Meteorologist Explains Wind Gusts at State Fair
|(WIBC.com photo: Ernie Mills)
People are asking many questions about the wind gusts that caused the collapse of the stage roof at the Indiana State Fair Saturday night but one meteorologist says they're not uncommon before a storm.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Tucek tells 93 WIBC's Ed Wenck on Indy's Afternoon News a "gust front" came through the Fairgrounds ahead of a thunderstorm that was still on its way.
"All thunderstorms are created by updrafts. The updrafts generate precipitation. The precipitation gets heavy and begins to fall to the ground, drags wind down to the ground with it. That wind hits the ground and flows outward and creates what we refer to as a gust front," Tucek says.
Tucek says gust fronts are very common but sometimes they are weaker than the one that came through Saturday night. He says it's also common for gust fronts to vary intensity. Wind gusts were reported earlier in the night in Speedway with speeds over 70 miles per hour and at the Indianapolis International Airport around 40 miles per hour.
Tucek adds that sometimes gust fronts come immediately before a storm but they can get ahead of storms by several miles, as was the case Saturday night. He says sometimes gust fronts can get so far ahead, the storm dissipates before even hitting the area.