National Weather Service: Wednesday's Storm "Likely a Derecho"

Photo: WOWT Screenshot

(Undated) -- Wednesday's storm impacted majority of the midwest, leaving many to speculate if the high winds this week was a derecho storm.

The National Weather Service is also taking a look into if the Wednesday's storm meets those classifications.

"It's likely that this will be deemed a derecho, mainly because we had a line of storms that moved over 250 miles, produced continuous severe weather, (and had) multiple wind gusts over 75 mph throughout its path," says Alex Krull, a National Weather Service Meteorologist.

The National Weather Service defines a derecho as "a widespread, long-lived wind storm [...], if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho."

August 10th, 2020's derecho cost the United States around $11.7 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. That storm covered over 770 miles from South Dakota to Ohio, brought wind gusts peaking at 140 mph in Iowa, and left hundreds of thousands of people without power across the US.

Wednesday's storm, not yet declared a derecho, does meet the National Weather Service's standards for one.

Krull says NWS is analyzing satellite data to determine the number of confirmed tornadoes, which may take several weeks.

"We still need to work with county emergency managers to determine whether or not we can find a tornado path in that, or if that was just caused by the straight line winds from the thunderstorms that rolled through," says Krull.

Krull says the National Weather Service has yet to determine if a pattern is evident with where tornadoes emerged, or if the sheer strength of the winds brought rotation within the storm.

The Lincoln Airport recorded wind gusts of 93 mph and the Eppley Airfield in Omaha recorded winds of 74 mph.

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