Looking Back at the 2 Derechos That Hit South Dakota in 2022
Twice in 2022 South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa were hit by storms known as derechos.
There was lots of damage all around the area from the 70 mph and higher sustained winds, big hail, and heavy rain. Trees were down, roofs were blown off, and crops were laid out flat from the May 12 and July 5 storms.
The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said that “after discussing with the Storms Prediction Center, this thunderstorm complex has been termed a derecho due to meeting the track distance and width criteria, along with sufficient high wind reports.
Widespread 60 to 80-mph winds were reported through South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa during both storms.
The May event produced 107 mile-per-hour wind gusts in Hutchinson County. Plus that storm produced a destructive tornado that nearly destroyed Castlewood, SD.
SEE IT: One year Since the Destructive Castlewood, South Dakota Tornado
The July 2022 derecho caused one of the craziest weather events ever in Sioux Falls: scary green skies.
The apocalyptic scene was caused by ice in the clouds refracting sunlight.
"[S]unlight behind the thunderstorm is attenuated and scattered by the rain and/or hail shaft to yield a bluish hue. If this thunderstorm occurs around sunrise or sunset, when the sun takes on a more red/orange/yellow look thanks to a longer trip of the sun's rays through the atmosphere, that thunderstorm could instead look more green." - Weather.com
MORE: Unbelievable Green Sky Over Sioux Falls Before Storm
So what exactly is a 'Derecho?'
According to the National Weather Service, A derecho (pronounced "deh-REY-cho") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.
Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath.
As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage.
By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.”