Lightning and ominous clouds over a pond filled with boats

Photo: Matthew Petroff/Flickr

Roaring derecho

Boats sway in the waters of Westhill Pond on July 26 as multiple lightning strikes light up the ominous pink and blue clouds above Barkhamsted, Conn.


At least two people were killed July 26 when powerful thunderstorms and tornadoes barreled across the Northeast, knocking out power and downing trees. The intense thunderstorms were caused by a weather phenomena called a derecho, a line of thunderstorms that travels at least 240 miles and reaches wind speeds of at least 58 miles per hour. Although derechos are common in the Midwest and Plains regions of the U.S., they only happen every couple years in the Northeast.


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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.