A severe warned thunderstorm ripped through power county on Saturday afternoon. An unusual scene for Idaho, let alone for this time of year. Wind gusts were roaring as the squall line continued on its path.
Chris Schulz, owner of the Willow Bay Marina and Cafe, told KPVI about the storm's winds.
"We had winds in excess of 50 mile an hour. We saw a lot of leaves. We heard a lot of commotion. We did get enough warning to get a lot of the loose things in the campground put away."
Luckily with that warning it helped mitigate damage that could have been life threatening to those at the campground. With winds that strong small loose items can be lifted and fly through the air.
Tim Axford, Warning Coordination Meteorlogist at the Pocatello National Weather Service, described the winds that came along with the storm.
"Also within this line we had several areas of enhanced segments that really brought stronger winds, stronger than what was even seen on some of the instruments that we have out there."
The enhanced areas that produced these straight line winds are where the real damage was felt. Unfortunately Willow Bay Campground was one area that was hit.
The strong winds that are produced from these storms are know as straight line winds. They occur during a Microburst, where cold air from a dying storm system rushes out and produces winds that can reach close to 90 miles per hour.
Tim, said of the storm damage that he saw,"this morning we got out to willow bay marina and saw several trees down, several large trees down, mostly laying in one direction. That kind of gives us an indication that it was a very strong Microburst signature of straight line winds."
Such Microburst events do not last long.
According to Chris, "it was right between 3-30 and 4 that it came through, most of the damage happened within I would say a 3 to 4 minute period."
Luckily damage was minimal to a few RVs, a tiny home, and trees. The trees that were toppled were not small by any means either.
For trees of this size to be knocked down so easily all in a row, definitely had to be the work of a Microbust but we wouldn't be able to know exactly if that was the case until the National Weather Service confirms it.
After sending out surveyors to Willow Bay Campground, the Pocatello NWS office will look at their data and pictures of the scene to confirm what type of event occurred.