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Derecho-Another Weather Term to Know

If you were following the weather guys and gals yesterday, chances are you heard a term that you were unfamiliar with.  Derecho.  (duh-RAY’-choh)  I have to admit it was a new one to me so we started doing a little digging.

According to Wikipedia,

A derecho (/dəˈr/, də-ray-choh, from Spanish: derecho [deˈɾetʃo], “straight”) is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.

Last summer A “super derecho” of violent thunderstorms left a more than 700-mile trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Friday, cutting power to millions and killing thirteen people. Here’s a video of the radar showing the ‘derecho’ headed across the eastern part of America.

Tuesday night we heard meteorologists using the term again on twitter.

Ingredients are coming together across parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley for a dangerous outbreak of severe weather with widespread wind damage similar to that of a derecho. Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani with Accuweather wrote, Meteorologists are concerned that an initial tornado threat Wednesday afternoon and evening could evolve into a complex of storms with widespread wind damage occurring.

Some of the cities and towns most at risk for severe weather into Wednesday night include Chicago, Ill.; Columbus, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Aurora, Ill.; Dayton, Ohio and Louisville, Ky., to name a few.

Strictly speaking, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. These showers and thunderstorms produce wind damage over a large swath of land.

There were also reports of high winds in the Gettysburg, SD area last night too.  Even though this ‘derecho’ wasn’t as sever as the one that caused so much destruction last summer, it still had the weather guys talking.

Dan Collins wrote a story on the book, The Children’s Blizzard recently and in the book the author talks about the derecho phenomenon and wondered if that was part of that storm that made it so severe.

The Childrens Blizzard story by Dan Collins

Derecho.  Another new term to become familiar with.


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