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Not just the Midwest. This derecho event didn't stop until it got over the Atlantic.
We have about 15 trees down in our yard, and our power just can back on a while ago. Still don't have phone service.
It was fast! It formed up with a single thunderstorm cell near Chicago and past that city about 2 PM. It his my niece's residence in Columbus about 5 PM. It hit us at 10PM. We were watching lots of distant lightning for about 20 minutes, then WHAM! 6-8 minutes of 80-mph winds, trees falling, power going out, howling that reminded me of the last hurricane I rode out down in Texas. Then, we had 30 minutes of hard rain, and then it was done. I've never seen anything like it.
Rick "noting that half of all power outages from this storm were in the DC metro area" Denney
google "Hurricane Elvis".
- much smaller geographic area
- higher speed winds (some over 100 mph)
- affected over 1,000,000 people
- passed directly (and precisely) over Memphis metropolitan area (all of it: no more - and no less)
I was scheduled to play in a Dixieland band in a parade this morning in Wheaton, IL.
Yesterday, the town declared itself a disaster area, cancelling its fireworks display last night and its parade this morning.
Sure, some people and I for whom this was a paying engagement are out some $$.
But that's trivial compared to the estimate that the people of Wheaton will be without power until at least the end of the week. Some suffered structural damage and other misfortune in that storm.
Yes, Hurrican Elvis was a similar progressive derecho, but it just wasn't big enough to match this one. The June 29 storm will have the gold star in the derecho list. For one thing, it taught us all the definition of "derecho".
I'm not sure the winds in the Memphis storm were consistently higher, or whether a higher gust happened to hit an official monitoring station. Severe derechos are driven by the jet stream, though, which is often moving at such speeds. When the conditions are right, the heat and humidity present can feed and sustain a squall line that is moving at jet stream speeds, and that's when these events really cause a lot of damage. As the thunderstorms cool raise surface air to the top of the cloud, it spills over and falls back to the ground, and then spreads out in all directions. That part of that "outflow" that moves in the direction of the storm adds to the speed the storm is being driven by the jet stream, and thus you can have localized microbursts well in excess of what happens to hit the anemometer at the airport. The outflow in the reverse direction simply cancels the speed of the storm, creating a bit of apparent calm. That's really nearly as bad, because it creates a whipping action with the microbursts and gusts, which pine trees in particular do not like.
We've done a more careful accounting of the damage: 27 trees on the ground or damaged too severely to save.
We cleared about 100 trees last winter because they were too close to the house. We liked those trees and the still-being-restored bare land in the cleared area had kind of freaked us out. But this storm reminded us why we did it. That area has now been invaded by the tops of about a dozen large pines--tops being defined as anything from the top half to everything more than three feet above the ground. Had one of the trees we cleared broken that close to the ground, our house could look like the one pictured above.
The power outage tooks its toll, too. The surge was severe. It fried two of the three uninterruptible power supplies I use, but at least they gave their lives to protect the TV and computer equipment plugged into them. The electronics in our expensive clothes dryer fried--a new control board is on the way. Several surge protectors apparently included compressed smoke as one of their components. All that smoke was released, and now they don't work. The "whole-house" surge protectors I installed in the two panels are black around the edges, and obviously weren't quite enough. The refrigerator, well pump, and AC blower were saved--they were attached to the generator source through a transfer switch when the power came back on. Every one of the compact flourescent bulbs that was turned on when the power came back on was destroyed.
Too much of what we own these days is run by software which runs on 5-volt logic circuits, many with CMOS chips. These circuits are extremely vulnerable to electrostatic discharge and voltages being out of range. They are protected with voltage-regulator chips in their power supplies, but those switching power supplies also contain components that are vulnerable to surges. It's the power supply portion of the control board for our dryer that seems to have blown. I need to rethink voltage stabilization for our house, and not just for the computers.
Rick "glad to have power restored" Denney
I don't have any whole-house surge protection, but have been known to cut off the main breakers on all the panels before severe wind storms arrive (and I watch the weather very closely as a "thing" that I do). Generally, when going out of town, I turn off everything, including the wells, and (at least) "semi-winterize" the plumbing, if in the winter...and including the natural gas meter and electrical feeds. I just don't need man-machine-made fires or floods in my house - certainly not when I'm not home to observe them occurring. My very watchful neighbor (who lives in front of me) is a plenty-good "burglar alarm" ("pow-pow", instead of "whoop-whoop" or "bark-bark"). To get to me from the road behind is a one mile trek through heavy woods and also past a bunch of "free range" dobermans.
Speaking of weather, I think I played a dumb trick on myself a couple of days ago; Since temps are hovering around-and-over 100 degrees, I decided to turn the thermostat on one of my a/c units (the one on the "afternoon sun" side of the house) up to about 83 degrees. I believe I would have been better off leaving it down in the 70's (running constantly). Having my old compressor (in this heat) cycle off-and-on more (I believe) made it go bye-bye.
I don't know about that Joe. My AC guy said mine failed because I didn't turn the thermostat up and it ran constantly. He said if you ask a system to cool more than 30 degrees under the outside temperature it stresses the compressor. Maybe it's a plot to get us to buy more AC equipment.
I am fortunate to have a great job that feeds my family well, but music feeds my soul.
With all the crappy weather you've had in the past few years, looks like I moved out of Maryland at the right time!
Good luck, Rick! Guess you're set for firewood and mulch for a while!
' maybe should have climbed up in the attic, grabbed an old 110 portable window unit, and hung it out the window as a "helper"...(??)
Mulch, yes. But not firewood (except from that sweetgum tree that got knocked down). The white pines we have are too resinous to use as firewood--they coke up a chimney in no time.
Rick "which is why we have a pile o' logs we can't get anybody to take away" Denney
' got an unwanted ravine? We (neighbors and I) toss too-small-or-too-rotten-to-be-worth-cutting-up-into-firewood limbs - etc. - into the bottoms of ravines that tend to run between our properties or in isolated parts of our properties. We all try to toss that stuff to the bottoms of the ravines (as we nurture the wild ferns), and in a few short years it all rots and morphs to dirt. Leaves tend to catch on it and (yes) some of the ravines are filling in a bit. Pine rots fairly quickly...
Wish I did. Previous owner split that part of the lot (5 acres) off and sold it probably half a dozen years before we bought what was left.
Rick "who already has filled up various potential piles of rotting timber" Denney
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