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Fox News Weather Center

Midwest eyeing derecho weather pattern that could spawn severe windstorms across metro areas

Meteorologists are tracking a so-called derecho weather pattern in the Midwest that could spawn severe windstorms in major metropolitan areas with gusts as strong as 100 mph.

The National Weather Service says derechos occur once or twice a year in the central U.S. with winds of at least 75 mph. The storms maintain their intensity for hours as they sweep across vast distances, and can trigger tornadoes and large hail.

Meteorologists say the windstorms could hit from South Dakota to Pennsylvania over the next two days, including the Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh metro areas.

Meteorologist Bill Bunting says there's a 30 percent chance of severe windstorms capable of damaging homes and knocking down trees. Bunting says residents need to closely watch severe-weather warnings.