WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

This past Tuesday evening (6/5) about 6pm I was outside talking to my neighbor and suddenly out of nowhere a huge wind hit us knocking over gargage cans and blowing street sand into our eyes. It only lasted a few seconds. Skys were Carolina blue. What caused this?

Posted June 16, 2007 1:18 p.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      David,     I'm a little handcuffed on this one because I don't know what location you were at when you experienced this. It sounds a lot like a typical experience with an outflow boundary from a nearby thunderstorm that may have produced a strong downburst wind. Sometimes the spreading layer of cool air can flow many miles away from the storm and produce a sudden and fairly brief surge in wind speed with little or no associated cloud cover. Often, but not always, this would be accompanied by a noticeable drop in temperature. Assuming your time frame was around 6 pm on 5 June 07, this might have been plausible, mainly in the eastern Johnston, southern Wilson or northern Wayne County areas, due to a pair of heavy showers or storms that moved east through that region, showing a rapid increase in intensity followed by a rapid collapse that may have been able to produce a gusty outflow.