The June 2012 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest derecho was one of the deadliest and most destructive fast-moving severe thunderstorm complexes in North American history. INTRODUCTION. It entered the public lexicon in 2012, when one of the most destructive derechos in history swept across roughly 700 miles from Ohio to the mid-Atlantic coast, killing 22 people and causing serious damage in metropolitan areas, including Chicago and Washington, D.C. NOAA officially defines a derecho as “a widespread, long-lived windstorm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” For a swath of storms to be classified as a derecho, it must travel at least 240 miles and move at speeds of at least 58 miles an hour, though the winds are often more powerful. Among years with notable derechos in Iowa: 1983, 1986, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2011 … For a storm to be classified as a derecho, wind speeds must reach 58 miles per hour, have “well-separated 75 miles per hour or higher wind gusts, wind damage that stretches a … Just Because. In 2002, a derecho over eastern Germany killed eight people and injured 39, hitting Berlin the hardest. CNN's Jennifer Gray explains the power of a derecho wind storm and how it can sometimes cause more damage than a tornado. At this point, I should also remind the reader that “derecho” has become similar to terms like “Polar Vortex” or “bombogenesis.” These terms have been around meteorology for decades, but many people think they are new. Before I get into what they are, let’s discuss the current meteorological circumstances involving this derecho. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. NOAA defines a derecho as, “(pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho" in English, or pronounced phonetically as "") a widespread, long-lived wind storm.” They are typically associated with organized bands of rapidly moving thunderstorms or rainstorms like squall lines, bow echoes, and quasi-linear convective systems. Some derechos, however, occur during cooler weather and are most likely to form in the region stretching from Texas across the Southeast. Derechos are a lot less common than tornadoes but occur regularly in the Plains states. Thunderstorms can also rapidly evolve into derechos, making it all the more important to take storm warnings seriously. Learn more. Derechos are large clusters of thunderstorms that produce widespread straight-line wind damage, usually as a result of one or more curved lines of thunderstorms known as bow echoes. He has over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and numerous editorials. Primarily seen in late spring and summer in the central and eastern United States, derechos produce walls of strong wind that streak across the landscape, leaving hundreds of miles of damage in their wake. Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS) and is Director of the. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University. As I write this piece, a significant derecho event is making its way across the midwestern part of the United States. The cooled air drops back to the surface, where it warms up again and starts the process over, generating further convection and ultimately causing a thunderstorm. Ask Ethan: Is Einstein’s Cosmological Constant The Same As Dark Energy? Derechos are particularly destructive because, unlike tornadoes, their paths can be hundreds of miles wide. Derechos are most common over the South-Central US, with more than 75% of all derechos nationwide occurring between the months of April--August. The Monday weather discussion of the National Weather Service-Chicago said, “All eyes are on the incoming impressive convective complex surging eastward towards the river early this afternoon....Given the number of measured severe (and significant severe) wind gusts ongoing, see no real reason that this won`t continue well into and through our CWA (area of responsibility) given the thermodynamic environment in place.” On the same day NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issued this dire statement, “A long-lived bowing MCS (mesoscale convective system), that appears to have peaked in terms of intensity and amplitude of significant severe wind gusts, will likely produce scattered damaging winds and isolated significant severe gusts as it spreads into Lower Michigan and Indiana this evening.” Indeed, this all sounds particularly dangerous, and images of damage are already emerging from across the region. When used in the plural, it typically means "rights" such as in the phrase derechos humanos, human rights.It can also refer to a type of "right" that is less abstract. I am not sure what the psychology behind attributing wind damage to tornadoes is, but it is important to understand that derechos and other strong gust winds can meet severe storm criteria often associated with tornadoes or large hail. The derecho environment includes dry mid-levels winds that are ingested into a squall line or a segment of a squall line. This cools the air to its dew point, the temperature at which water vapour condenses into droplets, which causes clouds to form. It is creating a path of destruction. Oddly, I find that people immediately default to tornadoes when they see wind damage when it is often straight-line winds. See 18 authoritative translations of Derecho in English with example sentences, phrases and audio pronunciations. Note: Some of the following information, in abbreviated, question-and-answer format, is available in The Derecho FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. A derecho is linked to a group of thunderstorms that form bow echos, which come together with strong winds and spread in a horizontal direction. Serial derechos form along the leading edge of a strong cold front and can stretch along a north-south axis from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Primarily seen in the central and eastern United States, these unusual storms create walls of wind that streak for hundreds of miles at high speeds. A derecho is a widespread severe wind event resulting from persistent and violent outflow from a MCS (Mesoscale Convective System). The strong, swirling winds of a tornado will cause debris to fall every which way, while a derecho’s straight-line winds are similar to a regular thunderstorm—but stronger. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. Stretching from four to six miles across, downbursts also suck more air into a storm, causing it to strengthen. The latter are only about 150 to 450 feet long, but they are severe and concentrated like the winds of a tornado and can exceed 100 miles an hour. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes, these winds follow straight lines (in fact, derecho means straight in Spanish). The term derecho—which means “straight ahead” in Spanish—was coined in 1888 by Gustavus Hinrichs, a physics professor at the University of Iowa who sought to distinguish these straight-moving winds from the swirling gusts of a tornado. See more. A mesoscale convective system on August 10th, 2020 producing derecho winds. 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