I'm a Christian who loves weather. I have been into weather since I was 3 years old and I continue to study weather, I'm also a weather spotter
By: tornadocam , 3:02 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
The past 48 hours a Derecho has caused havoc in the Mid-West, Southern, and Mid-Atlantic states. So the question many ask is what is a Derecho. Before I go into detail what a Derecho I think it is important to go over the basics. I will first be starting off with the term Squall Line
A good definition of a squall line is it is a line of severe thunderstorms. A squall line often produces straight line wind damage, hail and often times tornadoes are embedded in squall lines. Squall lines are often found along cold fronts. While they can occur in any time of the year they mostly occur in the spring and Fall months. The winds in a squall line from the thunderstorms usually range from 60-80 mph. In addition to damaging winds and hail squall lines often spawn tornadoes. The tornadoes in a squall line can sometimes form quick without warning.
So what is a Derecho? A Derecho is a type of squall line that moves very fast and has hurricane force winds from the thunderstorms. Drechos can occur at anytime but they are common in the Summer. They from when a cold front in the atmosphere collides with a surface warm front with modern winds in the atmosphere. The warm air quickly rises and in the summer cold fronts often have warm humid fronts. The storms usually ride along the warm front and due to the winds in the atmosphere Derechos move really fast.
Most Derecho's move over 50 mph and cover a large area sometimes these lines of storms can be hundreds of miles long. The winds in a Derecho are very strong often times over 75 mph. In fact, some storms in an intense Derecho can have winds over 100 mph. In addition Derechos can also produce tornadoes. The winds pose a great hazard to life and can do a lot of damage. A notable example of a Derecho occurred last year. In June 2012 thunderstorms formed in Minnesota the storms quickly got in a line started to move at 60 mph producing 80-110 mph winds. The storm system also spawned tornadoes. This Derecho impacted the states of Illinois to New Jersey in a short time.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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