Story at a glance
- A derecho was reported in four states in the U.S. Midwest.
- This comes ahead of NOAA’s prediction of an especially active hurricane season.
Days after Hurricane Isaias ravaged parts of the East Coast, another dangerous storm tore through the Midwest this week, leaving destruction and mass power outages in its path.
A derecho, a phenomenon of high speed winds, battered eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, including Chicago. It began early Monday and lasted into the evening.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a derecho as “a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.”
Derechos are accompanied by high wind speed, with gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. This most recent one that bore down on the Midwest reported wind speeds up to 100 miles per hour, making it as deadly as some tornadoes.
Businesses and residences were affected by the derecho, as well as farms and grain bins, both fixtures in the states’ economies.
“This corridor of wind went through and flattened corn and crops,” Andrew Ansorge, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, told reporters. “We’re still trying to get all the information in.”
While this derecho is not a hurricane, its presence foreshadows a potentially tumultuous season. NOAA recently warned that it predicts 2020 will feature a record number of tropical storms and hurricanes, with an 85 percent season probability of storms with above average intensity.