Ever Wonder Why A Storm Splits In Two Over Amarillo? Here’s Why.
It's one of those crazy mysteries of Amarillo. A nice storm starts to form, we get a bunch of alerts telling us to watch out for severe weather in the area, then nothing.
The storm that looked like it was going to give us a show just disappears with nothing more than a little spittle of rain on top of us. We find ourselves let down, wanting to see some of that driving rain.
Truthfully, it's one of the strangest things I've ever seen. The storm is just one big cell tracking right for Amarillo, then as it gets close to the city, it separates and splits into two, completely missing us.
I've finally decided to sit down and figure out if there's a reason it decides it doesn't want to hit us.
Amazingly enough, there is actually a scientific reason as to why we don't seem to get pummeled on the regular, and it makes perfect sense.
It's all due to what is called 'vertical wind sheer'. So what is this phenomenon called vertical wind sheer?
It happens when there is a change in direction of the wind or the wind speed itself in altitude. It changes from a headwind to a tailwind or vice versa. When this happens, those clouds that are up there get disrupted and start to break apart.
In a severe storm, it will seemingly split the cell in half and send them in a different direction.
So why does this happen so much in Amarillo? I mean, you know how much wind we have here. We are literally the windiest city in America with an average wind speed of 12.9 mph. It's going to happen often here with the amount of wind we get.
So the next time you THINK we're going to get that big storm, go outside and see if you feel an abrupt change in wind direction. That should be enough to tell you whether or not we're in for some fun, or whether we'll be disappointed once again.