What Is a Derecho? National Weather Service Examines Last Week’s Storms That Hit NY State
If you know anyone from the Capitol Region, then you probably heard about last Wednesday's wild weather that left many in the region without power, and some areas looking like a bomb went off. WNYT says the line of severe storms rolled through the afternoon of October 7, which resulted in 120 damaging wind reports. There was also three reported microbursts, and even a weak tornado in Canajoharie, NY.
After surveying the damage, the National Weather Service has concluded that a derecho is what caused so much widespread damage. A derecho is a fast moving, straight-line squall, that can travel for hundreds of miles (sometimes across multiple states), and produce winds as strong as a hurricane or tornado. Derechos usually happen during the summer, and are fueled by the heat and humidity of day, plus strong winds aloft.
WNYT says Wednesday's derecho formed in Ontario and traveled all the way to New England. The storm left a 320 mile damage path, according to the NWS, with winds in excess of 75 miles per hour.
Most of the Hudson Valley was spared, though some of the northern parts of the area and the Catskills felt some of the effects of that day's severe weather. You probably remember the events of May 15, 2018, when four tornadoes touched down across the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. There were also reports of macrobursts in southern Dutchess County.
Those day's events however, were not caused by a derecho, but rather a strong cold front that had moved through the region. Reports of tornadoes were reported recently in August 2020, when storms moved through the area late in the afternoon that day.