Derecho Warning: Thunderstorm, Tornado, Hail, And 240 Mile Giant Storm To Affect 64 Million Americans [VIDEO & REPORT]

By Danny Choy on June 12, 2013 1:52 PM EDT

Derecho
Derecho warning over the U.S. may affect as many as 64 million people (Photo: Creative Commons)

The United States braces for an epic derecho, a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm, as forecasts predict a relentless series of thunderstorms predicted to cross over 10 states. Tree-felling winds, strong rain, hail, and lightning strikes are expected to wreak havoc from Iowa to Maryland.

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According to meteorologists, the line of thunderstorms will spawn a derecho producing powerful straight-line winds for 240 miles.

What's more, the storms on Wednesday are expected to spawn multiple tornadoes. Oklahoma's National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center chief Bill Bunting warns the tornadoes will likely cause power outages in some areas in the Midwest. Compounding the threat level, Bunting predicts oppressive heat to follow the twisters.

Putting the threat into figures, Bunting claims the risk of severe weather over Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, is 45 times higher than the average day in June. Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Louisville, Kentucky, have a risk level 15 times greater than normal.

All in all, dangerous weather warnings caused by thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, and derecho are expected to affect nearly 64 million people across 10 states.

"It's a pretty high threat," Bunting said. "We don't want to scare people, but we want them to be aware."

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters agreed with Bunting's sentiments on Wednesday, regarding the coming storm as what "'might be the worst severe weather outbreak for this part of the country for the year." Masters also suggested the possibility of tornadoes and derecho at the same time. However, straight-line Derecho winds are more likely at any given place on Wednesday.

A derecho in 2012 claimed was responsible of at least $1 billion worth of damage as four million people lost power due to extreme weather conditions. The derecho also took the lives of 13 victims. Another 34 were killed from unbearable heat as extreme temperatures followed the derecho over areas with power outages.

Derecho winds range from 58 mph to nearly 100 mph. "By the time you see the dark sky and distant thunder you may have only minutes to get to safe shelter," warned Bunting.

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