A strong upper level storm system combined with an unusually warm/moist atmosphere for December allowed a few severe thunderstorms to occur. A couple of these storms became low-topped supercells. Taking advantage of strong low-level wind shear these storms were able to produce tornadoes. At the time of this report a total of five tornadoes have been confirmed from Saturday’s event. Two tornadoes occurred in the eastern Texas Panhandle while three tornadoes occurred in Northeast and Southeast Texas. The tornadoes that occurred in Northeast Texas damaged numerous structures. The three confirmed Northeast/Southeast Texas tornadoes were each rated EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Anything rated EF-2 to EF-5 is considered a strong tornado.

Texas Panhandle Tornadoes

Two brief tornadoes occurred near McLean, Texas in the Texas Panhandle on December 12. These brief tornadoes were produced by a low-topped supercell interacting with a boundary. These tornadoes were brief in nature and did not cause any damage. Officially these tornadoes were rated EF-0 and were observed by storm chasers in the area.

WILLIS TORNADO

2015-12-14_8-28-59

RATING: EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 120 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 2.24 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 100 YARDS
FATALITIES: 0
INJURIES: 0

START DATE: DEC 12 2015
START TIME: 354 PM CST
START LOCATION: 3 NNW WILLIS
START LAT/LON: 30.4561 / -95.4994

END DATE: DEC 12 2015
END TIME: 400 PM CST
END LOCATION: 4 NNW WILLIS
END_LAT/LON: 30.4879 / -95.4917

TORNADO APPEARED TO TOUCH DOWN NEAR CALVARY ROAD NEAR ROBERTSON
PARK WHERE TREE TRUNKS WERE SNAPPED. DAMAGE BECAME MORE CONTINUOUS
JUST TO THE NORTH NEAR POLLARD ROAD JUST WEST OF INTERSTATE 45 WHERE
LARGE STRANDS OF PINE TREES WERE SNAPPED. THE TORNADO APPEARED TO
CROSS THE INTERSTATE 45 NEAR EXIT 97 WHERE IT HIT A LARGE METAL
INDUSTRIAL BUILDING. THIS DAMAGE WARRANTED THE EF2 RATING.
THE TORNADO THEN APPEARED TO RUN PARALLEL TO ROUTE 75 WHERE IT
CAUSED SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE AND FLIPPED AND DESTROYED MULTIPLE
RVS AT AN RV PARK. AMAZINGLY THERE WERE NO INJURIES REPORTED.

LINDALE TORNADO IN SMITH COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS

2015-12-14_8-24-06

RATING: EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 110-120 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 1.79 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 149 YARDS
FATALITIES: NONE
INJURIES: NONE

START DATE: DEC 12 2015
START TIME: 325 PM CST
START LOCATION: 1.34 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF LINDALE
START LAT/LON: 32.49848 / -95.39897

END DATE: DEC 12 2015
END TIME: 328 PM CST
END LOCATION: 1.27 MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF LINDALE
END_LAT/LON: 32.5231 / -95.3896

SURVEY_SUMMARY: SEVERAL TREES WERE UPROOTED OR SNAPPED. MORE THAN
50 HOMES DAMAGED…WITH TWO HOMES HAVING MAJOR DAMAGE.

PURLEY TORNADO IN FRANKLIN COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS

2015-12-14_8-26-48

RATING: EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 115-125 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 5.32 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 775 YARDS
FATALITIES: NONE
INJURIES: 2

START DATE: DEC 12 2015
START TIME: 418 PM CST
START LOCATION: 4.44 MILES SOUTHWEST OF PURLEY
START LAT/LON: 33.0371 / -95.3032

END DATE: DEC 12 2015
END TIME: 428 PM CST
END LOCATION: 2.53 MILES NORTHWEST OF PURLEY
END_LAT/LON: 33.11398 / -95.29649

SURVEY_SUMMARY: SEVERAL SNAPPED OR UPROOTED TREES AS WELL AS DAMAGE
TO 20 STRUCTURES…INCLUDING FOUR MOBILE HOME THAT WERE COMPLETELY
DESTROYED. OF THAT…FOUR HOMES HAD MAJOR DAMAGE. TWO PEOPLE IN
ONE OF THE MOBILE HOME WERE INJURED.