The first major severe weather outbreak of the Spring season struck the Southern US Monday and Tuesday, leaving destruction from Texas to Alabama. Moderate Risks (Level 4/5) were put into place by the SPC for both days, with a particular emphasis on the potential for strong tornadoes. The threat was largely anticipated for over a week, with the risk highlighted eight days before the event. The outbreak of severe storms was largely the first major severe event of the year, which often peaks in April. On Monday, the greatest threat occurred over Texas, while on Tuesday the storms impacted Mississippi and Louisiana. Force Thirteen US was live providing coverage on the storms both days, which included on-the-ground coverage from Round Rock, TX, which saw significant damage.
The first day of the event began on Monday as the strong spring storm system moved to the North and East. Warm, moist air along with an intense jet stream led to a formidable severe weather risk over Eastern Texas, where conditions were favorable for the development of tornadoes, some strong. The day began with a large tornado near Jacksboro, where severe damage was inflicted at the local high school. The tornado was given a preliminary rating of an EF3, with winds of 150mph. At the same time, a tornado occurred near Bowie, TX, resulting in damage to multiple structures. In Sherman, an EF2 tornado occurred resulting in damage to over 100 buildings, as well as injuries to 11 people. In addition, an elderly woman was killed in the tornado. 11 total tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth, although surveys still continue for tornadoes that occurred later in the day around the Austin and College Station area. There, Force Thirteen US got an exclusive look at the damage from a tornado near Round Rock, Texas through our contributor Samuel who happened to document the damage while traveling by train through the area. In addition to the Round Rock Tornado, a likely tornado also struck near College Station, home to Texas A&M University. As night fell, the storms raced eastward and congealed into a tornadic system of thunderstorms.
As morning dawned on Tuesday, the line of severe thunderstorms continued to jaunt to the east. The main concern was for the potential of renegade storms that would form ahead of the line where conditions were highly favorable for strong tornadoes. A moderate risk was put in place for almost all of Mississippi and Louisiana as the dangerous line of thunderstorms raced east. While several tornadoes were confirmed, the tornadoes were not as widespread and intense as expected, primarily in the main line. However, a strong tornado developed later in the evening in the suburbs of New Orleans, where significant damage was inflicted in the Lower Ninth Ward and the Arabi portions of the city. The tornado, which caused severe damage, took out power for large areas of the eastern suburbs. Early reports suggested severe damage including cars thrown and houses nearly flattened. Thankfully, no fatalities were recorded with the tornado, although it impacted highly populated regions.
Thankfully, the severe weather scene looks relatively calm for the next week, which will allow affected areas to start to recover from the damage. For further coverage, stay tuned to Force Thirteen US which will be running a livestream covering the aftermath of the dangerous storm.