Do you remember the 2012 D.C. derecho?

After the derecho, downed trees like this one on a street in Georgetown were a common sighting. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)

Do you remember the 2012 D.C. derecho? Where were you when the storms hit on June 29? Comment here or on the WTOP Facebook page.

WASHINGTON — On the evening of Friday June 29, 2012, a powerful line of thunderstorms raced eastward at nearly 60 miles-per-hour from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic coast and pummeled the greater Washington area.

In its wake, these storms left behind mass destruction, millions in property damage, massive power outages and resulted in at least 20 fatalities throughout the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists used the term “derecho” to describe this type of violent, long- lived windstorm that blanketed the area and left residents, at first, scratching their heads saying, “A what?”

The derecho meaning is better known to those living in the central and southern plains of the United States, where derechos occur more frequently, reports NWS.

The 2012 derecho caught many off guard, but the NWS Storm Prediction Center worked with NWS field offices to issue four “Severe Thunderstorm Watches” a few hours before the derecho to notify the area of potentially damaging winds. Warnings were issued when that potential turned to expectation.

Although a handful of tornado warnings were issued, there were only two confirmed reports of tornadoes associated with the 2012 derecho.

The NWS says the greater Washington region averages a derecho about once every two to four years with the last significant derecho to hit the Washington, D.C.- Baltimore metro region as June 4, 2008.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on the WTOP Facebook page.


Advertiser Content