Update, 6:56 p.m.: The National Weather Service has confirmed a fifth tornado touched down in Benbrook. It is part of storms that plowed through North Texas this week.
This comes after one of the storms that struck The Colony yesterday was also EF-0 tornado.
An EF-0 tornado has wind speeds of between 65 to 85 miles per hour, according to the Enhanced Fujita scale.
“Most of your tornadoes are going to be on the lower end of the spectrum,” Matt Stalley, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said. “The majority of tornadoes are EF-0 and EF-1 touchdowns that only last a few minutes at most.”
Some homes were thought to be damaged by straight-line winds before the weather service confirmed the tornado.
“They did find quite a bit of straight-line wind damage with that storm, but there also seemed to be a brief EF-0 touchdown,” said Stalley. "Straight-line winds can certainly be as strong as those tornadoes, if not stronger."
The Colony has already begun cleanup efforts. Red Cross spokesperson Dan Halyburton said other than the shelter in Stephenville, the Red Cross hasn’t set up any new shelters.
About straight-line winds
The National Weather Service explains:
Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
Residents in Tolar, Stephenville, and Cool are cleaning up after EF-1 tornadoes struck the towns.
EF-1 tornadoes on the Enhanced Fujita scale have wind speeds between 86 to 100 miles per hour.
The tornado in Cool occurred in the evening hours on March 7th. It damaged at least seven homes scattered over the rural area, which is located about 40 miles west of Fort Worth.
Some vehicles were damaged by flying debris, but no injuries were reported.
The tornados in Tolar and Stephenville occurred yesterday morning. 2 injuries were reported in Tolar and one reported in Stephenville.
The damage in Tolar seems to be concentrated in a mobile home park.
“Mobile homes, even in 80 mile per hour winds, can be displaced pretty easily,” National Weather Service meteorologist Lamont Bain said. “They’re not safe in a tornado, and they’re not even safe in damaging straight-line winds, especially if they’re not anchored.”
Video: Tornado in Tolar, Texas
The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Stephenville for residents of an apartment complex that was heavily damaged.
- Stephenville Senior Center, 164 College Street, Stephenville, TX
Several homes were also damaged in The Colony, which likely came from straight-line winds.