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Derecho July 2, 2012

Filed under: Adventures,Bioregional knowledge — BrujaHa @ 5:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

East of Niwot, Colorado, at the edge of Hwy 25, I may have experienced the early wisps of the powerful storm known as a “derecho.”

My friend Maria Gutierrez and I had just gotten out of the car to enter a coffee joint when a few raindrops began to hit us. We noted this as welcome coolness from the ongoing heat.

A couple of moments later, as we were choosing a table to sit at, the building we’d entered was suddenly slammed with crazy howling winds slinging rain and mud. The winds were so strong that men could not open the glass doors inward against the pressure. We were all trapped inside the building. (Of course, we did have coffee, so this could be worse.)

Out the other window, the one toward the freeway, we could see things flying by. Lots of things; large things. I was glad we were no longer driving in my little car – it could easily have been pushed across the highway into the other lanes by that intense wind. The sky looked dark and striated, like films I’d seen about tornado weather.

After awhile when the winds had passed, the first new people coming in commented, “What on earth happened to this building?” I went outside to look. Both the entire building and all of the cars outside, including mine, were absolutely covered in thick mud. Wild!

Later, I read in the news that an enormous storm had caused a state of emergency across a wide swath of the U.S. on June 29, 2012. Called a “derecho,” it was said to have spanned from the midwest on to Washington D.C. – but I think we got the beginnings of it in Colorado. I have certainly never seen anything like it before.

Above is a photo of the storm in its glory from NWS meteorologist Samuel Shea.  More images and videos can be seen here:


17 Responses to “Derecho”

  1. Mike LaFleur (facebook link) Says:

    Straight line winds. They happen here in Minnesota. No spinning. One recently pulled out 5 trees on one side of Lake Calhoun, one tree on the other side, then it was gone.

  2. Deirdre DeProspero (facebook link) Says:

    so Tina, where were you?

  3. Topher Gayle (facebook link) Says:

    Wow! Scary!

  4. Tina Fields Says:

    I’m just so grateful that we were no longer driving. Literally, we missed it by minutes. My little car would have likely been flung across the road!

  5. Becky Nankivell (facebook link) Says:

    Derecho is apparently the term.

    A ‘Land Hurricane’ Strikes States From Midwest To East; New Storms Predicted : NPR

  6. Celia Ramsay (facebook link) Says:

    Did you take the picture? That stuff looks mighty powerful!

  7. Maria Gutierrez (facebook link) Says:

    What a wild picture!

  8. Tina Empol (facebook link) Says:

    Wow a mud storm

  9. Bob Brown (facebook link) Says:

    scary, very scary….

  10. Michele Steinert (facebook link) Says:


  11. Adam Says:

    Well, holy crap, I’m glad you’re okay!

    Curious that it was called Derecho, as it moved toward the right of the (traditionally-Western) map. As though it had a right to move, a storm asserting the rights of wind and mud and sky.

  12. kgoess Says:

    Freaky! It’s not nice to fool with mother nature indeed!

    Wikipedia says: Derecho comes from the Spanish word for “straight” (cf. “direct”) in contrast with a tornado which is a “twisted” wind

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