Earlier this week, a swiftly moving storm system crossed the Texas Panhandle and entered Oklahoma, causing at least one death and twelve injuries. The storm was identified by weather agencies as a derecho, which is characterized by a sizable, swiftly moving, intense thunderstorm with particularly powerful winds.
I stood up, and the wind immediately threw me back. Frances Tabler of Norman, Oklahoma told KOCO, “Now I’m screaming.” Inside the home, it felt like it was snowing. More than 16,000 people lost power as a result of the storm’s downed trees and electrical lines, while more than 100 other storm reports were tallied in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.
Climate change increases the likelihood that derechos will occur by increasing the amount of latent heat in warmer air and the temperature gradient, both of which increase the amount of potential energy that is accessible.