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August 19, 2022

Derecho / noun / de·re·cho

If you've ever seen a line of fast-moving thunderstorms or windstorms that cover a great distance in a short time, you've witnessed a derecho.

Derecho is a noun we use in English to describe severe weather that moves quickly across vast distances in short time periods.

We characterize derechos by their fast-moving speeds and damaging winds that can lead to thousands of dollars in property damages for affected structures. Wind speeds in derechos can be as fast as the wind speeds in tornadoes.

In a Sentence

The long-lived derecho left a trail of devastation in its wake and caused damage across three midwestern states.

Many people compare the high winds, thunderstorms, and fast-moving winds in derechos to the wind speeds and storms spawned by powerful tornadoes.

The weather channel advised viewers to take shelter from the long line of derechos they expected to last for the next three days.


Derecho entered our language in 1888, representing high winds and downburst clusters with wind speeds that can be as high as the wind speed in tornados. Although tornados and derechos share similar characteristics, these storms aren't the same.

We derived the word derecho from the American Spanish word meaning "direct" or "straight ahead," the Old Spanish word diestro, and the Latin term directus, which means "straight." The definition of derecho hasn't changed since 1888.


Thunderstorm, Windstorm


Peace, Calmness


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