Tuesday was a perfect day in Cedar Rapids, Iowa under sparkling sunny skies.The high reached 79 degrees after a morning low of 53. Dew points were in the low 50s. It doesn't get any better than that. Unfortunately the scene in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas (my old home as of 3 months ago), is still one of destruction and heartbreak more than a week after a powerful Derecho dismembered it. Electricity is still out in places 9 days after the storm. The National Guard continues to assist with the recovery.
With no power, spoiled food, and condemned houses and apartments, people are living in tents and shelters.
WINDS OF UP TO 130 MPH, GUSTS OVER 100 FOR NEARLY AND HOUR
Rebecca Kopelman (RK), a major part of my team at TSwails.com and meteorologist at KGAN TV wrote this article on upgrades regarding the strength of the storm.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Iowa's News Now) — The National Weather Service has been surveying the extensive damage in Iowa from last week's derecho. They now estimate peak wind gusts of 110 to 130 mph in much of Tama, Benton, and Linn counties. In parts of Cedar Rapids and Linn County, winds were likely in excess of 100 mph for nearly and hour! They typically last 10 to 15 minutes in the very worst derecho's..
They say this was an unprecedented event due to the extent of the damage and how long the winds lasted.
Rich Kinney is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities. He's worked with the NWS for 23 years.
"I can't recall a similar incident... usually the peak intensity is over relatively quickly. With this they just persisted and persisted," said Kinney.
There have been derechos of similar wind strength.. One in 1998 had winds of 123 miles per hour in Washington, Iowa. Another in 2011 had winds up to 130 miles per hour in Vinton. In July of 2008, 94 miles per hour gusts were measured in a derecho that slammed the Quad Cities. Kinney says this storm tops them all because of how long the winds lasted, gusting more than 100 mph for nearly an hour.
This fascinating night-time satellite image shows city lights around the Midwest before and after the derecho. The absence of light in the highlighted area in the bottom half of the image clearly depicts where power was knocked out from near Ames and Des Moines to the northeast of the Quad Cities. Most of Cedar Rapids without power shows up dramatically in the comparison. In total, over a million people lost power due to the storm.
There was a terrible toll on trees. It's estimated by officials that half of the tree canopy (50%) in Cedar Rapids and Marion was lost to the extreme winds.
Corn and soybean yields according to the Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig could be cut in half where the worst of the winds were found. At least a third of the states crop was destroyed or damaged, more than 10 million acres.
The NWS in Des Moines and the Quad Cities each issued severe thunderstorm warnings with the tag, 90 mph winds possible. That's the first such usage of that tag in a warning since they came into operation to indicate the threat of a specific storm. That's out of 2,758 warnings issued by the Des Moines NWS office since 2010
Des Moines NWS service warning area.
The Quad Cities service warning area also with one tag of 90 mph.
Considering the massive clean-up that continues it is a blessing that dry quiet weather prevails and is expected to continue much of the next 10 days. I'm not dismissing the fact that many of you need rain but I suspect the dryness is nature's way of helping those in need. Here's the 10 day rainfall forecast on the EURO to August 28th.
These are the 15 day departures out to September 2nd.
While it's comfortable now, temperatures will begin to warm towards the weekend. It's also possible that next week some of the heat that's baking the west makes a serious run at the Midwest. The EURO is now going all in showing significant heat with highs in the 90s Sunday through Thursday of next week. It even has a 96 in Cedar Rapids Tuesday August 25th. That's book ended by 95's the 24th and 26th. That might be on the high end but it's a trend that certainly needs to be monitored. The GFS is having none of it with one day near 90 and then a drastic cool-down. Here's the comparison between the two.
Meanwhile, Wednesday will be another excellent day as mother nature is in a peaceful mood that needs to be celebrated. Enjoy and roll weather...TS