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Microburst blamed for damage near Penn Yan after thunderstorms on Wednesday, says NWS

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The National Weather Service has surveyed damage in Yates County blaming a microburst for downed power lines and trees in the Penn Yan area.


The NWS confirmed the findings in a report on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the storms rolled through.

It happened around 5:40 p.m. just east of Penn Yan- lasting only a few minutes.

Photo by Warren Zimmerman.

Here’s more from the NWS report:

“First location surveyed was a horse barn with the northside open and it looked like the building was perfectly exposed to the strong winds from the north-northwest to blow the building apart with debris spread to a 155 to 160-degree direction.

Looking at post in the ground, the mud was soft and waterlogged so it likely did not take as much force to destroy the building so a lower wind estimate was used at 80 miles per hour. Headed west along City Hill Road and there were several medium to large pines that had either been snapped or uprooted also in a 155 to 160-degree direction. Many of the uprooted trees had a shallow root ball and the hole left in the ground was filled with water. Power poles were either tilting or snapped as we headed north along Ridge Road. The power poles were thinner and older so a lower wind estimate was used resulting in the 85 miles per hour rating.

Multiple pine trees were also snapped or uprooted at several homes along Ridge Road as well, falling in the 155 to 160-degree directions as well. One home had a chimney that toppled over. Talking to a couple of homeowners that were home at the time of the microburst, the stories matched up with strong winds and heavy rain occurring at the same time resulting in whiteout conditions similar to a blizzard. The stories, as well as all the damage and fallen trees leaning in the same direction away from the core of the storm on radar at the time of the damage, means this was likely a microburst. The Penn Yan Mesonet Station from the New York State Mesonet System was on the very edge of the microburst and recorded a gust of 62 miles per hour.”