What is a Derecho?

When I worked a windstorm in Ohio in 2012 was the first time I ever heard the word derecho. I had been a catastrophe adjuster for 15 years.  It is a weather phenomenon that most people would just call a strong storm.  It is actually is a little more than that.  Here I thought it was just a way for The Weather Channel to get bigger ratings.

Derecho comes from a Spanish word origin.  It is not your normal afternoon shower.  This windstorm causes widespread, long lived, straight-line winds.  It is associated with land based fast moving thunderstorms. The one in 2012 covered 4 states and caused damage all across the state of Ohio.

The wind speeds associated with Derecho can be equal to that of a hurricane or tornado force winds.  They dump heavy rains and can cause flash flooding.

These storms typically occur in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer months of June and July.  They can occur at night or in the middle of the day.   They are a warm weather storm.

The wind convection intake forms a bow echo (looks like a backward C) the wind speed stays sustained over large areas and continues to increase behind the front, where the strongest winds can occur.

Derechos cause roof damage to roof shingles over a very large area.  Typically the damage would be enough to require a roof tarp to prevent additional damage.   Be sure to check your roof for missing shingles, shingles that have been creased or torn, and also make sure the shingles were not pulled through the nail fasteners.

So the next time you hear this crazy storm name, you will realize it is not joke. Bring in outside lawn furniture and pull your pets inside. When they say conditions are ripe for this type of storm, heed the warning of those Weather Channel guys.