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Arctic Air Plunges into the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Arctic air dropping through the northern and eastern U.S. and a storm off the east coast will bring periods of snow, very cold wind chills and hazardous traveling conditions from the Upper Great Lakes to the Northeast. Meanwhile in southern California, Santa Ana winds will decrease but hot, dry air will remain over the area with elevated fire weather conditions. Read More >

The combination of very warm temperatures, low relative humidity (below 20 percent this afternoon), breezy west-southwest to southwest winds, and cured fuels will result in a very elevated fire weather threat today across much of North and Central Texas. Extreme care during all outside activities where there is a potential for fire ignition today!
With an elevated fire weather threat today, here are some tips to help prevent wildfires!
Another cold front will move into the region this evening and overnight. This front will result in a north wind shift, but gusty winds are not expected until Thursday. Low temperatures will be in the 30s for most.
In the wake of Wednesday night/Thursday's cold front, temperatures will fall back to near or slightly below normal values. Expect some northerly breezes through Friday.
Satellites and radars are picking up on signs on ongoing fires this afternoon. The satellite is seeing warmer than surrounding areas, and the radar is picking up on smoke plumes, likely emanating from the hot spots.

 
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April 3rd 2012 Severe Weather Outbreak

Lancaster/Dallas Tornado

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth have given portions of the damage in Lancaster a preliminary rating of EF-2, with estimated wind speeds up to 130 mph. The tornado had a path length of 7.1 miles and a maximum width of 200 yards. Additional information will be added to this page as it becomes available.

…Preliminary Findings from the Lancaster/Dallas Storm Surveys…

On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, a crew from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth surveyed the damaged areas in the Lancaster and Dallas areas in Dallas County.  

The finding was that a tornado occured in Lancaster and continued into southern Dallas on April 3, 2012. The tornado has been given a rating of EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The maximum path width was 200 yards, with an estimated path length of 7.1 miles and estimated wind speeds of 130 mph.

 The damage started east of the intersection of interstate 35E and Parkerville Road in Lancaster. There was intermittent damage throughout Lancaster as the tornado traveled several miles to the northeast. The most significant damage then occurred near the intersections of Wintergreen Road, Telephone Road and North Dallas Road. The damage path then continue to the north-northeast and crossed Interstate 20 where it caused significant damage to a trucking facility. The tornado continued a short distance to the north-northeast before lifting near the intersection of Bonnie View Road and Memory Lane in Dallas.

Lancaster/Dallas Tornado

   

Tornado Damage in Lancaster, Texas
This photo was taken by our Ellis/Dallas survey team near the intersection of Telephone Road and North Dallas Ave in Lancaster TX. It shows large sections of the roof on a single family residence were removed.

 

Tornado Damage
This photo was taken by a NWS Storm Survey team on April 4, 2012. It shows EF-2 tornado damage that occurred on April 3, 2012.

Tornado Damage in Lancaster, Texas
This photo was taken near the intersection of Pleasant Run Road and Rogers Ave in Lancaster. This photo shows damage to one and two story single family residences. Note the significant loss of roof and roof covering material and failure of the chimney.