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No. 61: Jan-Feb 1989

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Unusual Gust Of Wind

Anemograph trace showing 106-mph wind gust
Anemograph trace showing 106-mph wind gust, February 7, 1988.
February 7, 1988. Near Lancaster, England

It was a day with modest winds of 5-10 mph, with some gusts to 20 mph. Suddenly at 2100 GMT, the anemometer at Hazelrigg weather station registered a gust at 106 mph. Almost immediately after, the wind dropped to only 5 mph.

A gust of this strength should have caused considerable damage. A few branches and twigs were down in a nearby wood, but the major effect seems to have been the transportation of a 75-kilogram sheep feeding trough across a distance of 5.1 meters! Conclusion: A sudden, small squall had passed through.

(Reynolds, David J.; "Unusual Gust of Wind in Lancashire 7th February 1988," Journal of Meteorology U.K., 13:284, 1988.)

Comment. The wind is really playing tricks on the English, with hundreds of mysterious circles cut into field crops and now this dislocated sheep trough. Or is it just weather?

From Science Frontiers #61, JAN-FEB 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987