what is a derecho

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In May 2009, a “Super Derecho” pushed gusts of wind up to 106 miles an hour from the plains of Kansas to eastern Kentucky. Thunderstorms can also rapidly evolve into derechos, making it all the more important to take storm warnings seriously. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Derechos are a lot less common than tornadoes but occur regularly in the Plains states. 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. After a derecho, pockets of massive destruction can sit next to areas that escape relatively unscathed. Derechos have been documented in other parts of the world, including Eastern Europe and South Asia. The derecho environment includes dry mid-levels winds that are ingested into a squall line or a segment of a squall line. Derechos are often referred to as inland hurricanes due to the hurricanelike conditions, in terms of ferocious wind and torrential rain, which are spawned by this weather phenomenon. NOAA defines a derecho as, “ (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho" in English, or pronounced phonetically as "") a widespread, long-lived wind … The dow… You may opt-out by. Among years with notable derechos in Iowa: 1983, 1986, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2011 … For a thorough discussion of derechos, I recommend this 2005 scholarly study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by Walker Ashley, a professor at Northern Illinois University, and Thomas Mote, a professor and associate dean at the University of Georgia. Normal thunderstorms occur when warm air rises from the surface of Earth into colder air in the upper atmosphere. Derechos are particularly destructive because, unlike tornadoes, their paths can be hundreds of miles wide. Definition of a derecho A derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho" in English, or pronounced phonetically as "") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm. For more CNN videos, visit our site at http://www.cnn.com/video/ 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. Downburst clusters of wind caused by derechos can range from four to six miles long, containing smaller pockets of extreme wind called microbursts and burst swaths. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers explains to Anderson Cooper how derechos are formed. 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. 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. 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. 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. What does all of this meteorological jargon mean? They proposed that for a storm system to be classified as a derecho, it had to produce severe winds … Here is a quick “101” on derechos. A derecho is a strong wind storm that’s associated with a band of fast-moving thunderstorms, typically in the formation of a bow. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. 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. 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 University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program. But while derechos are a global phenomenon, they primarily occur across the central and eastern United States, which see an average of one to two of these storms per year, compared to more than a thousand tornadoes that churn across the country each year. Note: Some of the following information, in abbreviated, question-and-answer format, is available in The Derecho FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. By definition, a derecho's wind damage must be over 240 miles in coverage. When the cool air hits the ground, it spreads out in all directions, pushing warm air near the surface into a front of gusty wind. When a bow echo—or a series of bow echoes—moves across more than 250 miles with wind gusts of more than 58 miles an hour, it can officially be classified as a derecho. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Learn more. When a cluster of strong downburst winds in the center of a storm races ahead of the rest of the storm, it creates what’s known as a bow echo. Translate Derecho. A derecho is a fast moving, long-lived storm that known for intense straight-line winds. See more. Just Because. 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 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. Derecho definition, a widespread and severe windstorm that moves rapidly along a fairly straight path and is associated with bands of rapidly moving thunderstorms. The term "derecho" vaulted into public awareness in June 2012, when one of the most destructive derechos in U.S. history formed in the Midwest … Forecasters did not anticipate the historic June 2012 derecho until it was already underway. The derecho in the U.S. East on June 3, 2020 killed 4 people and left a million without power. Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong winds. 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Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. How Gravitational Waves Might Wind Up Proving Einstein Wrong, Best Space Images Of 2020: A ‘Christmas Star’ And A ‘Comet Of The Century’ To A New Hubble Masterpiece, People With Bionic Hands Can’t Correct Their Sense Of Touch, The Monday weather discussion of the National Weather Service-Chicago said, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issued this dire statement, wind damage swath is greater than than 250 miles (about 400 kilometers), wind gusts that are 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along much of the length of the line, pockets of 75 mph (121 km/h) or greater gusts. Destructive derecho brings 100 mph winds to Iowa, blasts through Chicago along 700-mile path. NOAA has a very informative website that goes into the origin of derechos. Though many described it at the time as an inland hurricane, this storm system was in fact a derecho with several small tornados embedded within its winds. The storms struck the Midwest with the ferocity of a hurricane. He also has received major honors from the American Meteorological Society, American Association of Geographers, and the Captain Planet Foundation. