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Monday’s Derecho. Tracking a monster!

A rare event that took a toll
qc derecho
qc derecho(em)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 8:36 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - It’s been a while since a Derecho has moved through any part of the QCA but Monday one moved through the ENTIRE area! A storm that began in the early morning hours in extreme southern South Dakota caught up with us just after lunchtime and wasn’t finished until it had traveled almost 800 miles. Derecho is a Spanish word meaning “Direct” or “Straight Ahead”. And, that’s exactly what one does. It will move directly straight ahead with great speed, generally the leading edge getting wider as it moves east. To be a true Derecho the band of storms must produce winds of at least 58 mph along “most” of its path. Occasionally gusts of 100 to 130 mph can be produced. The path itself needs to be at least 250 miles long with a width of at least 50 miles. Well, Monday’s Derecho brought the QCA average wind speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. In the KWQC viewing area there was no escape as the line of storms stretched from Dubuque to Fort Madison. That’s a width of nearly 140 miles. And, our region was just a small portion of the ultimate 770 mile path of these super-charged storms. To our west, Linn County had reports of 112 and 100 mile per hour winds in Midway and Hiawatha, respectively. Late in the evening the storms started to lose strength after passing Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky. As they move along the storms in a line that bows out like a backwards “C” feed off of warm, humid, unstable air turning it over as they go and forcing it back to the ground as rain cooled heavier winds that move in a straight line along the path of the storms. The widespread power outages, toppled trees and collective property damage boldly display the potential danger of these storms which, fortunately, didn’t seem to be responsible for many injuries as they rode from the Midwest to the eastern U.S..

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