2019 Wisconsin Derecho
The massive derecho that struck the upper Midwest on July 19-20, 2019 had severe impacts to the forests of Langlade and Oconto Counties, Wisconsin. The affected area includes a large swath through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, impacting an estimated 63,000 acres there. Region-wide, an estimated quarter million acres were damaged by this epic event.
According to NOAA, this particular fast-moving northern Wisconsin derecho included a massive 15-mile wide macroburst with surface wind speeds in excess of 100 mph. These broad areas of damage create much different mortality patches than are typical of narrow and more confined tornadoes and less intense wind or ice disturbance, and their effects are less well understood. The downed fuels that result from storms like this can have lasting impacts on wildfire hazards.