Here we go again. So far this year, we've already seen the Snowicane, Snowpocalypse, and Tornadogeddon. You can add this new weather crisis to the list: Windpocalypse.
Or perhaps you would prefer Chiclone instead. The big squall line moving through Chicago and the Midwest is producing wind and tornado damage, but it hardly seems worthy of an apocalyptic name.
The storm, with its center in Minnesota, does have an extremely low central pressure that might set a record. If this was a tropical cyclone over the ocean, the central pressure might be the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.
But not here. The storm did knock down some trees around Cape Girardeau, causing sporadic power outages, but overall the squall line was a bit of a disappointment. The Cape airport reported sustained winds of 20-30 mph for several hours with a peak gust of 51 mph. That's a solid effort from Mother Nature, but nothing spectacular. Meanwhile, the storm dropped a paltry half an inch of rain, hardly enough to make a dent in our drought.
As I write this, portions of Ohio are under a High Risk of severe storms for the next few hours. A large swath of the Ohio Valley is under a Tornado Watch. So, the Great Overhyped Windpocalypse of 2010 might turn out be a serious storm. Maybe.
I'm already seeing chatter about a storm early next week that could bring another major outbreak of hype. I'm calling dibs on the word "Missouricane."