SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Unfortunately, we’re familiar with gust fronts that give us damaging straight line winds. But on Tuesday, we had something else that gave us damaging winds, something called a ‘wake low’.
The hum of the air conditioners has been replaced with the hum of chainsaws in KELOLAND. Numerous people have been doing cleanup from the most recent round of storms.
Here’s what it looked like yesterday on radar. The reflectivity on the radar shows the heavy rain moving through Sioux Falls around 3:00. You can even pick up on a little rotation on the radar loop.
Switching to the velocity data, you can see the strong winds working in behind the system. Behind this area of rotation, strong winds blew with gusts clocked over 80 mph behind the main line of storms.
This is known as a wake low. Wake lows are small areas of low pressure behind an area of rain. They form through a quick change in air pressure which is a result from rain cooled air that is quickly sinking to the ground. That difference in pressure creates the strong wind.
We’re not done with severe weather. As dew points stay high through the weekend, Sunday will bring another heightened risk for severe storms. After Sunday, the air will slowly dry out.