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Severe Storms July 24, 2012

Microburst/Straight Line Wind Damage Confirmed near Whitesboro in Oneida County New York

  • Location: Whitesboro in Oneida County New York
  • Date: July 24 2012
  • Estimated time: 12:12 AM EDT
  • Estimated maximum wind speed: 100 to 110 MPH
  • Maximum path width: 500 yards
  • Path length: 0.2 miles
  • Beginning lat/lon: 43.13 n / 75.32 w
  • Ending lat/lon: 43.11 n / 75.28 w
  • Fatalities: 0
  • Injuries: 0


A fast moving line of thunderstorms produced damaging straight-line winds in Whitesboro in east-central Oneida County, shortly after midnight on July 24, 2012.

The microburst was short-lived, only producing damage for about 0.2 miles. The damage path was bounded by the New York State Thruway and Hidden Valley Golf Course on the southwest edge, and Holy Cross Cemetery on the northeast edge. Mainly tree damage was found within this roughly 500 yard wide area.

At the Hidden Valley Golf Course, most of the tree damage was found on holes 10 through 15, close to where the course meets up with the thruway. Two to three dozen trees were reportedly snapped, uprooted, or had limbs damaged. The trees were consistently blown down facing the thruway, oriented either towards the east or southeast. Meanwhile, at Holy Cross Cemetery, a larger more impressive swath of trees were downed, uprooted, or snapped. Some of these trees were healthy hardwoods, indicating that winds maximized near or just over 100 mph in this vicinity. At this point, trees were blown down consistently towards the north or northeast.

The pattern described above showed a divergent wind damage signature between Hidden Valley Golf Course and Holy Cross Cemetery, typically indicative of a microburst.

Just a short distance to the southeast of both the golf course and the cemetery along the storm`s track, no further damage was observed.

The image below is the approximate path and width of the straight line winds.

approximate path of the straight line winds

For reference:

A microburst is a convective downdraft with an affected outflow area of less than 2 1/2 miles wide and peak winds lasting less than 5 minutes. Microbursts may induce dangerous horizontal/vertical wind shears, which can adversely affect aircraft performance and cause property damage. Straight-line winds are generally any wind that is not associated with rotation, used mainly to differentiate them from tornadic winds.
The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the event(s) and publication in National Weather Service Storm Data.


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Page last modified: July 30 2012