The skies have been mostly sunny across Maryland today--but to our west one of the most complex meteorological events has been unfolding this afternoon. A derecho, or a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers/thunderstorms has been battering the Midwest. There have been reports of winds gusts up to 112 mph in Midway, Iowa-- which is the same wind speed as a strong Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
In order for a system to be classified it must meet several markers:
The area of damage as to extend for more than 250 miles.
Wind gusts along the damage path must be at least at severe limits-- at least 58mph.
There should be several well-separated wind gusts of 75 mph or greater.
Here's the breakdown of how this complex has progressed:
Folks in the center of the country are not all to unfamiliar with derechos. On average, most of the areas that are being hit by this system gets a derecho once a year. Closer to home--western Maryland gets one derecho every two years, whereas the eastern half gets one every four years. This system will lose its steam before approaching our area, so we are not expecting severe weather.