A ‘Land Hurricane’ Strikes States From Midwest to East; New Storms Predicted : The Two-Way : NPR
A powerful series of storms blew through several eastern states late Friday and early Saturday morning, killing at least nine people and throwing at least 3 million people into the dark.
This unusually damaging system is called a derecho, notes AccuWeather (it’s pronounced deh-RAY-cho). According to the National Weather Service, a derecho is a gigantic wind storm coupled with thunderstorms. These are as powerful as tornadoes, but they don’t twist; they drive in a straight line. They’re described as land hurricanes because they have wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour and higher.
Meteorologists with the Washington Post say derechos get their power from hot, humid weather. That’s exactly what was going on when the storms blossomed above regions setting heat records or getting awfully close to them.