I’d never even heard of a derecho until a couple of days ago.

From The Guardian’s ‘Derecho’ phenomenon responsible for violent line of US storms:

Meteorologists said Friday’s onslaught from the heavens was the result of a number of atmospheric factors that combined to create the perfect storm – or a derecho, to give it a more accurate description.

The phenomenon – which derives it name from the Spanish for “straight” – takes the form of a line of warm-weather, fast-moving thunderstorms that roll over the land, usually in the summer months.

The result, as was in evidence this weekend, can be devastating. They are uncommon, but not altogether rare – with Friday’s derecho making its mark mainly because of the number of people affected.

Daniel Porter, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, explained: “A derecho is basically a long-lived, long-lasting line of thunderstorms.

Check out this video and note the sheer distance — about 600 miles — traveled by the Ring of Fire Derecho:

Same video but extended a little bit north:

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