As we mentioned this morning, the rare “derecho” storm that hit the East Coast today didn't really make much of an impact in NYC (nor did it do so in DC). But before you hock a loogie in the face of Jupiter and Neptune, hoister that saliva: we're still due for some intense rain and flooding overnight. Just look at the Accuweather map above! Maps don't lie!
Here's what the National Weather Service has to say about tonight, when we'll see the worst of it between 8 p.m. and midnight (so plan accordingly, rain pancho enthusiasts).
Showers and scattered thunderstorms this evening...then showers likely after midnight. Patchy fog after midnight. Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds this evening. Locally heavy rainfall possible this evening. Breezy with lows in the upper 50s. North winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.
Oh, and just because we didn't see the effects of the derecho here doesn't mean other parts of the country didn't: according to NBC, "thousands and thousands of lightning strikes lit up Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Just as the storm left the coast at noon it racked up over 3000 strikes within 15 minutes."
And since we're on the topic, Gothamist in-house meteorologist Joe Schumacher passed along some notes about derechos:
Basically, a derecho is a long-lasting, straight-line wind that precedes a big, big thunderstorm as it moves during the day. They are often associated with a beast called a Mesoscale Convective System, which is an organized group of thunderstorms that typically form on the High Plains at night and drift eastward (derechos are most frequent over the Midwest in the warm season and the lower Mississippi Valley in the cold half of the year). Today's storm formed over Chicago yesterday.
Because it lasts so long, and the winds are so strong, a derecho can cause a lot of damage over a widespread area. The winds were named derecho, a spanish adjective for straight, to distinguish those winds from the rotating winds of a tornado. It's a good foreign-sounding word CNN and TWC can repeat ad nauseum to frighten their viewers.
The name was first used in the 1880s and was used a lot in the 1890s to 1907. My favorite was "Derecho, not tornado, of May 16 in Ohio" because it shows how primitive meteorology was back then—no instrument readings, just eyewitness observations. Mysteriously, there was not one mention of derecho in the literature between 1907 and 1984.
New York State has the dubious distinction of leading the country in derecho deaths, 153, between 1986 and 2003. There was also a nasty derecho in the mid-90s that knocked down untold numbers of trees in the Adirondack's.