Skip to comments.Derecho Risk From Chicago to Columbus
Posted on 06/12/2013 3:22:19 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
Ingredients are coming together across parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley that could potentially trigger a derecho on Wednesday into Wednesday night.
While it isn't exactly a certainty whether or not a derecho will form, some of the cities and towns most at risk include Chicago, Ill.; Columbus, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Aurora, Ill.; Dayton, Ohio and Davenport, Iowa, to name a few.
Strictly speaking, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. These showers and thunderstorms produce wind damage over a large swath of land.
While wind gusts form derechos can sometimes reach speeds over 80 or even 100 mph, the vast majority of observed wind reports are usually between 60 and 70 mph.
Wind speeds of 60 or 70 mph can uproot trees, snap off large branches and bring down utility poles and wires. Due to the widespread nature of these wind gusts, power outages can also be far-reaching.
Additionally, these kinds of wind speeds can cause minor damage to structures, including roofs on houses, and they can easily blow around any unsecured objects left outside.
Even if a derecho does not evolve on Wednesday and Wednesday night, powerful thunderstorms will still be quite numerous across much of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Thunderstorms will begin near Davenport, Iowa and northern Illinois. The thunderstorms that develop here will have the ability to take on some rotation, and a few tornadoes are possible, especially in and around Davenport, Rockford, Ill.; Sterling Ill.; Ottawa, Ill. and Chicago.
The thunderstorms will then begin to congeal into a bowing, or backward 'C' shaped line as they reach northern Indiana or Lake Michigan. How much of a bowing shape the thunderstorms can take on will play a role in determining how much wind the storms can produce, and ultimately, whether or not a "derecho" fully evolves.
The worst of the storms will likely be in the afternoon across western Iowa into northern Illinois and Indiana. In places such as Ohio, the most dangerous storms may hold out until the evening hours or even after dark. Still, there could still be a stray thunderstorm around even before the main line arrives.
If you will be out and about on Wednesday or have any plans Wednesday evening or night, you will need to pay special attention to the weather as this could be a particularly dangerous situation. Once thunderstorms develop, they will strengthen quickly, and dangerous conditions could follow soon after.
One added concern across the region will be very heavy, potentially flooding rain. This storm system will have the ability to produce a large area of 2-3 inches from Chicago into Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Rain of this magnitude, on top of already saturated soil, will cause flash flooding and the possibility of renewed flooding or larger waterways.
Current technology has advanced enough over recent years to provide ample alert of the potential for severe weather and the approach of localized severe storms. Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent. When a warning is issued, there may be too little time to travel across town or across a county to escape the storm. The time to have a plan of action and move to the general vicinity of a storm shelter or safe area is when a watch is issued.
Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.
We are 45 minutes south of Ft Wayne. Thanks for the heads up, Clint.
They used to call these “Gust Fronts” but they just didn’t carry the same emotional impact as “Drecho”.
I don’t think it’s Drecho, but if I ever created a cartoon overlord/demon, I would totally name him Drecho.
Same route as last year’s episode. I had no power for two days. No ATM, no grocery, no gas, nothing. You had to drive twenty miles out to find civilization. Some folks did eight days without power.
They are supposed to hit here in DC tonight/tomorrow.
From wikipedia. I guess it just took a while to catch on.
Probably a directive from obama's people so illegals who can't speak English will know there is a line of strong thunderstorms coming.
>>They are supposed to hit here in DC tonight/tomorrow.<<
More accelerated air in DC.
No one will see any difference...
(stay safe, FRiend)
Derecho is unlikely to make it past Ohio. The CAPE will be high but not that high (2500 versus 5000 last year). The 850 temperatures over the area (WV mountains into DC will be 18-20C) Last year's derecho they were 24. That's most important over the mountains because without a good supply of warm air aloft the mountains will tear the storm up.
I should also mention that the dynamics have to be just right. No old boundaries around to break up the system. That said, there are strong dynamics from a larger low moving through. That will create some strong storms with gusts here and there. Just no large MCS to take out power in 5 or 6 states.
The Derecho that struck wv last year was insanely powerful. They called it straight line winds, but I still have the photos from our hiking trails of trees twisted apart. I was walking in the front door of work when everyone started yelling tornado. It shredded the McDonalds into several pieces that were found a block away.
I guess it felt worse than the tornadoes of my past because there was zero warning.
If you live in the place with a few trees and mountains, you are probably better off.. The worst part was it occurred in the hottest weeks of the year and many were without power for ten to fourteen days. These morons had no water at home, no food, no emergency prep.
It was an awesome, fearsome wind swath.
Should I hide in my basement tonight?
No, but you should park your car away from any possible falling branches/trees, roll up the patio umbrella and bring in the garden gnomes.
Last time this happened a lot of dead ash trees (killed by the borer) fell on power lines all over the area. Power was out all over Ohio and West Virginia for up to a week. There’s a lot more dead ash trees this time, and I have a bunch in my woods right next to the power lines.
Drecho is not a gust front. Gust fronts can form in front of a drecho.
That said, drecho has been is meteorology lingo long before TV was invented...this type of event is not common. The drecho was named by some fellow with a European name, in Iowa, bach in the late 1800’s.
I’d wiki it fer ya, but it’s too damned early, and I gots ta leave for work.
Last one we had - June 29, 2012 - caused a 700-mile long swath of damage, killed 13, injured hundreds. Take no chances: seek shelter ASAP. And get everything that loose outside - chairs, tables, BBQs etc - secured.
Thanks for the warning.
these sure are getting more common
that super-secret govt program up in Canada must be malfunctioning
or is it?
so now are they going to name “derechos”?
Derecho Derrick? Darrell? Donald Derecho?
Thanks for the linky here (from the q&R thread).
Not derecho related, but in March of 2011 we had an F1 go by. Unheard of in my area of SW PA. Roof was tarped for weeks (had to be replaced along w/siding, etc.). Learned a healthy respect for weather that it does happen here. When storms are forecast I pay attention and visit the TORCON page.
If nothin else, my gnome will be safe!
They are not getting more common, but MSM weather hype is getting more common.