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Washington DCs derecho not something new ( Little-Known Giant Windstorms Hits DC)
Watts Up With That? ^ | July 1, 2012 | Anthony Watts

Posted on 07/03/2012 9:19:36 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Derechoes have been in the news in Washington as of late. No, that’s not some new breed of super bureaucrat, but it is something from a supercell sized thunderstorm that crossed several states during its lifetime. You may have seen this NOAA image already on a  few news websites:

That’s a time lapse radar image capture as the storm progressed from near Chicago to Chesapeake Bay.

They’ve been known over a century, and around far longer than that. Wikipedia says that Derecho comes from the Spanish word for “straight”.The word was first used in the American Meteorological Journal in 1888 by Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs in a paper describing the phenomenon and based on a significant derecho event that crossed Iowa on 31 July 1877.

They were further refined with the advent of weather radar. Derechos are typically bow or spearhead-shaped on weather radar, and hence they are also called a bow echo or spearhead radar echo. Here’s a WSR-57 radar image from Cleveland, Ohio in 1969:

July 4, 1969 “The Ohio Fireworks Derecho” spanning MI, OH, PA, WV

File:Derecho DECCA radar 1969-07-04.jpg

A radar in Akron, Ohio observed a “bowed” echo about 35 miles northwest of the radar site at 8:30 PM on the evening of July 4th (Fig. 2). This bow echo was associated with the deadly derecho winds in the Cleveland area and was one of the first radar “bow echoes” to be documented. Date 4 July 1969 Image: Wikipedia

They are fairly common meteorological events,  occurring from May to August, peaking in frequency during the latter part of June into July. According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, the Washington DC area gets a derecho about once every four years:

Image from NOAA Storm Prediction Center

Here’s a few of the past logged by the Storm Prediction Center.

Many significant derechos (i.e., those that have caused severe damage and/or casualties), have occurred over North America during the last few decades. Most of these affected the United States and Canada. Listed below is a selection of some of the more noteworthy events in recent years; the list is not all-inclusive. Information provided in the links includes a map of the area affected, and a description of the storm’s impact.
Holiday weekend events
The human impact of the following events was enhanced by their occurrence on summer holiday weekends, causing many to be caught out-of-doors during the sudden onset of high winds…
July 4, 1969…………….”The Ohio Fireworks Derecho”….MI, OH, PA, WV
July 4, 1977…………….”The Independence Day Derecho of 1977″….ND, MN, WI, MI, OH
July 4-5, 1980…………”The ‘More Trees Down’ Derecho”….NE, IA, MO, IL, WI, IN, MI, OH, PA, WV, VA, MD
Sept. 7, 1998………….”The Syracuse Derecho of Labor Day 1998″….NY, PA, VT, MA, NH
Sept. 7, 1998 …………”The New York City Derecho of Labor Day 1998″….MI, OH, WV, PA, NJ, NY, CT
July 4-5, 1999…………”The Boundary Waters-Canadian Derecho”….ND, MN, ON, QB, NH, VT, ME
The derechos of mid-July 1995
The mid-July 1995 derechos were noteworthy for both their intensity and range…
Series Overview……….Montana to New England
July 12-13, 1995……..”The Right Turn Derecho”….MT, ND, MN, WI, MI, ON, OH, PA, WV
July 14-15, 1995……..”The Ontario-Adirondacks Derecho”….MI, ON, NY, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI
Serial derechos
Two well-documented, classic events over the eastern United States…
April 9, 1991……………”The West Virginia Derecho of 1991″….AR,TN, MS, AL, KY, IN, OH, WV, VA, MD, PA
March 12-13, 1993….”The Storm of the Century Derecho”….FL, Cuba
“Southward bursts”
“Southward burst” is a term coined by Porter et al. in a 1955 paper (see reference here) to describe a progressive-type squall line that surges rapidly southward rather than east…
May 4-5, 1989…………”The Texas Derecho of 1989″….TX, OK, LA
May 27-28, 2001……..”The People Chaser Derecho”….KS, OK, TX
Other noteworthy events
June 7, 1982…………..”The Kansas City Derecho of 1982″….KS, MO, IL
July 19, 1983…………..”The I-94 Derecho”….ND, MN, IA, WI, MI, IL, IN
May 17, 1986………….”The Texas Boaters’ Derecho”…..TX
July 28-29, 1986……..”The Supercell Transition Derecho”….IA, MO, IL
July 7-8, 1991………….”The Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1991″….SD, IA, MN, WI, MI, IN, OH, ON, NY, PA
May 30-31, 1998……..”The Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1998″….MN, IA, WI, MI, ON, NY
June 29, 1998………….”The Corn Belt Derecho of 1998″….NE, IA, IL, IN, KY
July 22, 2003……………”The Mid-South Derecho of 2003″….AR, TN, MS, AL, GA, SC
May 8, 2009…………….”The ‘Super Derecho’ of May 2009″….KS, MO, AR, IL, IN, KY, TN, VA, WV, NC

