A cold front moving eastward across the United States on Monday produced a massive squall line otherwise known as a derecho.
It is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that produces wind gusts near 60 mph with pockets over 75 mph. The wind damage swath associated with a derecho extends over 250 miles. The one that ripped through parts of the country on August 10, 2020 produced wind gusts close to a major hurricane, with some locations topping out between 100-110 mph.
It impacted anywhere from Iowa to Michigan with widespread damage. The storm left downed trees and power lines that blocked roadways in Chicago and its suburbs. After leaving Chicago, the most potent part of the storm system moved over north-central Indiana by late afternoon. This line of storms compares to the devastating Super Derecho of 2009, which was one of the strongest on record. It traveled more than 1,000 miles in 24 hours, causing $500 million in damage, widespread power outages, and killing a handful of people.
This derecho impacted the entire state of Kansas with widespread severe wind gusts. Supercells developed in western Kansas and eventually congealed into a complex which late tore into Missouri. Winds exceeded 75 mph from near Dodge City to El Dorado, producing damage throughout the viewing area.
Another derecho that has impacted us here at home was back in 2001. This storm was known as the “People Chaser Derecho.” The most notable impact of this storm system was a 100 mph wind gust that was recorded in Garden City. Climatologically speaking, we can see a derecho here in Kansas about every 1-2 years.
-Meteorologist T.J. Springer
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