August 10: 3 Year Anniversary of Midwest Derecho

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11 Aug 2023 12:00 AM

Thursday, August 10th marks the three year anniversary of the powerful derecho that slammed the Midwest, leaving behind over $11B in damages across Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

The storm was on the ground for over 770 miles, and lasted 14 hours. It tore through corn fields and soy crops, leaving the Heart of the Country completely devastated by the event. Over 26 tornadoes touched down during the course of the storm. Sadly, 4 people lost their lives during the event as tree and power lines came down through many states.

One of the hardest hit cities was Cedar Rapids, IA where wind gusts of 126 mph were measured during the storm. Post-storm analysis revealed damage worthy of 140 mph wind gusts. The city was in a total black out as a result of power outages for close to a month.

The Storm Prediction Center recently updated the definition of a derecho, which is a long-term wind event. It must be 400 miles long and 60 miles wide, creating severe wind gusts (58 mph) along the entire course of the storm with additional 70+ mph wind gusts spaced out throughout the storm.

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