Tornadoes rip through Dallas metro area
At least three tornadoes have ripped through the Dallas metro area this afternoon, one passing between Dallas and Fort Worth, bearing down on the Dallas-Fort Worth airport but narrowly missing to the east. The other two tornadoes passed east of Dallas, one touching down near the town of Forney, where there were reports of impacts to the high school. The DFW airport issued a ground stop for all incoming flights and grounded all planes at their airports, and a spokesman said they were sheltering passengers. The airport is now closed while they inspect the planes for hail damage, and can accept no incoming flights for lack of a place to put them.
Residential neighborhoods were completely destroyed in the Arlington tornado, and tractor trailers were tossed like toys. Extensive damage was done to the Green Oaks nursing home and rehab center, which is just east of Lake Arlington. The Arlington tornado was on the ground for approximately 30 minutes. In addition to the tornadoes, trained storm spotters were reporting hail up to three inches in diameter, which is approximately the size of a baseball.
The mayor and city council of Arlington, Texas declared a state of disaster for the city when, just an hour after the tornado had passed through, it was obvious that the area had sustained incredible damage.
Tornado warnings continue to be issued, and the potential for severe thunderstorms with and tornadoes will continue through the evening in eastern Texas, Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, and Louisiana. The convective outlook paints a good picture of the tornado potential for the rest of the evening. If you're in one of these regions, stay alert for tornado watches or warnings that may be issued.
Radar reflectivity of the tornadic thunderstorms as they passed over the Dallas metro area this afternoon. The storms that produced tornadoes are circled, and Arlington, Texas has been pointed out on the map.
Tornado warnings (red) and severe thunderstorm warnings (yellow) at the time two tornadoes were passing to the east and west of Dallas, Texas.
Video of the Arlington tornado developing as it crosses US-287 near Sublett Road, from Twitter user @wesstevens.
Video 2. Dramatic video of semi-trailers being tossed more than 100 feet in the air by the Lancaster, Texas tornado of April 3, 2012.
Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather
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