High Winds Set Charleston Record

High Yeager Winds Set Record

It’s official! The 84 mile per hour wind gust registered at Yeager airport on Wednesday evening at 6:32 was the highest ever at the airport.

Meteorologist Dave Marsalek from the National Weather Service confirmed the winds as such. “We measured a 73 knot wind just past 6:30 as the storm rolled through”. Dave then scanned his record books to show that the previous high wind mark of 76 miles per hour was set just last July 26.

Humm! I wonder if that is a sign of global warming when the 2 highest winds ever at the Chuck Yeager named airstrip occur that close together. Before you say, ‘there he goes again’, remember my contention. ‘No single weather event or seasonal event can be blamed on a globally warmed planet. But on a planet Earth that is affected by man-made greenhouse warming, we would expect more violent weather events to occur and that would lead to more records.’

The squall line that passed last evening rolled thru the Kentucky Coalfields with strong winds but nothing like the 84 mph wind gust measured atop Charleston city. I surmise that since the air in Charleston had been heated toward 70 degrees in the late afternoon Wednesday sun, and since the humidity or dew point of the air had spiked to an uncommonly high level in the Kanawha Valley, the stage was set for the 50 mile per hour gusts that passed thru Martin County Kentucky an hour before to increase in strength to 84 as the squall passed Charleston.

Now word comes from our Will Jones that National Weather Service personel have surveyed the damage caused by this same storm system as it moved thru the Elkview-Clendenin area. While wind damage was determined to be straight line (so called downburst winds) in nature here, just 3 miles north of Elkview in Young's Bottom, a tornado spun up and touched down with winds of 60-70 miles per hour.

You might say this was a fitting end to the winter of 2008 as high winds and heavy rains had become rather common during this LA NINA WINTER. Recall La Nina refers to a cooling of the Pacific Ocean which normally leads to a stormy winter here in Appalachia!

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