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Skywarn Activated Thursday Morning (06/13)

June 15, 2013

Erie county, PA skywarn activated early Thursday morning (June 13) as the NWS in Cleveland issued a severe thunderstorm warning for northwestern Pennsylvania. The thunderstorm complex had formed in Iowa and Illinois earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday and then moved east, eventually reaching our local area by about 3 to 4 AM. A high probability of severe weather was anticipated with these storms along their track, with a possible derecho event occurring. (Derechos include widespread destructive damaging winds and can persist for hundreds of miles.)

Luckily, things weren’t quite as bad as initial forecasts. While there was While there were plenty of damage and hail reports behind the storms, a derecho never developed. By the time the storms reached our area, they were in a significant weakening phase, and by the time they crossed the area all that was left was an area of rain.

Skywarn activated at around 3 AM and remained up until 4 AM, when our forecast officer Alan (KB3DUO) decided it was safe to secure operations. No severe reports were passed on the net, and it was fairly quiet overall.

I do have a recording of this net, so if you are interested in receiving a copy please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to provide it to you.

You can take a look at the preliminary storm reports here:

We certainly didn’t need any more storms. It was only a few weeks ago that two tornadoes touched down in Erie county, PA on Tuesday, May 28, causing extensive damage and several injuries. NWS Cleveland had actually canceled the warning for our county when the first tornado was spotted by Jim KB3AAX, so Skywarn was hugely instrumental in the quick notification of the public that a tornado was on the ground. A tornado warning then came out just a few minutes later. Several spotters then followed the storm across south county and kept net control and forecasters up to date with detailed play by play on the location and status of the storms.

Here is the audio from the initial tornado report on the Erie County skywarn net. This came in just after it had been announced that the net would be secured momentarily. I think that this does a terrific job of showing just how vital skywarn spotters are to the severe weather warning process.

For additional details about skywarn, check out my informational page regarding storm spotters on my sister site, NicksWeatherPage.

Also feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.


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