Warning, this post might be a bit graphic for some, read at your own risk.
Today is the 18th anniversary of the Jarrell, Texas tornado. The tornado produced some of and maybe the worst damage ever seen.
There were many anomalies with the small tornado outbreak that occurred on May 27, 1997. The tornado moves in a Southwest direction due an outflow
boundary that had stalled as a Northeast to Southwest line in central Texas.
The Jarrell tornado started off small, but rapidly intensified into a 3/4th mile wide multi-vortex tornado. The tornado obliterated the Double Creek
estates. A lot of F5 tornadoes are known to sweep houses of their foundation and dump it yards and sometimes miles away. The Jarrell tornado, however,
left no debris in the hardest hit areas. The tornado grinded everything in it's path to unrecognizable pieces. A 10 ton dump truck was sucked up by
the tornado was never found again. A recycling plant that was supported with Steele beams only had a few beams left that were bent into pretzel shape.
First responders couldn't tell the difference between humans and animals, anything with flesh was sandblasted into oblivion. The tornado literary
wiped the neighborhood off the face if the Earth.
Many people believe that the damage the tornado produced was due to it's slow moving nature, but there are flaws with this hypothesis. If the tornado
had done it's damage because of it's slow movement and not it's wind speed, the tornado would have left a lot more visible debris on the ground.
Another thing is that the there have been many tornadoes that have moved as slow or slower than Jarrell's but none have produced damage even close to
Jarrell's level. A prime example is the Bowdle, South Dakota, tornado of 2010, which became stationary at one time.
Though no mobile Doppler radar's were within range to measure the tornado's wind speed, due to the extreme damage meteorologist hypothesize that the
tornado could have had wind speeds of up to 400 miles per hour at it's peak intensity. This would make it the strongest tornado ever recorded if it
had been. Though no F6 tornadoes have never occurred, this tornado has thought to be the closest there was to one. Though as of now an EF-6 tornado is
not possible, all it takes is for a tornado to destroy a downtown to have the category reinstated.
Though the Jarrell tornado could have been bad, the day could have been a lot worse. If the outflow boundary had stalled about 10 miles further south,
the tornado would have gone straight through Austin, and if the boundary had stalled about 100 miles north or so then the state of Texas would have
experienced it's worst nightmare; The tornado would have went through the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
edit on 27-5-2015 by IngyBall because: a
couple of changes needed it to be made, it was a recycling plant not concrete, and it was a dump truck.