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Super Derecho Pictures - crazy cloud photos of rare weather event!

Updated on July 2, 2014
Super Derecho of June 27, characteristic wall cloud with "bow" shape.
Super Derecho of June 27, characteristic wall cloud with "bow" shape.

Not just a storm, more like a tornado!

I learned what a Super Derecho (pronounced der-ray-show) is days after having experienced the rare event myself. This happened June 29, 2012 and went from Illinois to Virginia, leaving millions of trees down, millions without power, and even more millions wondering, what the heck was that?

Rare Super Derechos may become more common.

Here is when the warning went out. Too bad the prediction didn't tell us it would be like a giant tornado going from Chicago to Fairfax Virginia only straight, long, and fast!
Here is when the warning went out. Too bad the prediction didn't tell us it would be like a giant tornado going from Chicago to Fairfax Virginia only straight, long, and fast!
When we saw it it looked weird for sure, but since it wasn't a tornado we weren't aware of the destruction it was causing
When we saw it it looked weird for sure, but since it wasn't a tornado we weren't aware of the destruction it was causing
It kept its strength as it plowed through county after county all the way to the ocean!
It kept its strength as it plowed through county after county all the way to the ocean!
It is such a rare event, and it happened two days after the entry date programmed into the time machine of Back to the Future. Maybe the energy from the storm was used by an 88 mph DeLorean to go Back to the Past?
It is such a rare event, and it happened two days after the entry date programmed into the time machine of Back to the Future. Maybe the energy from the storm was used by an 88 mph DeLorean to go Back to the Past?

What have we learned? What should we do?

  1. Educate the public about Super Derechos, they may become more common as the earth warms, and rate them by the energy released, not just speed at ground level. For aviation, it's important to know at higher elevations. Also because the tops of trees get broken off (speaking from personal experience).
  2. Create a warning system adequate for the large area affected, similar to hurricane warnings but much more rapid and urgent, especially since straight-line winds arrive sooner.
  3. 90% of the power lines knocked out by the storm ran north-south, since the wind came from the west. Bury all the power lines accordingly starting with the ones already repeatedly knocked out by this and other storms.
  4. Be ready for it after super hot days such as the record heat of 100+ degrees across the Midwest USA just prior to the event. The energy build up required for a Super Derecho is incredible. 21.1 Gigawatts?!!!

Whatchacallit

First step is what to call it. So far:

  • Derecho
  • Bow Echo
  • Straight-line wind
  • Gale burst
  • Downdraft
  • Updraft
  • Gust

Marty's girlfriend Jennifer looks even better today, someone snapped this shot of her Chicago on June 28, 2012!  Maybe she took advantage of the storm on the 29th to get back to the past!
Marty's girlfriend Jennifer looks even better today, someone snapped this shot of her Chicago on June 28, 2012! Maybe she took advantage of the storm on the 29th to get back to the past!

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  • krillco profile image

    William E Krill Jr 5 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

    WoW....never heard of this...thanks for the good info....voted this 'up'.

  • kristyleann profile image

    Kristy LeAnn 5 years ago from Princeton, WV

    I live in WV and I was at home when this thing hit, but my friend was walking with her kids in the middle of town and the wind was strong enough to knock her 2 year old son down. They were getting hit with rocks and all kinds of junk. They went into a McDonald's to get shelter and when they got there the doors were flying open (and those doors are fairly heavy). We got lucky because our power wasn't out for too long but all the grocery stores around here had to throw out tons of food, the fast food places have been shut down cause they don't have any water. Lots of people are STILL without power. The whole experience has just been insane.

  • RoxiM profile image

    RoxiM 5 years ago from West Virginia

    Although we knew we had a storm watch, we didn't see this one coming. It hit with the force of a locomotive and carried rocks and branches, knocked trees onto power lines, and did a terrifying amount of damage in a very short time. We lost power, but had bottled water (no electricity = no well water) and plenty of lanterns and candles. Still, I do not want to ever experience that again.