We’ve heard of several potential tornadoes from storms earlier today across East Texas. A survey team from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth was able to get into Robertson County this afternoon. Their initial findings confirm that a significant tornado produced EF-3 damage with estimated winds near 140 MPH. They’ll be back in the area in the coming days to complete that survey, so the results could still change. Crews from the NWS Fort Worth, Houston, and Shreveport will be out conducting surveys on multiple potential tornado tracks. Those survey teams will determine if the damage was caused by tornadoes or straight-line winds. They’ll then estimate the maximum winds of each event along with the start point, end point, peak width, and overall path length.
Public Information Statement National Weather Service Fort Worth TX 1100 PM CDT Sat Apr 13 2019 ...Preliminary Storm Survey Conducted for Tornado Damage Near Franklin in Robertson County Texas... Saturday evening, the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, Texas conducted an initial storm survey of damage in and around the city of Franklin, in Robertson County Texas. The survey was in relation to a severe supercell thunderstorm that moved through Milam, Robertson, Leon and southern Anderson Counties earlier in the day Saturday. The most significant damage encountered by the NWS team today was in the city of Franklin. Within a two-block long corridor on the south side of Franklin, the team confirmed EF-3 intensity tornado damage at 2 residential locations. Peak wind speeds at these sites were estimated at 140 mph. A number of additional structures on the south side of Franklin exhibited EF-1 and EF-2 intensity damage. The NWS team was able to determine that this tornado first formed near the Brazos River in extreme western Robertson County, approximately 5 miles northwest of Hearne, Texas. The tornado moved east northeastward, crossing US Highway 6 approximately 4.5 miles north of Hearne. EF-1 damage was identified at one structure near this highway crossing, and considerable tree damage consistent with EF-1 intensity tornadic winds were observed along the highway right of way. The tornado remained on the ground from Highway 6 eastward to Franklin. The NWS is aware of additional damage from Franklin, northeastward through New Baden and Easterly in eastern Robertson County, to near Marquez in Leon County. Further reports of damage were also received elsewhere in Leon County County. Additional surveys will be made by the NWS in in the next 2 days, to determine the exact dimensions and intensity of the tornado track. A final assessment, including results of the survey are expected to be completed and transmitted via a detailed, fully formatted Public Information Statement by Monday, April 15th.
I expect it’ll take a few days for all the various damage locations to be surveyed. We’ll begin compiling those surveys onto a map once the results begin to arrive. Once each NWS office releases their survey plans we’ll be sure to pass them along. I’m aware of damage in Houston, Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and perhaps San Augustine counties in addition to Robinson and Leon counties. Based on radar signatures and storm spotter reports I expect we’ll have several different tornadoes confirmed in the coming days. Alto, Texas was impacted by two separate tornadoes.