What is a derecho? The deadly storm that stunned the Houston area

What us a derecho? (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Thursday’s deadly storm is now classified as a Derecho, a type of straight-line windstorm, according to the National Weather Service.

They’re confirming what KPRC 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley predicted Friday morning.

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RELATED: Here’s what hit Houston yesterday

Derecho definition from NOAA: A widespread, long-lived windstorm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. If wind damage extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of the length.

The storm started north of Houston and ended to southeast of Houston. The KPRC 2 weather team is researching to see exactly where the derecho started.

Derechos are considered rare.

RELATED: EF-1 tornado touchdown confirmed in Cypress area during severe weather

Straight-line winds are often mistaken with tornadoes because of their dangerous and destructive nature. Unlike tornadoes, straight-line winds have no rotation.

In the Cypress area, the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touchdown Thursday evening. Officials said the strength of the tornado was an EF-1 with winds at 110 mph.

RELATED: EF-1 tornado touchdown confirmed in Cypress area during severe weather

Houston Mayor John Whitmire told the city on Thursday night at least four people died due to the storm. A young mother of four is among the victims, police said. She tried moving her car so a tree wouldn’t fall on it, but tragically, a tree came down on top of her vehicle while she was inside.


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About the Author

I am grateful for the opportunity to share the captivating tales of weather, climate, and science within a community that has undergone the same transformative moments that have shaped my own life.

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