Derecho was term coined by physicist in late 1800s

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Associated Press

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- With a massive line of storms poised to rumble through the Midwest meteorologists were throwing the word "derecho" around like a football.  Experts defined a derecho as a line of long-lived, powerful storms with winds of 60-100 mph.

But where does the word come from?

Marc Dahmer of the National Weather Service in Indianapolis says the term was coined in 1888 by a physics professor at the University of Iowa who studied a storm system that had passed through Iowa 11 years before. 

The name Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs invented for the violent storms came from the Spanish word for "direct" or "straight ahead." The weather service says the word "tornado" is believed to derive from the Spanish word "tornar," which means "to turn."

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