Pulled in about 20 minutes ago. Radakava Shipment was at the front door, clothes are in the wash and I am unpacked. Even though I had a blast going out West and seeing all the friends I made out there for the last time, I am some kind of glad to be home! I have not been watching or reading much news for the past two weeks and was surprised by the devastation I saw in a small city in Iowa when I stopped at for gas. At first i thought it was a tornado, but discovered after I got stuck for an hour waiting to go through stop lights that were out and traffic backed up big time that it was a "Derecho" storm or a violent, fast-moving thunderstorm complex that hit a 700 mile stretch of the Midwest. Never heard of that before but looks like I was lucky not to be on the ground when it hit. Here are a few pictures of that I took of the aftermath.
A derecho (/dəˈreɪtʃoʊ/, from Spanish: derecho [deˈɾetʃo], "straight" as in direction) is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective system and potentially rivaling hurricanic and tornadic forces.
Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods. In many cases, convection-induced winds take on a bow echo (backward "C") form of squall line, often forming beneath an area of diverging upper tropospheric winds, and in a region of both rich low-level moisture and warm-air advection. Derechos move rapidly in the direction of movement of their associated storms, similar to an outflow boundary (gust front), except that the wind remains sustained for a greater period of time (often increasing in strength after onset), and may exceed hurricane-force. A derecho-producing convective system may remain active for many hours and, occasionally, over multiple days.
A warm-weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially during June, July, and August in the Northern Hemisphere, within areas of moderately strong instability and moderately strong vertical wind shear. However, derechos may occur at any time of the year, and can occur as frequently at night as during the day.
Various studies since the 1980s have shed light on the physical processes responsible for the production of widespread damaging winds by thunderstorms. In addition, it has become apparent that the most damaging derechos are associated with particular types of mesoscale convective systems that are self-perpetuating (meaning that the convective systems are not strongly dependent on the larger-scale meteorological processes such as those associated with blizzard-producing winter storms and strong cold fronts). In addition, the term "derecho" sometimes is misapplied to convectively generated wind events that are not particularly well-organized or long-lasting. For these reasons, a more precise, physically based definition of "derecho" has been introduced within the meteorological community.