Des Moines, Iowa — Much of the state is cleaning up today after hurricane force winds ripped across Iowa from West to East this morning and afternoon. The storms are known as derechos.
Meteorologist Brett McIntyre explains:
Strong thunderstorms developed overnight in Southern South Dakota around 2 AM. They strengthened and organized overnight into a line of severe thunderstorms that crossed into Iowa near Sioux City around 8:30 AM.
The storms tore across western Iowa between Highway 20 and Interstate 80 with widespread 70 mph wind gusts, which strengthened to 80 to 100 mph as they moved through the Des Moines Metro and Eastern Iowa.
Wind damage reports began around 6 AM from roughly Norfolk, Nebraska across the entirety of Iowa. That damage path is approximately 370 miles and counting as of 2:30 PM.
Severe thunderstorm complexes that create long lived paths of severe wind gusts are called “derechos” (deh-RAY-cho) once they reach 250 miles in length.