Another big disappointment. I was never particularly excited about the threat due to the ongoing showers as late as midday, continuing clouds, and temps in the 60s. I was briefly intrigued when I saw the sun try to peak out in the afternoon, but it didn’t last long and would have been too little too late anyway; it’s not like we could have gotten strong heating that quickly like in June or July. Then I got excited again when the tornado watch popped up on my iPhone app, but I don’t think Newtown was even actually in the parallelogram. I really hadn’t even been following the situation much during the day, so I went back, looked at the obs, read an earlier SPC MSD, and got a little excited about the warm front lying through the area, noting the backed winds, but still concerned about the 60s temps.
My wife was out and preparing to go pick up two of my kids somewhere nearby at 6 and take them to a birthday party. Knowing my wife is not comfortable driving in heavy rain, I told her to come home and get me so I could drive instead. Based on the radar and speed referenced in the severe warning, I knew we had 20 minutes, which would be exactly 6:00 and that was pretty much spot on. I was waiting outside for my kids to come out of the place. There was never a great shelf cloud, probably because the outflow wasn’t moving into very warm air, but there was still that moment of exhilaration I love, when the rain and wind of the gust front first came crashing in like a wave on the shore. But that was it, just that one moment of excitement, and then it was just rain - no sustained wind, not even a lightning strike or single clap of thunder. I could see on RadarScope that all lightning was from the latitude of Philadelphia and south.
What a waste, I mean how often do we get backed winds with a warm front just happening to lie across the area??