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It will be cloudy, breezy and warmer today with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Normal highs for this time of the year are in the upper 50s to lower 60s, but highs today will be 10 to over 15 degrees above normal with 70s to near 80 degrees expected. South winds at 15 to 25 mph will occur with some gusts over 35 mph possible along and west of the I-35 corridor.
We will have another cloudy, breezy, warm, and humid night tonight. Lows will be in the 60s which will be slightly above our normal highs for this time of the year! There will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms across all of North and Central Texas. Winds will be southerly at 15 to 25 mph.
Join us Tuesday, February 20th, for our SKYWARN class in Cooper, Texas (Delta County) at the Delta County Civic Center. We will be hosting the basic session from 6 PM to 8PM. All SKYWARN classes are free and open to all ages. No registration is required!
Join us Tuesday, February 20th, for our SKYWARN class in Glen Rose, Texas (Somervell County) at the Somervell County Fire Department. We will be hosting the basic session from 630 PM to 830PM. All SKYWARN classes are free and open to all ages. No registration is required!

 
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Remembering the Dallas Tornadoes
of April 2, 1957
 
           
Classic Severe Weather Scenario
 
Tuesday, April 2, 1957 was a warm spring day across North Texas . Temperatures climbed into the lower 70s in Dallas during the afternoon, with dewpoints in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees. A strong 100-115 m.p.h. upper level jet split over the region, with the southern portion darting from west to east across North Texas, and the northern branch moving over southwest Oklahoma . At mid levels, a trough centered over the southwestern United States provided ample mid level wind shear across the Southern Plains.
Many of the supercell thunderstorms on April 2, including the parent storm of the Dallas tornadoes, developed near a warm front extending from just north of Mineral Wells east to Dallas to Monroe , Louisiana . A surface cold front extended along an inverted surface trough from near Del Rio northward to Childress.

Twisters Touch Down

At 3 p.m., the first tornado touched down along present-day I-20 in southern Dallas County . The twister moved north along Polk Street past the current location of I-30. Continuing north, the tornado moved one mile east of Hampton Street , down a hill and into a neighborhood destroying many homes. The tornado moved northwest of downtown Dallas , going across the Trinity River levee and into an industrial complex. The initial tornado finally entered the rope, or dying, stage in the parking lot of Love Field, and fully dissipated after crossing Bachman Lake .

A second tornado developed just one mile east of the rope tornado. This tornado moved from northwest Dallas into Collin County , destroying farm homes. It is unknown where the second tornado dissipated.  
The initial Dallas tornado killed 10 people and injured 200 during its 45-minute life span. It also resulted in $4 million in damages, which equates to over $28.6 million in 2006 dollars. The tornado was rated F3 on the Fujita scale.

Status of the Science

Today, forecasters at your National Weather Service in Fort Worth analyze data from weather observations and study weather patterns to forecast severe weather episodes days in advance. Technology such as weather radar and satellite imagery, as well as storm spotters in the field, help forecasters pinpoint the severe weather threat area when the skies darken.  
However, in the 1950s severe weather forecasting was very different. A series of devastating tornadoes ripped through America �s heartland during the decade causing significant loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage. North Texas was no exception to these outbreaks. On May 11, 1953 an F5 tornado ripped through downtown Waco killing 114. That tornado was part of a larger outbreak of severe weather from May 9 through May 11 across the Central Plains. The Waco tornado ranks as one of the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in written American history.  
The science of severe weather meteorology was in its infancy in the �50s, and unforecasted tornado outbreaks were resulting in public outrage. The SEvere Local Storms unit (SELS), the predecessor to the Storm Prediction Center , was developed in the 1950s through demand for better prediction and understanding of severe weather.

The Future 

If the Dallas tornadoes of 1957 were to occur today, more significant damage would likely occur, with the possibility of catastrophic loss of life. These tornadoes are a reminder that major metropolitan areas are not immune their destructive forces. The May 3, 1999 tornado outbreak cut a swath of destruction through central Oklahoma , including the Oklahoma City metro area. The storms resulted in over 40 deaths, 675 injuries, and $1.2 billion in damages.
 A deadly tornado can strike anywhere in North Texas, including the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. The best defense to protect your family is to stay updated with forecasts, watches, and warnings via NOAA All-Hazards radio or commercial television and radio outlets. Have a severe weather plan in place at your home, office, and school, and practice it regularly.
Photos of the Dallas tornado, 
courtesy of the NOAA photo library

Picture of Dallas Tornado
Picture of Dallas Tornado

Picture Of Dallas Tornado

Picture of Dallas tornado.