Currently there is a very real threat of a derecho developing that could put millions of people in the United States at risk for severe weather. A derecho is a widespread, long-living straight-line windstorm that is often a part of a band of severe thunderstorms. Storm experts are warning that the giant continuous line of thunderstorms rolling across the country now could effect up to one-fifth of the American population mid-week as it rolls from Iowa to New England bringing with it damaging hail, lightening and winds that can easily topple trees.
Meteorologists across the country are warning that the severe thunderstorms could very well produce a rather rare derecho which pack winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The severe weather that’s in the country today also could generate twisters and be responsible for massive power outages that will be followed by extremely hot weather. The risk of severe weather in the Midwest today is roughly 40 times higher than a typical June day which is a shockingly high threat. Some experts are even going as far as saying that Wednesday could be the worst severe weather outbreak for that part of the country for 2013.
It is possible to have tornado outbreaks during a derecho. It was just a year ago that a derecho caused over $1 billion in damages from Illinois to the nation’s capital. That weather event claimed the lives of thirteen people and left millions without power. Wind speeds were in excess of 100 miles per hour in some locations. In addition to the thirteen people killed during the severe weather event, over two dozen more lost their lives after the storm due to the oppressive heat that followed.
The massive system that is currently brewing in the Midwest is a rather sloppy system that could dump large amounts of rain on several states. If a derecho does form, it will happen quickly, making it difficult to send out warnings to people on time. A derecho is about as common as a very powerful tornado which is seen in the Midwest about four times each year. While no one can be sure if a derecho will develop, the severe weather that’s in the Midwest is undoubtedly going to bring widespread wind damage and heavy rainfall which could very possibly result in localized flooding for many areas.