It has been a wild night of high winds across Central Alabama as a dying convective system triggered a gravity wave and wake low setup.
The result was widespread 40-50 mph sustained winds with some higher gusts. Winds just off the surface were roaring at near hurricane force. Luckily, we didn’t have any convection to bring those high winds to the ground.
But the 40-50 mph winds with frequent gusts above 60 mph did cause numerous reports of trees and power lines down. The result was scattered power outages.
Many trees fell on houses. Fortunately, we haven’t received any reports of injuries. There was significant damage to the roof of an apartment complex on Princeton Avenue in southwestern Birmingham.
The winds are slowly diminishing, but gusts in the 40-50 mph range could affect eastern sections of Alabama. Higher elevations could see higher gusts.
An interesting notes from Steve Jones at the Alabama Quake Center. He reports that the wind actually caused vibrations in the ground that were picked up by their seismographs.
“Thought you might be interested in what the passage of tonight’s gravity wave looked like at the AlabamaQuake seismic station here in Huntsville. It appears on the seismogram that there were THREE main pulses of winds in the wave’s passage thru Huntsville, with the first being at 8:27 pm, and the last at 9:09 pm, the seismic signature being created due to the pressure impact of the gusty winds on the surface of the local terrain and the trees rooted there; the ground’s vibrations are of course detected on the seismograph.”
And thanks to our skywatchers tonight for their excellent reports!
Tomorrow will be showery but mild, with highs around 70F.
Crazy winds are blowing across Central Alabama, including the Birmingham Metro now.
John Talbot says Homewood PD reports transformers blowing and power going out in parts of the city.
John Talbot and Bryan Falls report a tree down on a vehicle on I-22 at the Flat Top exit.
Windows are reportedly blown out of homes in Pleasant Grove.
Hoover PD reports tree down at Woods of Riverchase Drive and Summit Drive.
Hoover Fire reports tree down in 1200 block of Chester Street.
Be in a safe place as these strong winds blow across eastern Jefferson and Shelby and Chilton Counties, pushing into St. Clair, Talladega and Coosa Counties.
Peak wind gusts from our SKYCAM network so far…
Tuscaloosa (atop the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse) 74 mph
Oak Grove (Cliff’s Natural Resources) 57 mph
Birmingham (atop the Daniel Building downtown) 41 mph
Cullman 36 mph
Jasper 29 mph
The period of highest winds with this gravity wave/wake low event lasts about 15 minutes, but strong winds are lasting about 30 minutes in most areas.
We have reports of trees and power lines down over Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Pickens, Fayette, and western Jefferson Counties. Power is out in some places.
Winds in the Birmingham metro will average 35-45 mph over the next 30-45 minutes, but gusts could be higher. We don’t have much skill in forecasting these kind of events since there is nothing to show on radar, generally speaking. And, the intense pressure fall/rise couplet is hard to track since there is no real dense surface reporting network.
Scroll down for the details, but this event is not directly related to thunderstorms, and there is no threat of a tornado. A non-preciptation, high wind event.
We did a 2009 WeatherBrains episode on this kind of event if you want to learn more…
Stay tuned for updates as needed…
Winds just gusted to 57 mph at the Oak Grove Skycam according to James.
The 40-50 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph will continue to spread across much of Central Alabama including the Birmingham Metro over the next hour.
Be ready for weaker trees to be blown down. Some powerlines will be affected. Try to be inside away from the threat of falling trees when the winds approach.
A high wind event is moving across Central Alabama tonight.
It has caused numerous reports of downed trees and powerlines, especially across the Tuscaloosa Metro.
A tree was just reported down by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Warrioir River Road near Steve’s Grocery according to John Talbot.
Ryan Stinnett, one of our meteorologists, reports power is out in parts of western Jefferson County.
Richard Viola reports tree down in Duncanville by the Eagleville FD station. Trees were reported down Samantha in northern Tuscaloosa county.
Winds gusted to 63 mph just before 8 p.m. at East Edge Apartments in Tuscaloosa, on the eastern side of the UA Campus.
Be ready for winds of 40-50 mph with some higher gusts as this gravity wave/wake low pushes east across Central Alabama.
The winds will mainly affect parts of Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Dallas, Hale, Jefferson, Marengo, Perry, Shelby and southeastern Tuscaloosa Counties through 9:30.
Winds have gusted to 57 mph at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse tonight due to a wake low/gravity wave on the back side of a departing rain mass.
Power is out across parts of the city of Tuscaloosa, and many reports of trees and power lines have been received via social networks.
Scroll down for an explanation of this kind of event… the winds are not the direct result of a thunderstorm, and there is no risk of a tornado. The winds are happening, in fact, with no rain.
Winds are averaging in the 35-45 mph range, with gusts to 50-55 mph. The peak winds last about 15 minutes, and then they begin to die down.
The higher winds will impact the Birmingham metro, if it holds together, by 8:45 or so. But remember, this is not a thunderstorm event, it is an entirely different situation, and it remains to be seen how long the high winds will last as the band moves east across Alabama tonight.