First Severe Thunderstorm Warning Of The Year And It Was A Good One For March Here In Mount Joy, PA

The high in the mid 70s today set things up with the cold front approaching. We noted the winds picking up quite a bit from the southwest as we squeezed in our walk before it got here. The air was also warming up and although it only rose a degree or two according to my personal weather station it felt significantly warmer. It was starting to rain when we got home. On radar the storms looked more like discrete cells than the very narrow squall line you normally see this time of the year.

I went out on the front porch in my chair to see if anything interesting happened when I saw it was almost here and that the NWS had issues a a sever thunderstorm warning. I did see a couple of distant flashes of lightning which I wasn’t expecting at all. These winter/ early spring thunderstorms just don’t usually have that much lightning because there’s just not enough instability to sustain it. There was a burst of heavy rain but that didn’t last long. The storms were moving 55 mph though. By the time I was ready to go to sleep they were half way through Jersey.

The temperature quickly dropped from about 71 ° F to 60 ° F with the storm. Here in Mount Joy PA the wind was the big story though. We had a couple of really good gusts. The best gust was measured at 48.1 mph by my personal weather station and that was probably protected a bit from the wind gust by the neighbor’s house. My anemometer is not a perfect setup but it’s the best we can do here and I think it’s actually probably a bit better than a lot of people would be able to do.

I didn’t see any damage here but I would imagine if the trees had leaves there would be more downed branches. I heard small limbs blowing into the garage and noticed some of the stuff on our patio was moved around by the wind. Who knows where the grill cover went. I looked for it last night in the dark but didn’t see it anyplace. I guess I am glad that our tree is gone after seeing so many large limbs break last year and how rotted a majority of it was. We would have definitely lost some branches if it were still up with those strong southerly wind gusts.

I did see there are reports of trees down and stuff around here. KLNS reported a 59 mph wind gust and an amateur radio report of a 60 mph wind gust in Manheim which makes my gust believable. SPC’s storm reports map is surprisingly lit up.

Lets hope this is a sign of things to come this summer. If I have to deal with the heat and humidity I hope we get some good storms out of it. Last summer the thunderstorms mostly missed Mount Joy other than the one that wrecked our tree.