A giant line of powerful thunderstorms known as derecho are making their way from Iowa to Maryland on Wednesday.
A derecho is a massive storm of strong straight-line winds that spans at least 250 miles
Meteorologists in the area are warning that the powerful storms are likely to generate tornadoes and power outages. After the thunderstorms leave the area, temperatures are expected to rise, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
Severe weather is expected in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio, and various areas in-between.
Because of the derecho storm, some areas such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Louisville, Kentucky are at a risk level 15 times higher than normal.
The storm is likely to affect 10 states and approximately 64 million people.
When a derecho and tornadoes meet, the results are often more deadly than a typical storm. At this time, experts believe tornadoes are being held at bay, although that fact can change at any time.
When a derecho hit in 2012, it caused $1 billion in damage from Chicago to Washington. Last year’s derecho caused 13 deaths and left 4 million people without power. Winds during last years storm reached 100 mph. After the storm passed, an additional 34 people died from heat related issues caused by a lack of power.
Derechoes with their winds above 58 mph typically occur once a year in the Midwest. While not as strong as tornadoes, the massive line of thunderstorms create more damage over a wider area.
Meteorologists say Wednesday’s storm will likely be less powerful than the 2012 storm and will likely cause far less overall damage.
Anyone in the Midwest and in the path of the derecho should note that the storms can move extremely quickly over the areas it hits.
Have you been in the path of a derecho in the past? What did you think of the fast moving storm?