The massive Texas storm that produced deadly tornadoes and baseball-sized hail
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
On March 28, 2000, an F3 tornado hit downtown Fort Worth, Texas, killing two people and causing significant damage to the city's infrastructure. The tornado was one part of severe storms in Texas and Oklahoma.
The environment was packed with moisture and the unstable atmosphere was met with a low-pressure system. Initially, the computer modelling indicated that the storms would only produce strong winds. Things escalated quickly.
"Damage to the Bank One Building (now known as The Tower) in downtown Fort Worth from the 2000 Fort Worth tornado." Courtesy of Wikipedia
The first two tornado watches were issued at 2:53 p.m. for areas of southern Oklahoma and North-Central Texas.
The first recorded tornado struck Montague, a county in Texas. It was registered as an F0 on the Fujita scale. The tornado damaged a mobile home and hail from the same supercell pelted cars.
The storms were just getting started.
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The next recorded tornado was an F3 and hit Tarrant, Texas at 6:18 p.m. The tornado started its destructive path by tearing off metal roof panels from a vacant fast-food restaurant. The tornado then crossed highways and damaged trees, buildings, and chimneys.
Radar reflectivity of the Fort Worth Tornado. Courtesy of NOAA
The tornado continued its path through a Montgomery Ward distribution centre. Someone was trying to run towards a shelter but was killed by a blowing truck. Another person was killed when a brick wall collapsed on them. These were the two deaths associated with the storm.
There were eight more confirmed tornadoes that day. But, unfortunately, the storm also produced extremely large hail, which took someone's life.
The same storm that produced the deadly tornado also brewed baseball-sized hail. A large piece of hail struck and killed Jose Carlos Oseguera.
To learn more about this relentless Texan storm, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."
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