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. A derecho can be as destructive as a tornado, but it is destructive in a decidedly different way. On days when derechos form, it is often uncertain whether any storms will form at all. But these rapidly moving winds pose a particular risk to anyone who happens to be outdoors, such as campers and hikers. Derechos differ from tornadoes and hurricanes because of their straight-line winds as opposed to rotating winds. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. A storm’s downdraft—when the cooled air drops back down to the surface—is key to producing the powerful winds that create derecho conditions. A derecho is a widespread severe wind event resulting from persistent and violent outflow from a MCS (Mesoscale Convective System). INTRODUCTION. Before I get into what they are, let’s discuss the current meteorological circumstances involving this derecho. Your Christmas Night Sky Revealed: 12 ‘Christmas Stars’ And What To Point A New Telescope At, Shattered Chromosomes Help Create Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells. Credit: KSDK. Though the term disappeared from use shortly afterward, meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) resurrected it a hundred years later. CNN's Jennifer Gray explains the power of a derecho wind storm and how it can sometimes cause more damage than a tornado. 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. Wind speeds from an August 10, 2020 derecho that devastated Iowa are estimated to have reached 140 mph. 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. 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. On August 10, 2020, a derecho swept across the Midwest from South Dakota to Ohio, travelling 770 miles in 14 hours and knocking out power for more than a million people. As I write this piece, a significant derecho event is making its way across the midwestern part of the United States. Derechos move quickly and offer little notice of their arrival, giving people hours or minutes to seek safety. According to NOAA’s website, “Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of a tornado, the damage typically occurs in one direction along a relatively straight path.” Meteorologists like me will often refer to this hazard as "straight-line wind damage.” Like the oft-misused term “blizzard,” there are very specific criteria that define a derecho: There are ongoing efforts to tweak the definition, but I think you get the point that these things can be pretty serious. However, there were several posts on my social media feeds today asking “What is a derecho?” or “How could this much destruction be caused by a derecho? How do these strong winds form? Learn more. On days when derechos form, it is often uncertain whether any storms will form at all. 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 … All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. The steeple at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, was toppled during a derecho on Monday, August 10, 2020, which also left several trees in the nearby park heavily damaged. 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. Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor and hosts The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast, which can be found at all podcast outlets. 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. It differs from typical thunderstorm lines by its rapid speed of movement and the existence of highest wind speeds well behind the gust front, rather than at the gust front. See 18 authoritative translations of Derecho in English with example sentences, phrases and audio pronunciations. He has over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and numerous editorials. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University. In 1987, meteorologists defined what qualified as a derecho. 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. Derechos may not be as well known as hurricanes or tornadoes, but these rare storms can be just as powerful and destructive. Progressive derechos are incredibly dangerous because they can produce damage over hundreds of miles with wind gusts over 100 MPH. This bowing of the storm front forces even more warm air into the atmosphere, intensifying the thunderstorm. Derechos are challenging to predict. Derechos are challenging to predict. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes, these winds follow straight lines (in fact, derecho means straight in Spanish). 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It all has to do with something called a downburst. All of these systems are classified as mesoscale convective systems (for example, the MCS mentioned above). NOAA officially define s 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 … Courtesy of (SPC derecho facts) Example 1: Labor Day 1998 Derecho (Above) Radar image of the Labor Day 1998 derecho bearing down on … Cars fleeing a derecho on May 30, 2012. derecho definition: 1. a storm that moves fast, usually in a straight line, and that brings strong winds that can cause…. A derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho" in English, or pronounced phonetically as " ") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms variously known as a squall line, bow echo, or quasi-linear convective system. El derecho is never a term of direction and is used to refer to something that is due a person according to law, moral principle or custom — in other words, a right. A serial derecho, on the other hand, doesn't form on its own. In 2004, he was honored at the White House with a prestigious PECASE award. It is creating a path of destruction. 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. Oddly, I find that people immediately default to tornadoes when they see wind damage when it is often straight-line winds. Why Do Octopuses Punch Fish? These straight-ahead storms most commonly form in the late spring and summer, when high pressure weather systems—whirling masses of descending air—move north from the tropics into the U.S. When the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. 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. 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