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Fire Weather Threats Continue in the West; Wintry Weather from Upper Midwest to New England

High pressure in the west continues to send weather systems into the Great Basin, and this is keeping fire weather threats elevated to critical across southern California. A series of weather systems will bring widespread snow from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast U.S., with locally heavier snow amounts on the lee side of the Great Lakes. Read More >

Rain returns to the region Saturday and Sunday. The rain will spread into the region from the south Saturday afternoon and evening, and exit the region to the east on Sunday. Highest rain chances are Saturday night along and east of Interstate 35/35W. Rainfall totals are generally expected to be less than a half of an inch, and some locations west of Interstate 35 may not receive any rain.
Maybe you've heard a rumor about wintry weather before Christmas? It's true, some of the forecast data does suggest a weather pattern favorable for winter weather. However it's such a long way out, weather forecasters have to deal with uncertainty. One of the best ways to show uncertainty is with probabilities. Hear's a chart that shows the highest probability of a certain type of weather December 21st through December 25th. See why snow and ice may be possible, but the most likely forecast is cold and dry.
With very little rainfall the past several weeks, widespread moderate to severe drought has overspread much of the region. Burn bans are in effect for many counties across the region due to the resultant increased fire danger.
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 tonight and Thursday morning will be in the 30s for most locations.

 
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Tornadoes Strike Navarro County
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Based on eyewitness reports, survey information from emergency management officials, and radar data, it appears that two tornadoes developed in southern portions of Navarro County on the morning of Wednesday, September 5, 2007.

The first tornado developed at approximately 7:42 am. The first damage was observed 6.4 miles south-southeast of the community of Richland. The tornado moved northeast and caused minor tree damage to the west of Highway 14. This tornado will be rated an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Maximum winds were likely in the 70-80 mph range. The path length of the twister was 0.8 miles with an average path width of 40 yards.

Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm southwest of Richland, near the Freestone County line, at 7:35 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar.

Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm southwest of Richland, near the Freestone County line, at 7:35 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar.

Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm southwest of Richland, near the Freestone County line, at 7:35 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar.

The second tornado formed at 7:47 am, roughly 2 miles east-southeast of the first tornado. The first damage was noted along County Road 2410, just north of the Freestone County line. This twister was more significant than the first. It uprooted trees and snapped trunks and large limbs as it moved northeast. The tornado destroyed a barn approximately 1 mile west of Interstate 45 and damaged two metal transmission line towers 1/2 mile west of the Interstate. The tornado dissipated shortly after crossing Interstate 45. Based on the transmission tower and tree damage, as well as damage surrounding these areas, the tornado will be rated a low EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Maximum winds were likely in the 110-120 mph range. The twister path length was 6.1 miles with an average path width of 80 yards. 

Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm south of Richland, along I-45, at 7:51 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar. Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm south of Richland, along I-45, at 7:51 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar.
Reflectivity image (left) and velocity image (right) of the tornadic storm south of Richland, along I-45, at 7:51 am. In the velocity image, red indicates motion away from the radar in Fort Worth, and green indicates motion toward the radar.

 

Damage to metal transmission line towers 1/2 mile west of Interstate 45: Tree damage near the Navarro/Freestone County Line:
Damage to metal transmission line towers 1/2 mile west of Interstate 45: Tree damage near the Navarro/Freestone County Line:

 

Structural Damage near Interstate 45:

Structural Damage near Interstate 45:

 

Red lines indicate tornado paths between the community of Richland and the Freestone County Line:

Red lines indicate tornado paths between the community of Richland and the Freestone County Line:

This event was a reminder to all of us in North Texas that tornadoes can, and do, occur any time of the day and any time of the year. These storms reinforce the need to have a severe weather plan in place and practice it frequently. Furthermore, now is the time to get your NOAA weather radio ready. Weather radios will alert you of hazardous weather...whenever it strikes!

For more details on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, visit www.spc.noaa.gov/efscale/

Special thanks to Eric Meyers, Navarro County Emergency Management Coordinator, for the aerial photos. All photos are copyright and courtesy of Navarro County Emergency Management.