I am a weather freak. For most of my life, I’ve followed how the weather has affected the world.
Growing up in Western Kansas, we had a variety of weather, including the dreaded tornado. I’ve experienced tornados, earthquakes, sand storms, and floods but never a derecho.
What is a derecho? It sounds like some kind of food from the southwest United States. I guess a food could earn this name, but a derecho is far from a type of food. A derecho is a wall of Wind made of several thunderstorms that can travel hundreds of miles in just a few hours. Usually produced from April to August in the United States, derechos are rare, maybe once a year in some areas.
Derecho is a Spanish word meaning “straight-ahead” and was named in 1888 by Gustavus Hinrichs, a physics professor from the University of Iowa. There are two common types of Derechos: First is the serial derecho. There is a series of bow echo within the derecho.
Second is the progressive derecho, where there is one bow echo that continues to grow in size. Both are very destructive. Derechos bring straight-line winds to the ground as they travel up to 400 miles. You can also expect tornadoes and flooding with a derecho. You don’t hear about much, and I would have not have thought about it if meteorologist Ginger Zee wouldn’t have mentioned it in her young adult book, Chasing Helicity into the Wind.