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Fri Jul 27, 2012, 02:25 PM

Was Thursday's outbreak a derecho?

We can probably classify yesterday's severe thunderstorm event as a weak derecho, since it met the main criteria, as defined by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center: "A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho."

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2162


Figure 4. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 374 reports of damaging winds from Thursday's severe thunderstorms. Two of these thunderstorms had winds in excess of hurricane force (65 knots, or 74 mph.)

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