A 'Land Hurricane' Strikes States From Midwest To East; New Storms Predicted | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

A 'Land Hurricane' Strikes States From Midwest To East; New Storms Predicted

A powerful series of storms blew through several eastern states late Friday and early Saturday morning, killing at least nine people and throwing at least 3 million people into the dark.

This unusually damaging system is called a derecho, notes AccuWeather (it's pronounced deh-RAY-cho). According to the National Weather Service, a derecho is a gigantic wind storm coupled with thunderstorms. These are as powerful as tornadoes, but they don't twist; they drive in a straight line. They're described as land hurricanes because they have wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour and higher.

Meteorologists with the Washington Post say derechos get their power from hot, humid weather. That's exactly what was going on when the storms blossomed above regions setting heat records or getting awfully close to them.

It all started late Friday morning outside Chicago as a cluster of thunderstorms, says the Weather Channel. The bad weather plowed south and east, hitting Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.

Increasingly violent storms downed power lines, yanked roofs off houses and toppled trees that crushed people beneath them. Several states declared states of emergency and President Obama signed a disaster declaration for West Virginia.

Friday's storms didn't cool temperatures — in fact, the Weather Service expects record-high temperatures to continue from the Mississippi River valley up through the Mid-Atlantic states.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The musicians and artists of Baghdad work under a government that prefers religious festivals to classical concerts. But with a little cunning, they're finding ways to keep the arts alive.
NPR

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Linguist Dan Jurafsky uncovers the fishy origins of ketchup and how it forces us to rethink global history. He also teaches us how to read a menu to figure out how much a restaurant may charge.
NPR

Tommy Boggs, Influential Lobbyist, Dies At 73

Boggs changed the lobbying profession by recognizing how power in Washington was becoming more diffuse.
NPR

Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims

Cyberstalking has transformed domestic abuse in the U.S. Tracking tools called spyware make it cheap and easy for someone to monitor a partner secretly, 24 hours a day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.