ROANOKE, Va. – Derecho: It’s a word that many in Southwest and Central Virginia may have been unfamiliar with before June 29, 2012.
The wind storm certainly left a mark on our region. An entire decade later, many of you are sharing your memories of what happened that day and in the days that followed.
Here’s what Carmela Varcacia had to say on our Facebook page:
You can read more testimonials here.
The derecho impacted hundreds of thousands of people in our area, many of whom may wonder why the derecho occurred.
To start, the day was incredibly hot with record high temperatures.
Roanoke and Danville hit 104°F, and the high was 103°F in Lynchburg.
The lingering heat in the evening provided fuel for the derecho to stay strong when it reached our areas.
The storm started near Chicago and progressed to the Southeast, causing widespread wind damage along its path.
More than 4 million people lost power because of the large storm.
This type of storm is remarkably large – a derecho is defined as traveling at least 400 miles and being at least 60 miles wide.
Lucky for us, we haven’t seen a storm this strong since that day. In general, derechos only happen every 2-4 years in our areas.
Areas to the west see these wind storms much more frequently, though.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has a nice step-by-step write-up of the 2012 derecho here.