UAH machine simulates severe storm winds - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

UAH machine simulates severe storm winds

Dr. Landrum says even winds of 40 mph are strong enough to cause trouble for people walking outside. Dr. Landrum says even winds of 40 mph are strong enough to cause trouble for people walking outside.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A UAH expert with the equipment to simulate 60-80 mile per hour winds can show what kind of damage those winds can do.

Dr. Brian Landrum tests wind speed at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. His equipment is able to reach triple-digit speeds and is generally used for aeronautics testing in addition to weather.

"It's a powerful thing, even at 40 or 50 miles per hour," Dr. Landrum said. At 100 mph, he said, "if you had a coat or something this would really be pulling you down the road tumbling."

With wind speeds Thursday expected to range between 60-80 mph, the wind expert said that speed can create significant damage, toss patio furniture and uproot trees.

"If you had a big coat on, it would act as a sail," said Dr. Landrum. "To stand, you would have to hold something."

Dr. Landrum said that even wind speeds of 40 miles per hour can pick up patio furniture.  He added that while Thursday's winds probably won't throw around two-by-fours like toothpicks like you see in YouTube videos demonstrating tornadic winds, it is advisable to pick up and store anything else that could be launched into the air.

He said the easiest way to avoid trouble is to just pull those items and things like patio furniture inside before the storms hit.

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