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The Historic Derecho of June 29, 2012

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On June 29, 2012, a derecho of historic proportions struck the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states. The derecho traveled for 700 miles, impacting 10 states and Washington, D.C. The hardest hit states were Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, as well as Washington, D.C. The winds generated by this system were intense, with several measured gusts exceeding 80 mph. Unfortunately, 13 people were killed by the extreme winds, mainly by falling trees. An estimated 4 million customers lost power for up to a week. The region impacted by the derecho was also in the midst of a heat wave. The heat, coupled with the loss of power, led to a life-threatening situation. Heat claimed 34 lives in areas without power following the derecho.


Due to the significance of this event, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service formed a Service Assessment Team to evaluate the National Weather Service’s performance before and during the event. The findings and recommendations from this assessment will improve the quality of National Weather Service products and services and increase awareness related to severe thunderstorms and intense heat. The ultimate goal of this report is to help the National Weather Service




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