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Derecho flashback July 1, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Weather.

Friday’s derecho that plowed through the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic took me back fourteen years to a derecho that impacted Long Island.

Derecho” is a Spanish term that has many translations, including “straight.”  The “straight” translation gives the long-lasting weather event its name because of the straight-line winds it produces.

The derecho I remember hit in the mid-afternoon of September 7, 1998; Labor Day.  But I didn’t even know of that term, or the swath of damage it caused, until last winter while reading up on major storms that have hit Long Island.

Outside of looking at the radar on The Weather Channel and hearing the thunder, I was oblivious of the derecho’s effects.  I was in the basement of my friend Joey’s house, a few blocks southwest of my home in Wantagh.  The basement was basically his apartment.  It had a bedroom, entertainment center (where we were at the time), and bathroom.  I sat at a table while he sat on the couch.  I flipped back and forth from The Weather Channel and ESPN, the latter of which was carrying a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  Mark McGwire hit his 61st home run of that season in that game.

Despite the strong winds and lightning, the power never went out at Joey’s house.  My house wasn’t so lucky.  We did lose power.  Considering what I learned recently, I can understand why and why it was out for so long.  Power was not restored until around 4AM, about half a day after the derecho hit.

YouTube user Eltiempo10 has video of a Weather Channel Local Forecast at 2:58 PM:

The forecast begins at 0:38, following a station promo featuring Mike Bono, who is now at YNN.  (Click here for my December 2005 interview with him.)  The JFK “Current Conditions” observation at the top of the forecast is from before the derecho.  At 0:50, you’ll notice the temperature went down 11 degrees and the wind speed was 51 MPH!  Much of the last 90-seconds is the 90-minute radar loop.  The music excerpt used is “Secrets” by Brazilian jazz guitarist Torcuato Mariano, from his 1995 album Last Look.



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