Straight-line winds blamed for Patten damage

Posted July 23, 2008, at 12 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2011, at 11:56 p.m.

PATTEN&nbsp- A storm that brought whipping winds, torrents of hail and lifted some animals right off the ground in the Patten area last week was caused by a straight-line wind event, according to the National Weather Service Office in Caribou.

Straight-line winds are associated with severe thunderstorms and can produce as much damage as tornadoes.

Weather service personnel conducted a survey after the July 19 storm, which mainly affected Happy Corner Road and Frenchville Road area of Patten.

The storm brought hail, thunder, lightning and very high winds to the Penobscot County town. The weather service said that shortly after 4 p.m. “hundreds” of trees were blown over and part of a roof was peeled off a barn. Some trees fell on homes or were uprooted, while others dropped across power lines.

Wind speeds during the storm are estimated to have reached 80 to 90 mph.

The wild weather has continued in Aroostook County this week with thunderstorms and heavy rain peppering the area during a storm Monday evening. In Aroostook, the most rain fell in Keegan, where 3.10 inches was reported, according to weather service meteorologist Tony Mignone.

Van Buren received 2.86 inches, while Caribou received 2.03 inches.

Lesser amounts fell in southern Aroostook. Houlton received 0.71 inch while Monticello received 0.65 inch.

In the St. John Valley, Lille received 1.65 inches while Portage received 1.22 inches.

Fort Kent, which was heavily damaged by severe spring flooding earlier this year, received 0.40 inch of rainfall.

In Penobscot County, Patten received the most precipitation — 0.96 inch — while the Washington County town of Robbinston received the most in that area, 0.79 inch.

Mignone said Tuesday that The County is above average in the amount of rainfall that has fallen so far this month. As of July 21, the Caribou weather service office has measured 3.02 inches of precipitation, which is 0.43 inch above normal.

Bangor is below normal so far this month in terms of rainfall. According to Mignone, 2.18 inches has fallen as of July 21, which is 0.06 inch below the normal of 2.24 inches.

The weather service said earlier this month that New England has been in a wet pattern for much of May and June because of a highly amplified, persistent upper-level weather pattern that set up over the nation during this period. The pattern created an upper-level trough over the Northeast that has provided cool, wet conditions.

In June, some portions of the western and northern parts of the state received around 5 to 15 inches of rainfall over a 30-day period

In Caribou, 5.87 inches of rain fell during June — 2.56 inches above normal.

Mignone said that forecasters expect the unsettled weather pattern to continue throughout the week with showers occurring on and off virtually every day and an occasional thunderstorm.

jlbdn@ainop.com

532-9257

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