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What is a “wake low”?

In 2014 on April 30 a morning storm came through Athens and dropped a large oak tree between my garage and my neighbor’s house.  It barely missed the garage but clipped a corner of the neighbor’s house. I had moved my car out of the garage less than half an hour earlier, which was lucky because our other car was trapped until we got the tree removed two days later.

Fortunately it did not do much damage, but it left us without power for four days, so I had to dump out most of what was in the fridge and mend fences (literally) with the neighbor, who had just moved in a few weeks before.  It destroyed my CoCoRaHS rain gauge and damaged my beautiful Japanese maple tree in the side yard, too.  The storm was called a “wake low”.  Earlier this week a similar storm caused widespread power outages and falling trees northwest of Atlanta.  You might be interested to find out what kind of storms they are and how they differ from other kinds of severe weather.  Dr. Marshall Shepherd explains in a recent blog post here.

Squall line with trailing stratiform precipitation