Image description: Weather forecasters say the storms moving through the Midwest could produce derechos. What are they?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:
A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term “straight-line wind damage” sometimes is used to describe derecho damage.
This photo shows the shelf cloud that preceded a derecho in LaPorte, Indiana in June 2012. Photo courtesy of Kevin Gould / NOAA.