NOAA Satellite Imagery Shows "Derecho" Wind Storm That Hit Washington Area
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a video showing the formation and movement of a devastating wind storm that hit several states, including the Washington-Baltimore area, on Friday night Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
The video shows a storm called a "derecho" form near Chicago and move east, wreaking havoc in its path. The imagery is from NOAA's GOES East geostationary satellite. Derechos are long-lived straight-line wind storms accompanied by showers or thunderstorms. The storm knocked out electrical power, Internet service, and phone service to about 3 million customers from Ohio to New Jersey. The Washington-Baltimore area reportedly had 1 million people without electricity at the height of the outage. Although many customers have been restored, hundreds of thousands remain without power today.
NOAA has been under a lot of criticism for its management of weather satellites and at a hearing two days before this storm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned of a potential gap in coverage from GOES satellites in the 2016-2017 time frame. GAO said the first of a new series, GOES-R, may not meet its October 2015 launch date. Concern had been focused on a potential data gap from NOAA's polar orbiting weather satellites in that same time period.
SpacePolicyOnline.com has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.