Here, thanks to modern radar technology and people who are interested enough to track storms on radar from start to finish, we have this life cycle of the derecho:

Timelapse of closest NEXRAD base reflectivity of the 29 June 2012 derecho. The timelapse moves from Davenport, Iowa to Richmond, Virginia over 14 hours.

Here’s a cross section, showing how the mesoscale thunderstorm dynamics make that bow echo. Image courtesy of the NOAA Storm Prediction Center page about derechoes:

What is troubling about this being linked to “global warming” is the Washinton Post Capital Weather Gang’s story by Jason Samenow, which ends with this gem:

As the intensity of the heat wave, without reservation, was a key factor in the destructiveness of this derecho event – it raises the question about the possible role of manmade climate warming (from elevated greenhouse concentrations). It’s a complicated, controversial question, but one that scientists will surely grapple with in case studies of this rare, extraordinary event.

Yet Samenow cites the same sources from the Storm Prediction Center page that I do, showing the exact same image above (after editing out the number 3). Yet somehow, he managed to conveniently ignore the historical context and the climatological frequency of derechoes on that page.

He’s gets the coveted WUWT Double BS award for his sloppy journalism.

Joe D’Aleo has more on the derecho event here at ICECAP.

UPDATE: I made an error. I got two different posts mixed up related to the heatwave, conflating the quote discussing the heat wave by Doug Kammerer (with thunderstorm radar loop in background video by Karins on the CP post) . I’ve removed the citation (and video) related to NBC Bill Karins quoted on Climate Progress. My sincere apologies for the error. My only defense is that I don’t listen to audio much anymore due to my hearing issues. Thankfully, I’ve got a big group of people that will let me know immediately that I’ve made an error, and thus I’ve heeded their advice and fixed the error within minutes of this posting. Thank you. – Anthony

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: climatechange; derecho; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; windstorm
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1 posted on 07/03/2012 9:19:48 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: TigerLikesRooster; landsbaum; Signalman; NormsRevenge; steelyourfaith; Lancey Howard; ...
A new word to me....: Derechoes
2 posted on 07/03/2012 9:33:52 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks - nice to get some good info on what hit us Friday night.

3 posted on 07/03/2012 9:39:38 PM PDT by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Not a weather person, but that was very interesting, and easy to understand. Thanks

4 posted on 07/03/2012 9:45:22 PM PDT by easternsky
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’m a good six hours south of DC and even here we had wild wind. It came on with no warning at all, no thunder or lightning, like a shockwave or something. Ten to fifteen minutes of very high wind seemingly out of nowhere, trees thrashing like a Category 1 hurricane, leaves and branches flying, numerous power outages but nothing on the scale of points north.

5 posted on 07/03/2012 9:45:22 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks for posting this. Most interesting. First time I ever heard the word was last year on the Weather Channel. I don’t recall them using the term before then, but, once they did, it seemed like they had a new play toy (word) and it was repeated many times.

