Monday, April 17, 2017

Significant Mile-Wide Tornado, Rated EF3, Damages Several Homes Near Dimmitt, Texas

April 16,2017
A long-lived supercell thunderstorm in the Texas panhandle Friday evening spawned multiple tornadoes, including one that was a mile wide and caused EF3 damage just outside the town of Dimmitt.
The persistent supercell thunderstorm developed just after 4 p.m. CDT on Friday afternoon near the Texas and New Mexico border. It then continued pushing east through the Texas panhandle for about nine hours across portions of Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Hale and Floyd counties.
(MORE: Tornado Central)
The storm first brought large hail as it sluggishly moved eastward. Hail larger than a baseball was reported near Bovina and Friona, Texas, shattering windshields of at least two cars, including one police car.
By 6 p.m, the supercell thunderstorm began to produce tornadoes as it entered Castro County, Texas.
The most significant tornado was on the ground for about 20 minutes in Castro County west of Dimmitt and had a damage path up to 1.1 miles wide, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
An EF3 rating was given to the tornado based on the fact that a metal building was completely destroyed and displaced hundreds of feet northwest of its original location. Winds were estimated as high as 140 mph in the area that saw the worst damage.
(MORE: April is a Dangerous Month For Tornadoes)
Some nearby homes also saw EF2 damage from the large tornado.
The NWS said that damage was difficult to classify along the rest of the tornado's 4.5 mile-long-path since it moved through a rural area with few damage indicators to rate. Tornadoes are rated on the Enhanced Fujita Scale based on the damage that they cause.
(MORE: How Tornadoes Are Rated)
The town of Dimmitt itself was mostly spared, but some power poles were damaged by straight-line winds.

MORE: Midwest Tornadoes, March 2017

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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