Oppressive Heat/Scattered Severe T'Storm Event
Saturday August 25, 2007


These pictures illustrate two of what were thousands of spectacular and at times violent almost continuous lightning strikes which culminated the hottest feeling day of the 2007 summer season.

Photograph By Steve LaPointe, CBS6 Chief Meteorologist, Clifton Park, NY, approximately 8:30pm, Saturday August 25, 2007

 

Photograph by Erich Kaminsky, CBS6 viewer, Schenectady NY, Saturday August 25, 2007


A hot and sultry air mass, which had been building over the Ohio valley and mid Atlantic, was briefly forced into the Northeast in advance of a slow moving cold front on Saturday, August 25, 2007. Patchy morning fog and low clouds quickly burned off by the mid morning to yield a period of strong hazy sunshine through the afternoon that baked the region sending temperatures into the low to mid 90s in the valleys and to near 90° in the higher elevations. The high temperature @ Albany was 93° which actually was one degree lower than the highest recorded temperature of the summer @ Albany which was 94° recorded on both June 26 and 27. What made this day different, and hotter feeling than those two days in June, however, was the extended period of sustained dewpoint temperatures in the lower to middle 70s with upper 70° dewpoints during the afternoon in the mid Hudson valley. The combination of air temperatures in the low 90s and dewpoints in the middle 70s brought the apparent temperature, or the heat index, to near or just above 100° at Albany for five consecutive hours from 2pm through 6pm, the longest such stretch recorded for the summer.

Temperature/Dewpoint/Heat Index Chart for Albany, NY Saturday, August 25, 2007

Time

Temperature Dewpoint Heat Index

Noon

85°
74°
92°

1pm

88°
75°
97°
2pm
91°
74°
100°

3pm

91°
74°
100°

4pm

92°
74°
101°
5pm
92°
74°
101°
6pm
90°
75°
100°

Scattered Severe Thunderstorms (3pm through 9pm):
The slow approach of the cold front late in the day acted to trigger thunderstorms in the very hot and potentially unstable atmosphere that developed over the region. Severe weather (damaging wind gusts and some large hail) developed due to the presence of significant wind shear and a large amount of convective available potential energy (CAPE) with values ranging from 2500-4000 j/kg. The event did not evolve into a widespread outbreak as the cold front triggering the t'storms remained west of the region with the accompanying upper level low pressure trough in a weakening mode as it moved in from the west. However, the degree of heat and humidity combined with the moderate to strong wind shear was sufficient to support scattered violent thunderstorms that moved through portions of the region producing mainly wind damage and frequent to continuous lightning beginning across the Adirondacks shortly after 3pm and developing into the Capital Region around 6pm. Only widely scattered thunderstorms developed south of the Capital Region after 9pm and never became severe due largely to the loss of daytime heating coupled with weaker wind shear. The Travers stakes at the Saratoga Race course went off without a weather hitch as thunderstorms during the late afternoon missed the track to the north. A small thunderstorm did move through Saratoga during the early evening with a larger cell hitting the city close to 8pm.

The following five radar images illustrate the scattered nature to the thunderstorms during the afternoon and the evening.

Radar Image#1: 4:04pm Saturday, August 25, 2007: Two severe thunderstorms producing widespread wind damage over extreme northern Saratoga County and throughout Warren County. Scattered developing thunderstorms over Herkimer, Otsego and Delaware counties

 

Radar Image #2: 6:11pm, Saturday, August 25, 2007: Widely scattered, but rapidly developing thunderstorms over Otsego, Fulton, Mongtomery, Saratoga, and Albany counties. The cluster of storms in Albany county rapidly intensified and produced wind damage about the time of this radar image in eastern Albany County. These thunderstorms moved east producing damage in Rensselaer and northern Berkshire counties through 7:15pm. At 7:08pm, a 70 mph wind gust was reported at North Adams, MA

 

Radar Image #3: 8:02 pm, Saturday, August 25, 2007: A large severe thunderstorm over Schenectady and Saratoga counties. This thunderstorm produced widespread wind damage in Schenectady and southern Saratoga counties and almost continuous lightning. 1/2" diameter hail also fell in Clifton Park with a storm total rainfall in Clifton Park of approximately 3/4" in thirty minutes

 

Radar Image #4: 8:10pm, Saturday, August 25, 2007: Close up of the violent thunderstorm extending from Saratoga Springs to Clifton Park. This thunderstorm remained severe as it tracked east into northern Rensselaer, southern Washington, northern Berkshire and Bennington counties producing continuous lighting and pockets of wind damage.

 

Radar Image #5: An exclusive three dimensional radar image from the CBS6 WeatherScan radar system taken at 8:30pm over Rensselaer and Washington counties, Saturday, August 25, 2007. The towering columns of red represent high reflectivity radar returns through a deep layer of the storm. This radar signature illustrates a powerful updraft in those regions which represents the areas where severe weather in the form of large hail and/or damaging wind is most likely. This storm cluster was producing wind damage at the time of this radar picture

 

The table lists the storm reports collected by the Albany National Weather Service office used to verify the 26 severe thunderstorm warnings that were issued for the local area for the Saturday, August 25, 2007 scattered severe weather event. The list does not include all of the damage that occurred, only what was reported.

Town

County Time of Damage Storm Report

Russia

Herkimer 3:25pm Numerous trees and lines blown down

Hadley

Saratoga 4:30pm 0.88" (Nickel sized hail)
West Glens Falls Warren 4:35pm Trees and power lines down throughout the County

Kingsbury

Washington 4:54pm Trees and wires down on State Route 149 between Route 4 and County Route 41

Bethlehem Center

Albany 6:16pm Numerous trees and wires down throughout Bethlehem
East Greenbush Rensselaer 6:30pm Trees and wires blown down
Warren Herkimer 6:45pm Trees and wires blown down
West Winfield Herkimer 6:45pm Trees and wires blown down
Rensselaer Rensselaer 6:53pm Trees blown down on wires
Berlin Rensselaer 6:53pm Thunderstorm wind damage
North Adams, MA Berkshire 7:08pm 70 mph wind gust measured
Jefferson Schoharie 7:10pm Trees and wires down
Charlotteville Schoharie 7:10pm Trees and wires blown down
Stamford, VT Bennington 7:16pm Trees blown down at the Stamford Valley Golf Club
Canajoharie Montgomery 7:20pm Trees blown down
Ames Montgomery 7:20pm Trees blown down
Savoy, MA Berkshire 7:40pm Large trees blown down
Galway Saratoga 7:50pm Trees down
Saratoga County Saratoga County 7:50pm-8:20pm Widespread tree damage through the southern part of the County with heavy rain, continuous lightning, and up to 1/2" diameter hail
Schenectady Schenectady 7:50pm Trees blown down
Schaghticoke Rensselaer 8:30pm Trees blown down
Cambridge Washington 8:35pm Trees and wires blown down
Sharon Schoharie 8:55pm Trees blown down
North Bennington, VT Bennington 8:55pm Trees and wires blown down