Likewise, TWC is doing the same with the term “haboob” which means dust storm or a big dust storm. Once again the on camera folks seemed infatuated with the word so it was used constantly. Frankly, bow echo and dust storm are much easier to understand and don’t make the meteorologist sound like arrogant twits.

6 posted on 07/03/2012 9:45:33 PM PDT by miele man
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I'm surprised they were not prepared, considering all the blowhards that have been there for the past forty one months.
7 posted on 07/03/2012 10:05:35 PM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class!)
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To: reg45


8 posted on 07/03/2012 10:20:51 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The derechoe that hit the Mid South back in 2003 is affectionately known as “Hurricane Elvis”.
9 posted on 07/03/2012 10:41:14 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: RegulatorCountry

I’m 90 miles west and was on a Harley, 10 miles from home when the winds hit.

That was a wild ride.

[and apparently I don’t weigh enough to myself firmly planted in the seat]

My only real concern was all the old, dead, feeble trees lining the road and overhanging the power lines.

10 posted on 07/03/2012 10:58:36 PM PDT by Salamander (I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I once read the diary of an Englishman during the war of 1812 who was trying to reach Detroit. He started west through North Carolina and told about the problems of trying to cross what was known then as the downed timbers.

He related in some areas it was several miles wide and hundreds of miles long where not a tree was left standing. This was result of a storm which had struck years before killing all the Indians and settlers in it’s path.

11 posted on 07/03/2012 11:06:39 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (Don't ever think that the reason I am peaceful is because I forgot how to be violent)
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To: Salamander

I’d have hated to have been in a mountain gap in any sort of vehicle when that hit, let alone on a motorcycle, lol. I hope you parked and rode it out stationary, or was there no place to stop?

12 posted on 07/03/2012 11:08:33 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

Well, ironically, “mountain gaps” are the *only* way I can get home, no matter where I go...;D

So, I kept going.
There are tons of places I could’ve stopped but I wanted to go home.

The only time I ever stopped for “weather” was one frog-drowner sudden downpour where the water was so deep on the road we were hydroplaning.

After we got about 4 miles from the house, hubby pitched a fit because I suddenly stopped and blocked his way.

A transformer had blown and a live wire was whipping across the road.

I sat there until it was on the other side of the road and the gunned it before it whipped back into the west bound lane.

[yes, hubby followed]

He had *no* clue what had happened until we were in the shop drying off and I told him.

[I’ve made a fair hillbilly out of him but I still had a 30 year head start]

13 posted on 07/03/2012 11:25:36 PM PDT by Salamander (I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The Boundary Waters - Canadian Derecho [July 4, 1999]

14 posted on 07/04/2012 12:28:14 AM PDT by donna (Mitt quote: couples raising kids. That's the American way...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That is fascinating. And the graphic reminds me a lot of the timelapse graphics being used as examples of weather modification technology explanations made by the semifamous Dutchsinse ( Technology imitating nature.

15 posted on 07/04/2012 12:28:48 AM PDT by Norski
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

So are haboob dust storms in New Mexico generated by the same type of phenomenon ? They seem to develop from winds that are just pushed out in front of a thunderstorm cell.

16 posted on 07/04/2012 12:37:07 AM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks for posting this information. First time I have ever heard of this kind of storm.

17 posted on 07/04/2012 4:42:18 AM PDT by BigRed9
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

My sister has a home in the DC area, and also (our parent’s home) in northern Minnesota. BOTH were hit, with trees down on the house, by derechos this weekend.

18 posted on 07/04/2012 5:20:48 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: donna

It is a good book, but not quite accurate. The story took place on Lake-of-the-Woods, which was not hit by the Boundary Waters Derecho. Look at the map linked in the Anthony Watts blog.

19 posted on 07/04/2012 5:24:53 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Derecho is a Spanish word meaning “right” or “upright.” As such, its plural is “derechos.”

If it hit DC, it was well-deserved derechos for borrachos as far as I’m concerned.

20 posted on 07/04/2012 5:43:55 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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