National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Friday, June 29, 2012 started as a very hot and humid day across the mid-Atlantic region. High temperatures climbed well into the 90s to low 100s that afternoon across our area, with heat index values in the 110°to 115° range. By that evening, an intense, long-lived windstorm called a Derecho pushed into the area and brought significant, widespread wind damage to the Mid-Atlantic region.

The storms formed in Wisconsin and northern Illinois early Friday afternoon then moved east at nearly 60 mph, carving out a path of destruction nearly 700 miles long, before crossing our area between 10 pm and just after midnight early Saturday morning the 30th. Wind gusts of between 60 and 80 mph were reported across our area during the most intense part of the event across central and eastern Virginia over to the lower eastern shore Friday night the 29th.

Unfortunately, 13 people were killed during the storm by the extreme winds over the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic region, mainly by falling trees. Given these fatalities, as well as the magnitude of the damage and subsequent power outages precipitated by this event and the extreme heat across much of the eastern United States, an NWS Service Assessment was compiled. The results of that service assessment are available here.

An interactive NOAA/NWS StoryMap about the event is located here.


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