By; Al Kaprelian – April, 2016
Winds are caused by differences in air pressure. When we are located between a high pressure system and a low pressure system, there is a large difference in air pressure between the high and low. In weather, we say there is a tight pressure gradient.
On a weather map, the isobars (lines of equal air pressure) are packed very close together. This indicates there is a tight pressure gradient and lots of wind between the high and low pressure. Air flows from high to low pressure. When the low moves farther away from our region and the high fills in, then the winds subside. There is now less of a difference in air pressure. Also, if a strong low level jet stream is over the area, this can enhance the winds and make them stronger.
Strong winds can cause trees and tree branches to fall. If they fall on power lines it can causes power outages. Always stay away if you see downed power lines!!!
A wind advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when the sustained winds reach between 31 and 39 miles per hour, and gusts reach between 46 and 57 miles per hour.
A high wind warning is issued by the National Weather Service when sustained winds of 40 miles per hour or greater are expected for at least one hour with gusts of 58 miles per hour or greater.
Strong winds can also cause brush fires to develop, especially when the ground is dry. Also, the lack of snow on the ground can enhance brush fires to develop. Strong winds can cause brush fires to spread rapidly. So, during this spring if you have some outdoor burning to do, make sure you check with you town or local fire officials before you start to burn.
Lastly, now that spring is here we start to think about planting flowers and vegetables and tending to our gardens. It can still get cold and snow in April like we have seen this year so its best you wait to plant until at least the middle of May.
Frost can still occur as well in April and into the first half of May. By Memorial Day weekend, however, it is pretty much safe to plant your outdoor flowers and vegetables.
In the end it is always better to be safe than sorry.
I’m Al Kaprielian with your Valley Patriot Weather 101 update GOOD EVENING! And See you next month!