County say up to 50 mph winds


Winds reached up to 50 miles per hour late last Wednesday night into Thursday, according to Logan Clark, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

“Yeah, looks like we had two reports, particularly for Highland County,” Clark said. “One was 40 miles per hour in Greenfield and the other was 48 miles per hour, and that was at the Hillsboro Airport. And some other locations, we did have gusts over 50 miles per hour and then at least one that was 60 miles per hour, and I think that was at Dayton International Airport.”

Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera said that the county had some downed tree limbs and power lines. He also said he thought there were “like 2,000 people out of electric in Highland County at one time.”

Clark said there was a low-pressure system tracked from the South, and before that system came in there was a “really strong” warm aid advection and induced by a low-level jet. He said that the NWS looked at a layer of the atmosphere that’s “several” thousand feet above the ground for this low-level jet and saw winds “in excess” of about 70 knots on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. He said after that, they started to see some of the stronger winds mix down to the surface.

“Now, once we had, so with this low-pressure system we had a cold front that was approaching, and with the cold front, you know, we did have some showers that developed ahead of the line and the showers were definitely a lot more robust out in Indiana, but as it moved eastward the air actually was, it was a little bit drier and the force of it wasn’t quite as great, so we did see that line of showers become a lot more broken and the showers actually kind of dissolved a lot more as it tracked through like eastern Indiana, especially like west central Ohio there,” he said. “So, by the time we got to Highland County, most of those showers actually had dissipated and there were a lot more breaks in the cloud coverage during that time. So, what happens with that particular area is that once we receive more breaks in the clouds, that actually allowed for, once the sunshine came out, you kind of got some deeper boundary layer mixing and so what that essentially means is you are able to mix down the stronger winds that we saw with the low-level jet down to the surface and so that essentially translated into, you know, gusts of, you know, in excess of 40 and even 50 miles per hour throughout that area.”

Clark said the high winds were more driven by this “synoptic event” and not from a thunderstorm, even a non-severe one, which he said could bring winds as high as the county saw last week.

He said that high winds are not rare for this time of year because of the higher temperature gradient, leading to a stronger jet stream, meaning stronger winds can circulate further and further downward. Clark also said that if it was cloudier or there was more rain on that day, the wind wouldn’t have been able to mix down as much.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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