A derecho is comings: The central United States is on high alert as a severe weather system, known as a derecho, is expected to bring damaging hurricane-force winds to several states. A derecho is a rare weather phenomenon that occurs when a line of thunderstorms moves rapidly across a large area, producing winds in excess of 58 miles per hour. The system is forecast to hit the central US on February 27, 2023, and is expected to cause widespread damage and power outages.
What is a derecho?
A derecho is a long-lived and widespread thunderstorm complex that produces a swath of significant wind damage. Unlike a tornado, which has a concentrated path of damage, a derecho produces a swath of damage that can be over 240 miles long and up to 60 miles wide. Derechos are typically associated with fast-moving lines of thunderstorms and can produce winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service has issued a rare PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) watch for parts of the central United States, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri. The watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of a derecho and that residents in the affected areas should be prepared for the possibility of severe weather.
The potential impacts of a derecho are significant and include widespread power outages, downed trees, and damage to buildings and infrastructure. The high winds can also create hazardous driving conditions, and residents are advised to avoid travel if possible during the storm.
Preparing for a derecho
Residents in the affected areas should take steps to prepare for the potential impacts of the storm. This includes securing loose objects, such as patio furniture and garbage cans, that could be blown away by high winds. Residents should also make sure they have enough food, water, and other essential supplies to last for several days in case of power outages.
A derecho is a rare weather phenomenon that can cause significant damage and disruption. As the central United States prepares for the potential impact of this severe weather system, residents should take steps to ensure their safety and prepare for potential power outages and damage to buildings and infrastructure. The National Weather Service will continue to monitor the storm and provide updates as necessary.