On Monday, a derecho (or far reaching, straight line wind thunderstorm) nailed Iowa and Illinois. Although kind of a cool weather phenomenon, the damage from this one is pretty severe.
I didn’t even know it was happening until my mom texted me that she was without power due to a strong storm. Then I saw some FB peeps in Chicago posting that a bad storm was imminent.
I did some research and a derecho (Spanish for straight ahead) was the name given to these types of storms after the term “tornado” was used for, well, rotating wind storms. Derechos also have specific threshold definitions: 58+ mph winds that extend more or less continually on a track for at least 240 miles. Depending on the region of the country, they may happen once about every 2 years or so.
Monday’s derecho may be the strongest on record, I guess. Or perhaps the most damaging. It hit Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana before fizzling out.
The winds were clocked over 100 mph. In some cases I guess gusts were up to 130+. So this is basically like a category 2 hurricane, although much faster moving.
In my mom’s town, basically everyone was without power for at least a day. My mother’s power got restored after about 36 hours. A friend of mine was still without power 3 days later. lots of trees and limbs down everywhere.
Chicago proper also got nailed. Trees down. Buildings damaged. Looting along the magnificent mile due to lost power.
Cedar Rapids (close to Iowa city) was really hit hard. Almost Total loss of the tree canopy. ALL homes and businesses without power. Multiple homes and businesses Damaged.. All power lines basically missing all the way to the power stations.
The news reports are also saying 43% of the corn and soybean crop in Iowa has been destroyed. Basically the fields were flattened.
While I find thunderstorms and weather events fascinating from the sheer power aspect, I don’t wish this level of destruction in anyone. It seems the height of absurdity that this would happen in 2020, when so much terribleness has already happened. It’s like each month is trying to outdo the others in chaos.
Derecho is Spanish for right.
Or as an adverb it means straight ahead or “in a straight line”. Much like the straight line winds
Which is why the word was chosen.