The Two Virginias have experienced three derechos in the last 30 years (1991, 2000, 2012). A derecho is a long-lived and fast moving line of strong to severe thunderstorms. The line of storms can last for thousands of miles and can lead to widespread damage.
The 2012 derecho impacted both Virginia and West Virginia. The hefty line of storms was responsible for knocking down multiple trees and damaging several homes. The derecho arrived during the middle of an extreme heat wave, with high temperatures pushing 100 degrees in most spots.
The power was out for days and even weeks for some. Many residents had to find alternate ways to cool down from the heat. Many retail stores were slammed for water and food, while many hardware stores were picked for generators. Some residents recall waiting in long lines to pump their gas.
Power outages are common during strong to severe thunderstorms, which is why we always stress how important it is to have MULTIPLE WAYS to receive weather alerts.
After the storm, the National Weather Service and numerous power companies looked for ways to better prepare the public for a tragic weather event, such as the 2012 derecho. This derecho has led to more detailed watches, warnings, and advisories from the National Weather Service.
Our WVVA Weather App is an amazing tool to have and it is free on the App Store or Google Play store. It tracks your location and sends you up to the minute weather information and important alerts.