Up until last night it had been a pretty quiet start to the severe weather season across the United States. With storm teams from the National Weather Service surveying the damage today, storm surveys show the area of Granbury, Texas was hardest hit by storms with reports of as many as 6 people dead and many more injured. Preliminary reports out of the region by NWS meteorologists are showing EF-4 tornado damage. The same strength as the storm to hit Van Wert in 2002.
A home completely taken off its foundation in Granbury. Courtesy NWS
While watching the storms last night, our radar caught the very strong rotation within the storm that produced this deadly tornado. This radar image shows the tornado just as it passed East of Granbury. The red colors indicate winds moving away from the radar and the green colors indicate winds moving towards the radar site. Where the two bright red and green colors meet, that’s where you have the potential tornado.
When strong rotation like this shows up on radar, it’s usually a very good bet that there is either a funnel cloud present or a tornado on the ground. Surprisingly, there have only been 3 actual reports of tornadoes from last nights storms. But the ones that did form appear to have been very strong.
Here is a look at the storm reports from spotters on May 15th.
Here is a link to the National Weather Service’s preliminary report from the region.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those communities in Texas hit by last nights storms.