High Winds Thursday October 6th



Here is a preliminary listing of non-thunderstorm high wind reports across western and central Nebraska Thursday, October 6th 2011.

Official Airport Observations

Imperial 61
North Platte 59
Thedford 59
Broken Bow 58
Valentine 58
Ainsworth 58
Oneill 52

Nebraska Department of Roads/COOP/Public Reports

Big Springs MP 97 62
Arnold (Fire Department) 60
Kingsley Dam (Spotter) 61
Big Springs 4 WSW (COOP) 59
Ellsworth 53
Big Springs 3 E 51

 So what was responsible for the powerful winds? The culprit was an unusually intense early season fall storm system. This storm developed initially as a powerful jet streak across the North Pacific before settling over the intermountain west. During the day Thursday, a portion of this jet streak spread across the high plains of Nebraska which resulted in the development of a strong surface low on the lee side (eastern side) of the Rocky Mountains.

Figure 1: Intense Jet Streak at 00 UTC (7 PM CDT)

Figure 2: Surface Low at 00 UTC (7 PM CDT)

The combination of strong winds in the upper atmosphere and a strong surface pressure gradient (seen in figure 2) resulted in very strong and gusty winds at the surface.

Figure 3: 22 UTC (5 PM CDT) Surface Weather Observations

Figure 3 shows a surface weather observation map with plotted wind barbs showing strong wind and wind gusts across much of the plains and intermountain west. Many locations were seeing wind gusts in excess of 40-50 MPH.

                       Page composition by Jason Ahsenmacher                      

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