Wednesday August 7, 2019
Isol'd to Sct'd Severe T'Storm Event

While most of the local area came through the day without severe weather, there were a couple of notable exceptions as isolated storms hit the cities of Albany and Troy early in the afternoon with damaging wind and large hail, and then Saratoga Springs in the evening with similar impacts. In addition to those two notable storms, there was a corridor from Ulster County into Columbia, Dutchess and southern Berkshire counties where thunderstorms produced pockets of wind damage during the mid to late afternoon.

The set-up was somewhat nebulous with no significant surface convergence boundary to trigger thunderstorms, aside from a weak cold front over western New York. Thunderstorms instead triggered due to the approach and passage of a couple of upper level short wave disturbances which brought with them some slightly cooler air aloft which flowed over the very warm and humid air that was present at the surface with temperatures ranging from the lower to mid 80s and dewpoints in the 60s to around 70°. That layering produced ample thunderstorm fuel, or in other words CAPE (convective available potential energy,) with values up to 2000j/kg. This instability was coupled with modest bulk wind shear, but good turning of the wind from the surface up through the boundary layer which increased the directional shear. Holding a larger severe weather event back, however, were somewhat modest mid level lapse rates which worked against updraft development. Also, widespread severe weather over SE Pennsylvania and New Jersey may have disrupted some of the northward moisture transport into eastern New York and western New England to limit coverage. Nevertheless, numerous showers and thunderstorms did develop across the region during the afternoon and evening with a few becoming severe.

The storm that produced hail up to 1.00" in diameter in Albany and Troy and damaging wind gusts, along with brief torrential rain and frequent lightning between 1:30pm and 2:30pm did briefly develop some modest mid level updraft rotation which caused the storm to rapidly develop and intensify over the urban centers before weakening about as quickly once it got beyond Brunswick in Rensselaer County. Similarly, the Saratoga Springs storm during the early evening between 5:45 and 6:30pm spun up quickly exhibiting brief mid level updraft rotation, after having developed earlier in the day in the Mohawk valley, where it produced some pockets of wind damage, before weakening prior to its explosive regeneration over Saratoga.

Instant Doppler 6 base reflectivity image around 1:30pm August 7, 2019 - 25 nautical mile scan - illustrating a spatially small but intense severe thunderstorm extending from Delmar to Albany. The image shows a small hook on the southern end, an indicator of updraft rotation. Hail was developing and falling from the storm at this time.

Instant Doppler 6 image around 1:30pm August 7, 2019 illustrating the spatially small but intense t'storm cell extending from Delmar to Albany 

View of the updraft region of the thunderstorm (the lowered cloud base or wall cloud area) from the Empire State Plaza in Albany, August 7, 2019 - Photo Shared by John Bazan.

View of the t'storm's updraft area (wall cloud) from the Empire State Plaza, August 7, 2019 

Albany Doppler Radar base reflectivity image around 2:00pm August 7, 2019: Severe thunderstorm over the city of Troy, producing hail up to 1.00" in diameter and damaging wind at this time as well as frequent lightning.

Albany Doppler Radar image showing a severe thunderstorm over Troy around 2pm August 7, 2019 

Albany Doppler Radar base reflectivity image around 6:10pm August 7, 2019: Severe thunderstorm over the city of Saratoga Springs, producing hail up to 1.00" in diameter and damaging wind at this time as well as frequent cloud to ground lightning. The small hook feature on the southern flank of the radar echo indicates the mid level rotation the updraft exhibited at this time.

Albany Doppler Radar image showing a severe thunderstorm over Saratoga Springs around 6pm August 7, 2019 

NWS Storm Reports for Wednesday August 7, 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 Hail: 0.88" diameter 1:47pm
Albany Albany Wind Damage: Tree down on Water St. near Columbia St. in downtown Albany 1:56pm
Menands Albany Wind Damage: Tree blown down blocking the shoulder and right lane of Interstate 87 2:00pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Several large branches down on Mill Street near Burden Avenue in Troy 2:04pm
Troy Rensselaer Hail: 1.00" diameter 2:05pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Several trees blown down on the east side of Troy, especially in the vicinity of Pawling and Campbell, one tree on a vehicle 2:05pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Two medium to large trees down on Campbell Avenue near Thomas Street 2:06ppm
Watervliet Albany Hail: Measured 1.00" diameter on 6th Avenue 2:06pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Two large trees snapped and numerous large branches down in and around the Griswold Heights Apartment complex 2:08pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Tree snapped and fell on a car on 3rd St. in Troy 2:09pm
Troy Rensselaer Wind Damage: Tree blown down on Sheldon Avenue 2:10pm
Sycaway Rensselaer Wind Damage: Route 2 closed between South Lake Avenue and West Avenue due to downed trees 2:11pm
Pleasant Valley Dutchess Wind Damage: Tree blown down onto a porch 2:34pm
Clinton Dutchess Wind Damage: Tree down on wires in the town of Clinton 2:46pm
Copake Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down on County Route 7 3:26pm
Stone Ridge Ulster Wind Damage: Tree and wires down on Buck Road 3:40pm
Lomontville Ulster Wind Damage: Tree and wires blown down on an occupied vehicle on Atwood Road 3:42pm
Hillsdale Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down on Hunt Road near County Route 21 3:50pm
Hurley Ulster Wind Damage: Wires blown down on a vehicle at Hurley Mountain Road and Dug Hill Road 3:54pm
Philmont Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down on Rigor Hill Road near Pratt Hill Road 3:55pm
Austerlitz Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down in the roadway on Route 203 just west of Route 22 3:58pm
Caanan Columbia Wind Damage: Power lines blown down on Lillie Road 4:10pm
Saugerties Ulster Wind Damage: Wires blown down on an unoccupied vehicle on Delaware Avenue in Glasco 4:13pm
Red Hook Dutchess Wind Damage: Trees blown down 4:14pm
Palatine Bridge Montgomery Wind Damage: Trees blown down in the town of Palatine 4:17pm
Rosendale Village Ulster Wind Damage: Trees and wires blown down on Route 32 4:25pm
Wells Hamilton Wind Damage: Tree blown down onto wires 4:28pm
Rhinebeck Dutchess Wind Damage: Trees blown down 4:34pm
Taghkanic Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down on power lines on County Route 11 off of State route 82 in Taghkanic 4:42pm
Ancram Columbia Wind Damage: Tree blown down onto Klein Road near Doodletown Road 4:43pm
Fort Johnson Montgomery Wind Damage: Tree blown down on McDonald Drive blocking the roadway 4:56pm
Sheffield, MA Berkshire Wind Damage: Trees and wires blown down 5:30pm
Richmond, MA Berkshire Hail: Measured 0.88" Diameter 5:35pm
Cold Brook Herkimer Measured wind gust to 52 mph 6:00pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Wind Damage: Medium sized tree blown down on North Broadway 6:05pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Hail: Measured 1.00" Diameter 6:07pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Estimated wind gust to 50 mph 6:07pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Wind Damage: Large tree limb down on Maple Avenue 6:07pm
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Wind Damage: Tree limb blown down on Route 50 6:10pm

Storm Reports: Wednesday August 7, 2019

Storm Prediction Center Storm Reports For August 7, 2019 

Local damage paths from the severe thunderstorms on Wednesday August 7, 2019

Local Storm Reports Wednesday August 7, 2019