A derecho is a term used to describe a long-lasting high wind event in which downburst winds, at times in excess of 100 mph, plow out of a very fast- moving line of thunderstorms producing swaths of damage extending for hundreds or even thousands of miles. The term derecho was coined by Iowa meteorologist Gustavis Hinrichs in the 1880s and is a Spanish word meaning “straight ahead” to distinguish its winds from the rotary winds of a tornado.
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