DISCUSSION: Earlier on during the first half of August here in the Summer of 2018, parts of France felt the full force of several noteworthy severe weather events. During a couple of these rounds of severe weather, some locals got the opportunity to catch the full fury of some of these storms on camera. Therefore, in doing so, there is now an opportunity to break down and explain a good portion of what they physically witnessed. In looking at the footage attached above (which was provided courtesy of the Weer and Radar Facebook group), you can see how during the earlier part of the video clip there were particularly strong winds reaching the ground near the city of Forbach, France (which is located in far northern France and is practically located right on the border Germany and France).
The strong, gusty winds were which recorded towards the beginning of the footage were more than likely a product of a severe thunderstorm's main downdraft reaching the ground. A strong downdraft can often appear very much like those winds associated with a tropical cyclone at the point of landfall. This is due to the fact that rain-cooled air will often out from underneath the base of the thunderstorm and reaches the ground with substantial force. As a result of strong downdraft reaching and impacting the surface of the Earth, there are quite often found to be consequences such as downed trees, downed power lines, damaged homes and/or commercial businesses as a result flying debris or broken trees/tree limbs. Hence, regardless of the situation it is always imperative to respect the natural power associated with approaching severe thunderstorms when they do occur.
Later on this severe thunderstorm footage, you also get a chance to see the periods of large hail and flash flooding which occurred in this same region with this round of severe weather. In starting off with hail stones, it is worth noting that once hail stones reach a critical size and weight, they are often quite damaging to nearly anything come into contact with during their descent towards the surface of the Earth. When larger hail stones are combined with periods of persistent, heavier rainfall this more often than not leads to major safety issues at the ground. This can often be further exacerbated by people trying to to risk travelling in the vicinity or even directly through flooded roadways which can lead to a further risk of unnecessary fatalities due to people and/or automotive vehicles being swept away in minutes or less. Thus, if you are ever faced with such a situation, always be sure to respect the natural power of severe thunderstorms and the natural hazards they are capable of producing.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events occurring across Europe, be sure to click here!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz