Do you remember a particularly annoying thunderstorm last year? This is not surprising, because it is a day that marked the history of weather.
On June 3, 2020, around noon, a derecho thunderstorm roared across eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and, as many remember, had lasting effects.
The Derechos are lines of thunderstorms that produce at least 240 miles of wind damage and continuous winds of at least 58 mph, endangering life and property.
Unfortunately, such standards were reached last year across the region. First, a menacing cloud of shelves resembling a multi-layered cake led the storm for just a few minutes.
Soon after, residents felt the storm’s wrath through extreme wind gusts – some examples include 83 mph in Reading, 76 mph in Pottstown, and even 93 mph on the Jersey Shore. He also dropped heavy showers accompanied by small hail in some areas.
Flooding, flying debris, telephone lines and trees torn from the ground, and property damage were some of the many effects felt across the region.
After its completion, 575,000 people lost electricity and four lives were lost in Montgomery and Delaware counties due to fallen trees. The remarkable extent of this damage is surprising, because the last time a derecho was seen in the region was in June 2012. This storm alone was in the national news and will be remembered by the United States. meteorological history.
But hold on. Mother Nature decided she was ready for more. At approximately 6:40 p.m. that same night, Pottstown and the surrounding area were placed under another severe thunderstorm warning by the National Weather Service. This time the culprit was a supercell.
These storms are different from derechos because they exist as a single cell, which means they are much more localized. However, this does not limit their power. These are the storms most likely to produce tornadoes; and, in fact, that fear almost came to fruition when Philadelphia was placed under a tornado warning as the storm approached later that evening.
While a tornado never touched the ground, destructive winds and hail were again seen in the area, bringing power outages to a total of over 850,000 for the day. Many were still running on generators since the morning storm when the second storm hit. Fortunately, no fatalities resulted from this punch, but the damage was still significant and lasting.
“It was quite rare, especially for this part of the country. I can’t think of any other examples like this, ”said Jonathon O’Brien, meteorologist at the nearest National Weather Service station in Mount Holly, NJ, while referring to the sequence of events.
It was O’Brien who issued most of the warnings during this busy day. He said the storms were well forecast, even the possibility of two separate tours. However, their intensity was intriguing.
“Normally, once you get a series of severe thunderstorms, especially as severe as the derecho, it stabilizes the atmosphere that holds the storms in at least until the next day. It was a little surprising that we could have two separate tours, each with such severity. “
From O’Brien’s impression, it is evident that this was a landmark day in the careers of many local meteorologists.
Obviously having two separate and severe storms on the same day is an unusual event, especially for this part of the country and especially when the storms are presented in two completely different ways.
That punch will be remembered in local and national history books, but it looks like it was a fitting crazy day for 2020.
Will Cano is a junior at Owen J. Roberts High School who has a real passion for the weather. You can find him any day reciting weather forecasts and events to his peers. Will founded the Meteorology Club in his high school and is currently its president. He has also won awards at the NASA College and American Meteorological Society Science Fair with his project on Atmospheric Aerosols and Hurricanes. His true love for science fuels his desire to become a meteorologist or orthopedic surgeon in the future.