Powerful Microburst Pounds Shelby County Early Saturday Morning

A powerful microburst occurred early Saturday morning as a severe thunderstorm rolled across Shelby County. Most of the damage occurred between 2:30 AM and 3:00 AM EDT when numerous trees were reported down across the county. This caused several power outages early Saturday morning.  Fortunately there was no major damage to any homes in the vicinity.  Based on the size and types of trees down, some spots likely saw speeds as high as 85 to 90 mph.


Some of the damage northeast of Shelbyville may have been related to gustnadoes.  The image below indicates the way trees fell, showing both anticyclonic, or clockwise, and cyclonic, or counter-clockwise, rotation.



Below, you will find archived radar images from when the storm was producing damage. The images are from Gibson Ridge Level II Analyst.

Above shows the 0.5 degree base reflectivity image of the severe thunderstorm just east of Shelbyville. The image was just before 3 AM EDT.

Pictured below is a 3-D velocity image of the storm just after 2:30 AM EDT. This is the start of when the most significant damage was occurring as the storm moved into eastern Shelby County. The image is filtering out lower velocity values and only shows the stronger wind speeds in the storm. The storm structure that is revealed shows a very well defined microburst signature as the heavy rain and updraft of the storm collapse. Winds rush straight down and then spread out as they hit the surface, causing the divergent damage evident with straight line winds. Notice how the entire structure looks like a foot. This is called a "rain foot" and is common with severe winds.

Below is a picture of what a real microburst and rain foot look like. This image is not the actual event.









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