Continuing Coverage of Tornado Outbreaks in North Texas

Straight-Line Winds Caused Damage, Not Tornado

Thursday, May 15, 2014  |  Updated 10:05 AM CDT
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Experts with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth have so far determined it was straight-line winds, not tornadoes, that caused the damage from Thursday’s storms.

Amanda Guerra

Experts with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth have so far determined it was straight-line winds, not tornadoes, that caused the damage from Thursday’s storms.

Experts with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth have so far determined it was straight-line winds, not tornadoes, that caused the damage from Thursday’s storms.

Mark Fox, who works with the Service, was out early Friday morning with a team surveying the damage.

Fox began at the New Beginning Covenant Ministries Church in Dallas off Canada and Westmoreland, one of the buildings hardest hit.

Fox examined the front of the building, where the wall nearly crumbled to the ground.

“It’s the way the damage falls. What actually caused the damage,” Fox explained.

“Was it winds that put something structurally off the building or was it a tree limb that came through? Or was it a facade missing? So, we’ll take a look at all those signs and try to figure out the best thing we can.”

Fox said at one point it appeared there could’ve been rotation on the ground, where the wall seemed to have been suctioned off from the building, but upon further inspection, Fox determined it was significantly strong winds around 75-84 miles per hour.

Fox also determined it was straight-line winds that caused damage in other parts of Dallas as well, including Highland Park, the Oak Lawn area and the area around US 75 and Fitzhugh.

Still, he said it’s good to know what caused the damage for further research.

“Because if we can determine if it was a tornado, straight-line winds, how damaging it was - then we can go back and take a look at our radar data later on and then use that to make better warnings next time around,” Fox said.
 

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