Maximum derecho wind estimate now at 140 mph, Atkins measures 126 mph

New storm surveys and reports from the National Weather Service indicate an even stronger maximum estimated wind gust in last Monday's derecho.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:55 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - New data collected by the National Weather Service shows even stronger winds than initially surveyed, according to meteorologists.

The Quad Cities office of the agency released new storm reports on Wednesday morning, following further storm surveys and new information relayed by emergency managers.

Based on the damage to the Westdale Court apartments on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids, which removed the roof, outside walls, and some inside walls from the top floor, National Weather Service damage surveyors estimate that 140 mph winds took place in that location.

An emergency manager in Benton County also relayed a new measured wind speed in Atkins, using a personal weather station, of 126 mph. This appears to be greater than the previous record-holder for highest unofficial measured wind gust in Iowa, which was 123 mph and associated with a derecho on June 29, 1998, in Washington County.

At around 4 miles to the north-northeast of Van Horne, the agency also located an antenna mounted 340 above ground that snapped off in the derecho. It was rated to withstand 125 mph wind speeds, which allowed the meteorologists to rate the estimated winds at that location at around 120 mph.

The previous maximum measured wind gust was 112 mph in Linn County, along with a previous maximum estimated wind gust of 130 mph near Marion.

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