A "super derecho" of violent thunderstorms left a more than 700-mile trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Friday, cutting power to millions and killing thirteen people.
More than 600 damaging wind reports were received by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) as the derecho took roughly 12 hours to race from northern Indiana to the southern mid-Atlantic coast.
A derecho is defined as a widespread and long-lived wind storm that accompanies rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. The most severe derechos are given the adjective "super."
Winds gusted to 91 mph (equal to that of a category 1 hurricane) at the Fort Wayne International Airport, Ind., Friday afternoon.
As the derecho maintained its violent nature, an 81 mph gust was then measured at Tuckerton, on the southern New Jersey coast, early Saturday morning.
Downed trees dominated the damaging wind reports and led to the deaths of 13 people, according to Fox News.
One of the multiple trees that crashed into homes in Springfield, Va., killed a 90-year-old woman as she was sleeping in her bed, according to the Associated Press.
A few hours earlier, a falling tree outside of North Middletown, Ky., (located east-northeast of Lexington) killed a man who was attempting to clear some tree limbs off a road.
Two boys died by a pine tree fell onto a tent at Parvin State Park, N.J.
Damage on Friday was not confined to downed trees. Power poles were also snapped, while some structures sustained damage. At least four semi-trucks were blown over by the winds on I-75 between Findlay and Bluffton, Ohio.
States of emergencies have been declared in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. With 2.5 million in the dark, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stated that his state experienced its largest non-hurricane power outage in history.
A trampoline hangs over a power line following Friday's derecho. Photo by Twitter user Tina C. Check out more shocking images of the derecho's damage in this story.
Friday's super derecho was triggered by a ripple in the jet stream and fueled by the intense heat that caused Washington, D.C., to set a June record high and Columbia, S.C., to break its all-time record on Friday.
Derechos typically strike the lower Midwest states once every year, according to the SPC. The occurrence of derechos, however, are quite rare across the mid-Atlantic, south of Philadelphia. On average, this region endures a derecho once every four years.
One of the most recent significant derechos to slam the United States occurred on May 8, 2009. This weather phenomena traveled more than a thousand miles in 24 hours from southeastern Kansas to the southern spine of the Appalachian Mountains.
Destruction from the May 2009 derecho totaled millions of dollars with numerous injuries and several deaths reported.
One main difference between the May 2009 derecho and Friday's is the number of tornadoes spawned. Forty-five tornadoes were sighted in May 2009, while there was only one unconfirmed report of a tornado on the ground in Newcomerstown, Ohio, Friday afternoon.
Winds in the strongest derechos can top 100 mph. The derecho that tore through Wisconsin and Lower Michigan on May 31, 1998, produced a 128 mph wind gust in eastern Wisconsin.
Severe thunderstorms return near Little Rock, threatening areas from Oklahoma City to Dallas to close out Wednesday evening.
Tropical Depression Two has lost its battle to become the next Atlantic tropical storm, but it will still increase shower activity across the Caribbean to end the week.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
Fresh cooler and less humid air will settle over the Boston area for Thursday and Friday.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Northeast at midweek is contributing to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
New Zealand (1995)
Extreme cold - a bay in Littleton Harbor froze for the first time in "living memory".
Simla, CO (1996)
4.5" diameter hail.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."