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Hasn’t the recent weather been incredible? The storm that wreaked such havoc in the Eastern US began locally. Here are some photos of the derecho cloud taken by one of our Adult Services Librarians shortly before leaving for work Friday, June 29th.

Storm clouds, June 29, 2012

Storm clouds, June 29, 2012

Storm cloud, June 29, 2012

From our Facts on File database, Science Online, a derecho (Spanish for “straight”) is:

a widespread convectively induced windstorm associated with a mesoscale convective system (MCS) that can produce strong straight-line winds across areas several hundred kilometers long and over 150 km (100 miles) wide. The word derecho was first used by Gustavus Hinrichs (1836–1923), an Iowa weather researcher, in 1888. In the warm season, the main derecho corridor is located in the southern Great Plains. During the cool season, derecho activity occurs in the southeast states and along the Atlantic seaboard. Temporally, derechos are primarily late evening or overnight events during the warm season, but are more evenly distributed throughout the day during the cool season. Marginal instability and strong synoptic-scale forcing favor derecho formation.

As you may have suspected, this was one unusual event! If you’re a weather fan, NOAA has a fantastic page of weather terms and explanations.