Weather Blog

Gust front's 0-to-60 mph time rivals turbo-charged V8s

Gust front's 0-to-60 mph time rivals turbo-charged V8s
A gust front crossing Sebec Lake in Maine is about to overrun a boater on June 9, 2011. (Photo courtesy web camera of Michael McCormack, sebeclake.net)

It takes some of the better sports cars out there about 5-7 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.

Mother Nature showed off some of her own powerful accelerations during a storm that spawned an incredible gust front in Maine last week.

Michael McCormack has a web camera situated at Sebec Lake. About 1:45 p.m., a strong gust front went through the region, and the winds went from near calm to roaring over 60 mph in seconds.

And his web camera was rolling the entire time.

Here is how he described it:

"This image sequence shows a gust front approaching and raising a lot of water from the lake surface. The 4th frame shows a boat being overtaken at the leading edge of the wind. Last image shows a treetop landed in front of the cam." He estimates based on the speed of the front, the winds were blowing at about 66 mph at the leading edge.

Here are the images he was talking about. They are taken 30 seconds apart.

And here is the compiled video.

Gust fronts are caused during very heavy rainstorms. The downward force of the falling rain creates a cool, strong, sinking wind. As this rush of air reaches the ground, it races outward ahead of the storm.

Sometimes these winds can be up over 80-100 mph, so it appears Sebec Lake got off a little easy here, but try telling that to the unfortunate boater caught in the middle of it!