Friday, August 19, 2016
More - Major - Wind Damage
There is a radar picture to bring tears of joy to any meteorologist - it's absolutely classic, absolutely clear - and dangerous. The kind of storm where they truly save lives, by giving warning in time. This is known as a "bow echo" storm formation; because they resemble an archer's bow. See that little white plus sign, just to the right of the middle of the bow? That's Badgersett Farm; precisely.
And that's absolutely the most dangerous place to be for one of these storms; and if you come this weekend for the Field Day - you'll see why. That's where the most violent winds are; trained observers in Preston reported gusts over 70 mph (hurricane) for this storm; as I watched it, I was guessing 70 to 80 mph.
From that Wikipedia entry: "Bow echoes are capable of producing straight-line winds that are just as strong as many tornadoes. A strong bow echo will produce more widespread and intense damage than the majority of tornadoes. "
Yup. We can tell you that's true.
We got hit by a similar storm - very hard - just a few weeks ago. This one - was worse, in one particular way. The first storm broke a lot of trees; but left the pecans and chestnuts pretty much entirely still on the trees.
Some idea of what it looked like as we were scurrying for cover - our radios did give us the NOAH emergency warning in time. It was darker than this, though; the camera couldn't catch it.
This storm - broke more trees; including some pecans (first one didn't break pecans) - but it also took a huge part of the nut crop off the trees. For the chestnuts, there is no hope those downed burrs will ever have any nut inside of any use. The pecans - are far from fully ripe; but it's not impossible they might still "force-ripen", using resources in the shuck - and make pig food, anyway.
In any case - we'll now have to pick up the downed nuts - before the true harvest; to prevent the bad ones getting mixed with the good ones. Only twice the work - for maybe half the crop.
Come see. It's part of the whole picture. There ARE things you can do with your planting to minimize storm risk. We've had chestnut crops survive astonishing winds in the past- they can. But not this time.
Still haven't fully assessed the damage.