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MIDWEST DERECHO: $11 BILLION DISASTER

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration released it's report on the number of billion dollar disasters during 2020. It rang in at an unprecedented 22 weather and climate disasters described below:

The top three costliest events were Hurricane Laura ($19B), Western U.S. wildfires ($16.5B) and the Midwest Derecho ($11B). You can read more about this all here.


There is still a lot of research going on concerning the derecho, but we do know that it is the costliest thunderstorm (outside of a tornado) in U.S. history. Here's some more info from NOAA:

A powerful derecho traveled from southeast South Dakota to Ohio, a path of 770 miles in 14 hours producing widespread winds greater than 100 mph. The states most affected included Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. This derecho caused widespread damage to millions of acres of corn and soybean crops across central Iowa. There was also severe damage to homes, businesses and vehicles particularly in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition, there were 15 tornadoes across northeastern Illinois several affecting the Chicago metropolitan area. This is the third severe weather event (since 1980) with inflation-adjusted costs over $10.0 billion joining the late-April and May 2011 tornado outbreaks across the Southeastern and Central states, respectively.

And clean up is still happening. The city of Cedar Rapids is still cutting down trees that were heavily damaged, picking up organic and non-organic debris as Sunday will be five months since the derecho.

(Picture on SW side of Cedar Rapids shortly after the derecho)

So far over 3.1 million cubic yards of organic (tree) debris has been removed from the city of Cedar Rapids. Combined with surrounding areas that experienced the worst damage that number is likely around 5-6 million cubic yards of tree debris in total.

Luckily the weather has been quiet recent but clean up and repairs will slow as the snow and the cold settles in to the Midwest. Recently it's just be cloudy and cool out there and that will be the case for the next few days.

The weather Sunday will be similar to Saturday:

Temperatures will gradually warm up over the next few days as we're caught in split flow. Meaning the jet stream has broken off into two branches -- a northern stream and a southern stream. We're caught in between here in the Upper Midwest so storms will miss us to the north and south leaving our weather largely unchanged.

We'll talk more about this in my next post.


RK

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