Weather expert researching cause of recent severe weather

SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After the Capital Region was hit with severe weather, weather experts at the University at Albany are looking at patterns in weather activity.

It’s clear from the line of damage where a tornado touched down on Tuesday in Scotia.

“She had left a half hour before,” Curt Kling said. “Her car was parked right here.”

Kling’s wife owns the pet grooming business Gentle Touch Pet Spa. It is now closed because a large tree crashed down on it.

“Luckily no customers were coming in or out,” he said.

“Certainly, in the last five years there’s been quite a few severe storms and tornadoes in places like Montgomery County and Schenectady County,” Ross Lazear said.

Lazear is part of one of the biggest atmospheric science programs in the country at UAlbany. They’ve taken notice of all the severe weather activity in Schenectady County.

“Our department has just begun taking a look at some of the topographic effects that might be causing more significant severe weather in that region,” he said.

They have a good idea of where to start looking.

“Two years ago, there was a tornado east of Amsterdam; four years ago, just east of Amsterdam,” he said.

And a year ago, a tornado touched down in Duanesburg.

“Really strong damaging tornado that went through Duanesburg and Delanson,” Lazear said.

Lazear has a possible theory on why the Mohawk Valley continually gets hit the hardest.

“So if the wind is coming up the Hudson Valley, here, it’ll start turning and take the direction more from the east up the Mohawk River Valley,” he explained. “And if the wind alofts, so above the surface is from the west, then you get the winds are almost in opposition.”

Those are factors that might have played into 2014’s tornado as well; however, the theories are not conclusive and must continue to be studied.

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