Corn belt creamed by 100mph winds

Mike Zaccardi, CFA, CMT

It’s been a wild month weather-wise already. The nation dealt with a devastating Tropical Storm (yes, Tropical Storms can cause huge impacts, not just hurricanes), record heat is being experienced in the Southwest with Phoenix enduring a record number of 100-degree afternoons, and the latest smack was Monday’s corn belt creaming.

An extremely powerful derecho storm system powered its way from Iowa eastward through Illinois & Chicagoland and across to Michigan and Indiana. A small-scale tsunami alert (a meteotsunami) was issued for the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, believe it or not. How can that happen? Sustained winds of above 100 mph ravaged the impacted area, so waves and water levels on the increase. Reports show that the strong winds lasted upwards of 45 minutes! It’s almost like being in the eyewall of a category 2 hurricane. Some are calling the derecho “the Midwest’s Isaias.”  

Nearly 1.5 million tracked customers were without power Monday evening, and there are still about 1 million left in the dark this morning according to PowerOutage.US. The nation’s corn belt was hit hard – for traders, it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming USDA reports with regards to corn production levels. For utilities, many wind farms and load areas are left in recovery-mode this morning.

Elsewhere, extremely high natural gas power burn is expected in the coming two weeks for the desert Southwest as triple-digit afternoon temps will be commonplace. Criterion Research notes that California's natural gas demand will be nearly 50% greater than the same period a year ago starting this weekend and through much of next week.

The saving grace is a quiet tropical Atlantic Basin right now. But that may come to an end since we are just one away from the peak day in the hurricane season.

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