Anna Answers: What is a derecho?

Weather Wisdom

Question: What is a derecho?

A derecho is defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as “fast-moving bands of thunderstorms with destructive winds. The winds can be as strong as those found in hurricanes or even tornadoes. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes, these winds follow straight lines.”

A derecho is typically a widespread damaging wind event that is also long-lived. They are often found with a strong and quick-moving band or line of showers or storms. The damage a derecho can cause is similar to a tornado. The only difference is that the damage can be typically recognized as all facing one way and in a straight line. The general classification for a derecho is if the winds gust at or greater than 58 miles per hour for the majority of the path and is greater than 240 miles (NOAA).

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