Friday, July 6, 2012

Wild Storm Chase, Burlington, Vermont, 7/4/12

The Fourth of July in Vermont had some fireworks that no pyrotechnic company could beat.

Incredibly intense thunderstorms roared down from southern Canada, and as alwasy, I set about storm chasing as the weather developed.  I always have to collect more weather porn, don't you know.  And belatedly on the Fourth, I got some real money shots from the weather.
Burlington Free Press phototgrapher Glenn Russell
documents flooding in downtown Burlington
after a wild July 4 storm.

At midafternoon, one complex of storms formed just north of the Canadian border, a little above northwestern Vermont. It appeared the storms were heading right toward my St. Albans, Vermont house, so all I had to do is sit and wait with my camera and intercept them.

Nope. They storms veered to the east, despite the dire severe storm warnings for St. Albans. I couldn't catch up with the storms as they headed toward Danville, Vermont, in the northeastern part of the state.

I had to give up the chase.

The area around famed Joe's Pond in Danville was hammered with fallen trees, overturned boats and lots of damage.

I thought I missed all the storms, until I saw on radar that another complex formed northwest of Montreal.

I wondered it the storm would hold together, and boy did it ever. It formed a "bow echo" on radar a backward "C' shape that portended trouble.
Flooding on South Union Street in Burlington after
a very severe thunderstorm on July 4. 

This one kept further west than I thought.  As I raced south to intercept it as I saw going by to my west, the storm raced south over Lake Champlain, finally making a beeline toward Burlington, Vermont.

Burlington got hammered with 60 to 70 mph wind gusts that knocked down lots of trees. Even worse was the incredible amount of rain that fell in a short period of time. Lots of streets flooded, as did cars, business and homes.

Sadly, a building that takes in homeless people during the day for meals and help got trashed by the flooding, according to the Burlington Free Press. 

Here's the film of the storm I took on Burlington's Riverside Avenue. This wasn't taken through a fogged up window. The visibility was really that bad, it was raining so hard:

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