ON THIS DAY: The derecho of 2012

Widespread wind storm produced incredible damage six years ago


ROANOKE, Va. – It was a weather event that changed the way many of us view weather in this area - the derecho of 2012. 

A derecho is a widespread windstorm that travels a minimum of 240 miles. 


The one that impacted our region in 2012 traveled a distance of 700 miles, from parts of Illinois to the Delmarva Peninsula.

As it moved through our region, it produced damage in every county that WSLS serves. Chief Meteorologist Jeff Haniewich reflected on this horrible storm just last year.


Fortunately, these kinds of storms are fairly uncommon. According to the Storm Prediction Center, derechos can happen once every two years in our region, on average. The one on June 29, 2012, is the benchmark. 


Not all derechos are created equal, and not all of them produce the extent of damage that we saw on this day six years ago.

Part of what made this storm so incredibly strong was the fairly widespread 100 degree heat earlier in the day.