What makes it different is derechos will be intense organized storms tracking over a wide area, producing winds nearly 100 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service in Chicago, over 700 severe wind reports were taken once the event was done. That’s where the storm gets its name; the word derecho means “straight ahead” in Spanish. Derechos happen when the right conditions for downbursts occur over a wide area. Credit: NASA/NASA Earth Observatory. The Mid-South has been impacted by derechos before, back in July of 2003 a line of storms impacted the region causing major damage and deaths, this storm has been coined “Hurricane Elvis” by locals in the region. This complex system was considered a derecho. When the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes, these winds follow straight lines (in fact, derecho means straight in Spanish). Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong wind… It also can have rather jagged-like front edges, those will signify embedding rotation in the line with a broader severe wind threat and tornado potential. This complex system was considered a derecho. The faster winds race ahead of the storm, creating a bow. The winds can be as strong as those found in hurricanes or even tornadoes! Taken June 29, 2012, this photograph shows a shelf cloud on the leading edge of a severe derecho storm system that blew across the eastern United States. Derechos are fast-moving bands of thunderstorms with destructive winds. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Stronger downbursts mean faster winds. Derechos (pronounced like “deh-REY-chos”) are fast-moving bands of thunderstorms with destructive winds. Starting around 8 a.m. in the morning on August 10th and not dissipating until after 7 p.m. at night, the long wind event known as a derecho carved a path of damage across the Midwest, from Omaha, NE across Iowa, Northern Illinois, and into Indiana and Michigan. It usually has large area of rain on the backside of the system, which is rain cooled air helping it sustain the momentum of strong winds. Credit: Courtesy Kevin Gould/NOAA. On August 10th, 2020, a … These storms are called derechos. Credit: NOAA, Slide the bar to see the areas where power was lost as a result of the June 2012 derecho storm. View Images The winds can be as strong as those found in hurricanes or even tornadoes! The best thing to do in the event of a derecho is to go someplace safe and protected—high winds and falling trees can be quite dangerous! Credit: CIMSS, This animation from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite shows lightning from the storms in a derecho moving across the Midwest on August 10, 2020. It all has to do with something called a downburst. Weather satellites can view derechos from space and help communities predict when they might form. It must cover an area of 250 mph long and will be primarily classified as straight-line winds but can have numerous tornadoes in the line. Credit: Public Domain. MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On August 10th, 2020, a complex of storms rolled across the Midwest and Great Lakes region. Derecho storm front approaching Sarpy County, Nebraska. These nighttime images were taken before and after the storm by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (SNPP). But instead of spiraling like a tornado or hurricane, the winds of a derecho move in straight lines. Derechos are most common in the Midwestern United States, but are still fairly rare. 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. You might see a derecho about once a year there. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes, these winds follow straight lines. This animation from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite shows a derecho that moved across South Dakota and Minnesota, and into northern Iowa on July 19, 2017. A derecho or damaging wind thunderstorm complex has very unique features to gain its title. They can occasionally be found all the way up into the Northeast. The downburst can actually suck more dry air into the storm, making even stronger downbursts or clusters of downbursts. A downburst is a type of wind created by sinking cold air. The group of thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall and strong winds (estimated to be 70 to 80 miles per hour) that downed trees and power lines, along with frequent lightning. It has to have a large line of storms, in a bowing shape, which means strong winds. More than 1 million homes and businesses lost power due to the storms. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2020 Gray Television, Inc. Breakdown: Derecho, What is it and why it causes major damage, August 19, 2020 at 11:44 AM CDT - Updated August 19 at 11:44 AM, Dry today but rain Sunday & significantly colder next week, Clouds move in tomorrow and there will be rain this weekend, Dry & sunny Thanksgiving, rain over the weekend, A chilly night ahead of great weather for the holiday. There is often a comma-head shape on the northern end of the storm system, which is usually well-organized, helping sustain the path of the storm. Right behind the initial line of heavy rain are higher rain bands, usually meaning descending air from the rear inflow of the jet supporting damaging winds. In this episode of the Breakdown, we will explain what a derecho is and why it can cause major damage. The winds of a derecho travel at least 58 miles per hour and have been recorded as fast as 130 miles per hour. Credit: NOAA/JPL-Caltech. That’s as fast as some tornados! But did you know there are types of thunderstorms that can have winds just as strong? In this episode of the Breakdown, we will explain what a derecho is and why it can cause major damage. Science shows that derechos are more common in the Upper Midwest to the Great Lake region, where this 2020 storm system impacted. As the storm grows in size, it forms what are known as bow echoes—large curved packs of thunderstorms that race forward in one direction. In fact, a derecho’s path of damage is at least 240 miles long. SNPP is the first satellite launched as part of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).