Why we saw such strong winds Tuesday night
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - As the weather warms up, severe storms will become more common, but yesterday's storms were unique.
It wasn't just a thunderstorm that produced the strong wind gusts and all the wind damage.
The gusts originated in the west, accompanying strong thunderstorms but as they tracked to the east they ran into drier air in place in southeastern Wisconsin.
That drier air caused the rain to evaporate, a process which cools the air temperature in the thunderstorm down.
Since the air in the falling apart thunderstorm is colder than the air around it, the air began to sink to the ground.
Once the air hit the ground, it spread out and away from the old thunderstorm, producing wind gusts in Dane county of 60 miles an hour,
68 miles an hour in Waukesha county, and continued to move east into Milwaukee county where a 67 mile an hour wind gust was recorded.
In addition to the wind spreading out, the air became compressed, heating up the air: this phenomena is called a heat burst.
Temperature and wind speed readings were taken in Sullivan, WI at the National Weather Service and the correlation between the wind spike and the temperature spike is evident.
Telling us that the event was no ordinary thunderstorm, but a heat burst which ultimately caused the really strong wind gusts and wind damage.