019 

NWS Storm Reports for Friday August 16, 2019. 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.

Town County Severe Weather Report Time
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Tree downed along with numerous limbs and branches on Hartman Road 5:54pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Large limbs blown down on New Scotland Avenue 5:56pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Trees snapped and damage to multiple houses and cars 5:56pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Large branches blown down on Myrtle Avenue 6:01pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Large tree uprooted falling onto a car 6:02pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Transformer blew, knocking power lines down which caught fire damaging the WTEN studio sign 6:05pm
Menands Albany Wind Damage: Tree blown down blocking N. Pearl Street and Lindbergh Avenue 6:08pm
2 Miles ESE of Menands Rensselaer Wind Damage: Route 4 north and south bound lanes closed due to downed tree 6:10pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Wires blown down and window blown out at Cottage Street Apartments in Troy 6:12pm
Menands Albany Significant Wind Damage: Many trees snapped in half and sheared off at the top, some trees uprooted, some power lines blown down, street signs bent 6:12pm
Wynantskill Rensselaer Wind Damage: Multiple trees and wires blown down 6:12pm
2 Miles SE of Menands Rensselaer Significant Wind Damage: Approximately a one mile stretch of damage from Stonegate Apartments through Winter Street Extension including may trees snapped and uprooted, wires down, and plastic roofs blow off greenhouses at Yonder Farms 6:12pm
Poestenkill Rensselaer Hail: Estimated 1.00" diameter 6:24pm

 

Local damage path from the severe thunderstorm on Friday August 16, 2019

Local Storm Reports Friday August 16, 2019