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The Midwest Derecho of August 2020

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Quintessence, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    One of the gods I worship is Storm Spirit. This awe-inspiring thunder bringer has a way of reminding humans who is really in charge, and yesterday, a particularly powerful Storm Spirit slammed my homeland. This, I could tell, was unusually vicious for a Storm Spirit. This was something different.

    Enter the derecho, a term used to describe massive storms that create hurricane-force straight line winds in the heartland of a continent. The result? Corn fields flattened, grain bins destroyed, roofs stripped off, metal street lights snapped, elder trees slaughtered, semi trucks flipped, impassable roads, and hundreds of thousands of humans without power. We had maybe fifteen minutes of warning that this was coming.

    "The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours Monday as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado, said Patrick Marsh, science support chief at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma."
    Powerful derecho leaves path of devastation across Midwest

    For those of you living in the Land of Corn, take care. This Storm Spirit was a doozy. We won't know the full extent of the damage for a while. Optimistically, I'm hoping to have power back at home by this evening. Still, there are some blessings to be had with the passage of this Storm. With so little light pollution, I got a fantastic view of the stars last night. It was beautiful!
     
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  2. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    we watched the radar as it approached, bracing for a doozy of a storm...

    Wind gusted by, followed by...light rain for the next five hours, with a few flashes and rumbles...got about a half-inch...we were treated to a spectacular sunset glow in the west...
     
  3. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, but I'm from the Midwest and you'd be hard pressed to compare any of our storms to "hurricanes." The winds from severe thunderstorms are never as widespread and devastating as that of a strong hurricane. That's a gross exaggeration on the part of the news media.
     
  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    It's not, though.
    Learn and read up about derechos. I get that they're obscure, but they are basically inland hurricanes. This storm indisputably produced hurricane-force winds (greater than 73 mph) over a very large area. And you can tell, driving around town. No, it's not like a category 5 hurricane, but it is still on the scale in terms of wind force. It was probably somewhere in the cat 1 to cat 2 range based on reports I've seen on the wind speeds.
     
  5. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    I saw that someplace in Iowa clocked wind at 106 mph...most of the strong win is along the leading edge of the storm...but such storms generally move at more than 60 mph

    NWS tweet on yesterday's storm: "An intense derecho moved from far southeast South Dakota into Ohio yesterday (8/10/20). This derecho traveled approximately 770 miles in 14 hours and produced widespread damaging wind gusts, including numerous wind gusts over 74 mph (65 kt) & several over 90 mph in central Iowa."

    770/14 = 55 mph

    Tropical storms/Hurricanes rarely move that fast
     
  6. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Yeah, that's the one blessing we had - it was in and out relatively fast. Still did a lot of damage though. Just chatted with a co-worker about a small town that apparently has no trees left standing. Dunno if they were exaggerating or not, but when I've seen metal street lights bent like twigs around here, that's... not normal.
     
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  7. RayJeena

    RayJeena You do know there's a *third* choice, right?

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    I live in Virginia and a few years ago we had a derecho come through. A few minutes before it struck our area, I had noticed that the lights in our house flickered in an odd way -- they would flicker rhythmically, rather than sporadically. So I took out my phone to check the weather app and sure enough there's this straight line of storms heading our way. My daughter and I went down into the basement as 90mph winds began gusting through. Once the storm was in progress, the winds settled down; they seemed to be concentrated at the front of the storm rather than part of the entire 'show'. I love a good thunderstorm, but derechos are a bit over the top, lol.
     
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  8. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    That phrase reminded me of a song by a Native American singer songwriter, Denean:

     
  9. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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  10. Cooky

    Cooky I love Christianity

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    There's no thunder in California. I miss thunder and lightening bugs.
     
  11. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I don't know where you live but there are thunder storms occasionally in the SF Bay Area.

    But I do remember as a kid in upstate NY watching lightening out of my bedroom window. It was fun!
     
  12. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Member

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    I am in Iowa, and was just a bit north of the major damage. We were quite fortunate; several hours without power yesterday, and no internet or cell phone service at all for the better part of today.

    It was kind of hard to grasp why the power was out, and why the internet was gone where I am; all we had was a mild thunderstorm. And, you couldn't look up online what was happening... But I see in today's paper what had happened. What a mess...
     
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