Speed of Severe Storms Contributed to Widespread Destruction
"It doesn't take a tornado for a storm to result in devastating damage."
Michelle O'Neill reports that's what a local forecaster says after Monday's derecho.
Meteorologist Brian Pierce, from the Quad Cities National Weather Service, says on Monday morning, a weather system in Nebraska and southern South Dakota accelerated and raced across Iowa, Illinois, and eventually Indiana.
He says the jet stream supported the storms, and they got worse as the system hit very warm, unstable, and moist air.
At one point, the weather service measured the speed of the storms at 70 mph.
Pierce says the speed combined with strong down drafts from within the system to produce very high winds.
This derecho is similar to the one that hit the Quad Cities twelve years ago.
Pierce says it was just after sunrise on July 11th, 2008. It's highest wind gust was measured at 94 mph at the Quad City Airport compared to Monday's at 79 mph.
Quad Cities residents may remember many trees were completely uprooted because the ground was saturated from spring flooding.
Pierce and his coworkers at the National Weather Service in Davenport have been working to recover data from the storm. It knocked out some equipment, and the office had to operate on generator power.
Reports of injuries and a few deaths are just now being released. Two people were killed by trees, and one was electrocuted.