The Capital Region was largely spared serious rain and wind from Sandy. Why? Meteorologist Ross Lazear explains over at UAlbany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences blog:
Upon reaching the lee (west) side of the Berkshires and Taconics, the strong winds essentially jumped over the valley. The only times the winds really gusted over 50 mph in the immediate Capital District were during, or just before rainfall. As rain falls into unsaturated air, raindrops evaporate, thus cooling the air and causing strong downdrafts. This process literally forced these strong winds all the way down to the surface. Had we experienced more rainfall (also significantly weakened by "downsloping" motion off the Berkshires and Taconics), strong winds would have been brought to the ground more readily, and we would have likely seen stronger sustained winds and more numerous gusts at or above 50 mph.
Bonus geological facts: the Taconics were formed about 440 million years ago and stretch about 200 miles from Connecticut to Vermont. They include Mt. Equinox in Vermont, and Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts.
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