Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Close Call

These storms spun up quickly and could be a sign of the kind of weather we can expect from time to time this fall due to a split jet stream. When this happens, we get shots of cold air that sink into the south on the polar jet stream, along with moisture-leaden winds of the sub-tropical jet stream. When the two hook up in just the right way - they can provide the dangerous weather we saw today.

By the way, whenever we get severe weather, please feel free to share any photos you take by e-mailing us at our web site

These ominous clouds, called wall clouds, quickly moved in from the Georgia-Alabama border tonight and right into downtown Atlanta. Quick-thinking viewers Kim Cornwell and Patti Styles sent me these pictures of the storm as it moved through Douglasville this afternoon. The storm path nearly paralleled Interstate 20 and prompted numerous tornado warnings. Funnel clouds were sighted, but never touched the ground. These storms developed ahead of a cold front, using the warm air we've enjoyed this week as fuel. High winds in the upper-atmosphere also created a favorable environment for twisting winds that caused the funnels to appear. Here's a map of the path of the storm and times the funnel clouds were spotted:

While no funnels reached the ground to cause any damage, there were strong winds with the storms and winds gusts were strong enough to knock down trees and powerlines in Polk and Douglas counties. Also, there were a few reports of trees down on homes in Northwest Atlanta. Here's a map of the wind damage:

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