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Derecho a threat to new crops?

John Walter 06/12/2013 @ 3:55pm

The threat of a derecho type of storm system could further hamper field operations and crop development this week, as well as endanger lives and property in large parts of the U.S. Midwest, observers say.  On Wednesday the National Weather Service Storm Prediction center warned of “widespread damaging winds and a few strong tornadoes” from the middle Mississippi Valley to the Upper Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes area this afternoon and tonight.

“A derecho is a widespread long-lived straight line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.  There is a possibility of strong winds up to 80 mph from these storms tonight and early tomorrow as they push rapidly eastward across northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio,” says Harvey Freese, Freese-Notis Weather. 

 “The National Weather Service says this is a particularly dangerous situation,” Freese added. 

Derecho damage is often referred to a “straight-line wind damage,” according to a NOAA-NWS web site. The swaths of damage extend more than 240 miles and include wind gusts of at least 58 mps, according to the site. 

Meteorologists were also warning of a significant tornado threat in several states, including Illlinois, Iowa, and Ohio.  

“Derechos are most notable for strong winds but it shouldn't affect corn or beans at this early stage,” says Don Keeney, MDA EarthSat Weather. “There may be some damage to mature wheat, however."

Farmers themselves have seen enough "heavy weather" for one season, according to an Agriculture.com Marketing Talk discussion.  

"If you're like me, I thought to myself we can deal with the rain, but please spare us the severe stuff (hail & tornados)," said a Kansas farmer. 

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