5 years later: The 2012 Derecho remembered

Images from KLWX Radar in Sterling, VA

Five years ago this evening, the worst wind storms in recent memory hit the Washington area. Widespread winds of 70 to 80 mph were reported. The 2012 DERECHO left over 1 million people in the area without power heading into that weekend. The damaging winds knocked out 911 call operations in parts of the region and the power disruptions resulted in water restrictions in parts of Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties.

Earlier that day, the temperature hit a record-setting 104 degrees in Washington. Meanwhile, a line of severe thunderstorms rapidly developed along an atmospheric boundary west of Chicago and that line maintained or increased its strength as it raced toward the East Coast. It seemed to get stronger again as it encountered the very hot, humid and unstable air over our region. And then, just after sunset, it surged across the metro area.

Along its 600- mile path from Iowa to the Delmarva Peninsula, the storms claimed 22 lives…including 6 people in Virginia and 2 in Maryland. The highest wind gust along the DERECHO was recorded in Ft. Wayne Indiana at 91 mph...DERCHO’S typically develop during summer and occur roughly once every four years in the mid-Atlantic States.

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