ATTN: Mill Creek, PA
RE: claim number 1
Data/Location of Loss (01/09/08 in Mill Creek, PA)
Dear Mr. / Ms.,
As you requested, I have reviewed the weather conditions for Mill Creek, PA on January 9,
2008. In order to determine with a reasonable degree of meteorological and scientific certainty
the weather conditions in Mill Creek, Pennsylvania, I examined official Skew-T plots with
temperature, dew point, and wind speed observations released twice a day from the University of
Wyoming at the following locations: Pittsburg, PA and Buffalo, NY. Hourly national radar
images of base velocity from January 9, 2008 were inspected from the National Climatic Data
Center. In addition, wind speeds from the Pennsylvania State Climatologist Archives were
examined. Lastly, the NWS Storm Prediction Center Surface Analysis and SPC Surface Analysis
was inspected. It should be noted, errors can be found in data observations allowing numbers to
be slightly wrong. The error rate for wind speed ranges from +3 to -3 mph and wind direction
varies from +10 to -10 degrees.
January 9, 2008 consisted of strong winds in the early morning hours. A low pressure system
moved through to the north of Mill Creek in Canada. With this low a cold front had also begun to
move through the area by 4 AM. The combination of the low and cold front is a good indication
for high wind speeds. Winds blow counterclockwise around a low, indicating that winds would
be blowing from west to east in Mill Creek, and fronts are placed in troughs. The cold front
attached to the low was placed in the trough which also brought cold air advection. For any type
of advection to occur there must be a substantial wind speed and there was in the early morning
of January 9th. The cold front that moved through the area allowed winds to change direction
from an almost south to north wind to a westerly wind and increase wind speed which averaged
at 24 knots from 1 AM to 12 PM. Looking at the reported wind directions from the Pennsylvania
State Climatologist Archives the front specifically passed through from 2 AM to 3 AM. At 3 AM
the average and max wind speed and max wind gusts where at their peak; reporting at 29, 32, and
52 knots. In addition, Mill Creek is located off of Lake Erie. Winds crossing a body of water also
allows for higher wind speeds. There is less friction for winds to encounter across a body of
water as opposed to blowing across land where it can be slowed down by buildings and various
other obstructions (trees, hills, etc.).
RE: claim number 1
Mill Creek, PA is located in Erie County
at the northwest tip of Pennsylvania off
of Lake Erie. Latitude 42.1500° N,
Longitude 80.0997° W.
Image 1 Mill Creek, PA (Google Maps:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mill+Creek,+Pennsylvania/@42.0981296,80.0717363,7z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x8832804118935867:0x57664d24347b72f2 )
Table of Weather Conditions In Erie, PA
(Pennsylvania State Climatologist Archives)
Time
Temp
1 AM
2 AM
3 AM
4 AM
5 AM
6 AM
7 AM
8 AM
9 AM
10 AM
11 AM
12 PM
60
59
55
51
43
41
41
41
42
41
39
41
Average
Wind
Speed
19
28
29
19
31
21
23
19
21
27
20
25
Max Wind
Speed
Max Wind
Gust
19
28
32
20
32
21
23
20
21
27
20
25
26
38
52
35
48
38
34
38
42
36
31
36
Average
Wind
Direction
180
190
252
230
255
260
260
250
250
250
250
250
A local NEXRAD
is not stationed in
Erie County
therefore, nearby
radar images were
observed. Image 2
shows the wind
speed from
NEXRAD
stationed in
Buffalo, NY. At
1:55 AM winds
were blowing from
west to east at 64
knots.
Image 2 Wind Speed at 1:51 AM in Buffalo, NY (NEXRAD)
Image 3 also shows
the wind speed from
NEXRAD stationed
in Buffalo, NY.
Although wind
speeds began to
decrease by 3:29
AM, they were still
considerable ranging
from 30 to 50 knots.
Image 3 (Wind Speed from NEXRAD in Buffalo, NY at 3:29 AM)
Image 4 shows
the wind speed
from NEXRAD
stationed in
Pittsburg, PA.
The wind speed
is cut off by Mill
Creek but can be
interpolated to be
in the range of 64
to 50 knots at
1:57 AM
Image 4 (Wind Speed from NEXRAD in Pittsburg, PA at 1:57 AM)
The University of Wyoming’s
Skew-T at 7 AM had a wind
direction of 260 degrees at the
surface meaning winds were
blowing from west to east. In
addition, wind speed was 20 knots
at the surface and up to 40 knots 2
meters up into the atmosphere at 7
AM in Pittsburg. The dewpoint and
temperature profiles on the skew-t
also indicated a near saturated
atmosphere which allows for rain.
Mill Creek is 123 miles from
Pittsburg.
Image 5 (Skew-T from University of Wyoming archive: http://weather.uwyo.edu/cgibin/sounding?region=naconf&TYPE=GIF%3ASKEWT&YEAR=2008&MONTH=01&FROM=
0912&TO=0912&STNM=72520 )
In Buffalo NY, conditions
were somewhat similar at 7
AM. Wind direction was 250
degrees which again was a
westerly wind. At the surface
winds blew at 30 knots. Again,
the dew point and temperature
profiles are very close to each
other at the surface which
indicates possible rain. Mill
Creek is 104 miles from
Buffalo.
Image 6 (Skew-T from University of Wyoming archive: http://weather.uwyo.edu/cgibin/sounding?region=naconf&TYPE=GIF%3ASKEWT&YEAR=2008&MONTH=01&FROM=
0912&TO=0912&STNM=72528 )
The SPC Surface Map at 7
AM also showed similar
conditions. All winds were
westerly on the west side of
Pennsylvania as a cold front
moved through. Wind speed
in Pittsburg was reported at
25 knots and 35 knots in
Buffalo, NY. The tight
packing of the height lines
and winds crossing them
indicated a strong cold
Image 7 (SPC Surface Map at 7 AM:
allows
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/obswx/maps/ )
advection which also
for strong winds.
Another surface analysis of winds at
4 AM was archived by the NWS
Storm Prediction Center’s surface
analysis. Winds were 20 knots in
Pittsburg and 45 in Buffalo, NY.
Again, the cold advection also
allows for strong winds.
Image 8 (NWS Storm Prediction Center Surface Analysis at 4 AM:
http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/archives/web_pages/sfc/sfc_archive.php )
Certification
I certify that the above information is true and accurate and that any estimations, interpolations
or assumptions that have been made were done so with expert accuracy by a professional
meteorologist. Additionally, I reserve the right to amend these conclusions made herein upon
further discovery of meteorological data.
Veronica K. Dolan
Veronica K. Dolan
(Meteorologist/Forecaster)