Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wet Soil Is Weak Soil

Strong winds associated with thunderstorms ripped through northern Utah this afternoon.  Several sites reported wind gusts of more than 65 mph, including the Salt Lake City Airport.

MesoWest observing sites reporting wind gusts greater than 65 mph this afternoon.
Several large trees were blown down.  Although some snapped, others fell over with the entire root ball (see Salt Lake Tribune story).  

Source: SL Tribune, courtesy Greg Farley.
A contributing factor to these tree blowdowns is the rainy April we've had and the anomalously wet soils.  Wet soil is weak soil, and trees are more likely to pull up in the fashion above when the ground is saturated or near saturated.   

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