The vicious derecho that pounded much of my area has been under scrutiny by the meteorologists at the National Weather Service. After doing damage surveys and observing structural evidence they now estimate the winds in Cedar Rapids reached 140 mph...with gusts near 100 for nearly one hour! The 126 mph gust recorded on a home weather station in Atkins, Iowa (just west of Cedar Rapids) is the highest official wind speed (outside of a tornado) ever measured in the state.
Putting 140 mph winds into a categorical perspective, they equate to a Category 4 hurricane!
Or, a violent EF3 tornado.
This destroyed apartment complex in SW Cedar Rapids was a key piece of evidence used to come up with the 140 mph threshold. Collapsed walls, roof loss, and severe structural damage lead to the conclusion.
This WMT transmission tower near Marion was built to withstand 130 mph gusts. So much for that.
Late Wednesday night, Alliant energy is still showing these power outages across Iowa leaving 30,000 customers in the dark nearly 10 days after the storm. Unbelievable!
ON TO THE WEATHER
After another excellent day Wednesday, the comfortable weather begins to fade a bit Thursday Friday as warmer air arrives on return flow. Highs both days should reach the mid 80s but humidity will be very low with dew points in the upper 50s to low 60s.
Over the weekend and into much of next week, summer surges back into the pattern in what appears to be a big way. Look what the EURO is showing for highs the next 10 days. 5 or 6 90's are possible if the trend holds. A 97 degree high would be the hottest reading of the entire summer.
The GFS is slower to bring the warmth but it eventually gets there by a different way.
Both models show dry weather continuing with no rain through the weekend. The EURO has this for rainfall totals the next 7 days.
In a nutshell, the weather around the central Midwest looks warm and dry for the foreseeable future. Now that's what I call the dog days of summer. Roll weather...TS