Destructive North Texas tornado outbreak claims six lives

A string of good fortune over the past year came to an end last night. We’ve gone 12 months with a record low death toll from tornadoes. Unfortunately, we were made well aware again of the deadly power of tornadoes in Texas. An outbreak of twisters in north Texas claimed 6 lives and injured about 100 people. There are 7 people still missing as of Thursday evening.

The strongest tornado hit Granbury, a town of 8,000 people about 65 miles southwest of Dallas, after about 8pm. This powerful twister was rated an intense EF-4 with winds estimated between 160 to 200 mph according to the local National Weather Service office. Below is a video captured of this powerful tornado.

Another tornado would go on to cause heavy damage in the town of Cleburne. This twister was rated an EF-3. In all, the NWS has a preliminary count of 16 tornadoes that struck north Texas last night. The storms were also responsible for large hail. There were some reports of softball-sized hail of up to 4” in diameter. Here are the storm reports from yesterday.

Over 250 people were left homeless from these destructive tornadoes. Above is a picture of a house that was completely destroyed in Granbury with only the slab remaining. This has been the year’s deadliest tornado outbreak so far. Unfortunately, more severe weather is in the forecast as we go into the weekend and on into next for the central U.S. Looks like the tornado season of 2013 is picking up quickly this month after a very slow start.

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