Environment & Science
4:47 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

This is what a derecho weather pattern looks like, one might hit Michigan

Credit Susie Martin Wx / Twitter

The Associated Press reports that a derecho could create several storms in the Midwest with wind gusts reaching close to 100 mph:

The National Weather Service says derechos occur once or twice a year in the central U.S. with winds of at least 75 mph. The storms maintain their intensity for hours as they sweep across vast distances, and can trigger tornadoes and large hail.

Meteorologists project possible derechos in Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh metro areas.

That's the info for the weather. Here's more info on the word.

In Spanish, "derecho" has a few definitions, one of which is "straight."

According to the Storm Prediction Center, "derecho" was first used to identify the weather pattern in 1888, coined by Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs. Hinrichs was a physics professor at the University of Iowa, and founded the first State Weather Service in the country. 

In meteorological terms, it means an intense storm. Last year, there was one in New York City, and the sky looked wild

The Capital Weather Gang, of the Washington Post, isn't convinced that the impending storms will actually be derechos by the time the storms meets the East Coast:

While I don't doubt some strong to sever storms will fire Wednesday and generally head from the Midwest toward the East by evening, it's not clear to me how well they'll hold together and if/where they'll meet derecho criteria. 

"It's hard to predict if the cluster of storms actually becomes a derecho or not," AccuWeather's Henry Margusity correctly points out.

The Capital Weather Gang of the Washington Post posted this photo on Facebook about the storm patterns for the next few days. Kind of looks like a guy eating Arizona, doesn't it?
Credit Capital Weather Gang / Facebook

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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