Little rain, but cool “wake low” for the Midlands

The Midlands saw little rain on Wednesday. In fact, Columbia Metro Airport saw just a “trace” of rain.

However, we did see a cool weather feature. A “wake low” developed behind an area of storms moving across Georgia and southern South Carolina.

A wake low is a mesoscale, which means small, area of low pressure that typically forms behind a line of storms. It forms as air sinks behind the line of storms creating a pressure difference, or pressure gradient, with a mesoscale high just behind the leading edge of the storms.

That pressure difference creates windy conditions in an area where there are no storms. We call this non-thunderstorm wind damage.

Here is a graphic from UCAR that shows this process.

Courtesy: UCAR
Courtesy: UCAR

As a result we saw a few non-thunderstorm wind and damage reports with trees being knocked down.

I noticed our Weatherbug site near the Opera House in Newberry had a wind gust of 46 mph. Downtown Newberry saw a few trees knocked down, which resulted in a power outage. The Fairfield County Airport reported a wind gust of 39 mph. Numerous trees also got knocked down in Saluda county and McCormick county.

Courtesy: NWS Columbia
Courtesy: NWS Columbia
Courtesy: NWS Columbia
Courtesy: NWS Columbia

A cool weather phenomenon despite the busted forecast for more rain and storms.

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