Killer tornado hits Texas and Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:14 PM GMT on April 25, 2007

A killer tornado swept through Piedras Negras, Mexico, crossed the Rio Grande River, and brought devastation to the small town of Eagle Pass, Texas, at about 7pm CDT last night. The tornado killed three and injured 87 in Mexico; seven died in Texas, and 74 were injured. Five of the U.S. deaths occurred in a single mobile home when it was picked up and tossed into an elementary school. The tornado destroyed 20 homes, two schools, and the local sewage treatment plant in Eagle Pass. Killer tornadoes in Mexico are rare, as most of the country is too far south to get tornado weather, and is sparsely populated in the Texas border regions that are prone to tornadoes. Mexico's worst tornado that I could find record of occurred in 2004, when a tornado killed 32 in Piedras Negras.

Tornadoes were also reported last night in Oklahoma, Kansas, and eastern Colorado. More tornadoes are possible today, as the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed much of the Mississippi Valley under it's "Slight Risk" area. This is a major step down from yesterday's risk level, though, when SPC had portions of Texas under its "High Risk" area (although Eagle Pass was in the "Moderate Risk" area). This is the third time in 2007 that SPC issued a "High Risk" forecast. A "High Risk" forecast was also issued for the EF4 March 1 Enterprise, Alabama tornado that killed 20. It's been a bad year for tornadoes--last night's storm brought the 2007 U.S. death toll to 59. The average tornado death toll for the entire year has been just 46 the past three years. It's only April, and we still have the peak tornado months of May and June to get through.

Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of the April 24, 2007 tornado as it approached Eagle Pass, Texas. Note the distinctive hook shape of the radar echo, which is characteristic of supercell thunderstorms that spawn strong tornadoes.

Figure 2. Radar velocity image of the April 24, 2007 tornado as it approached Eagle Pass, Texas. Note the area of blue and red echoes just south of the circle with a "+" inside it that marks the location of Eagle Pass. The blues and reds show that strong winds going both towards and away from the radar exist in a small area, denoting the presence of a parent mesocyclone (rotating thunderstorm) and a tornado.

Figure 3. Vertically integrated Liquid Water (VIL), in kilograms per square meter, for the April 24, 2007 tornado as it approached Eagle Pass, Texas. VIL is a measure of how much water is in the storm, when measured from the surface to the top of the storm. The Eagle Pass thunderstorm had cloud tops at 56,000 feet, so a column of air one meter square extending from the surface to 56,000 feet had up to 70 kilograms of liquid water in it. That's a lot of water available for hailstones to grow in, and large hail up to 1.75 inches in diameter was observed with this storm. A VIL of at least 50 is typically required to get large hail two inches in diameter in April in the Plains. A VIL of about 65 is needed later in summer, when the thunderstorms grow taller and more liquid water is needed to make large hail. See the Oklahoma Climatological Survey VIL help page for more information.

We've saved a 300 Mb radar animation of the Eagle Pass tornado for those interested.

Jeff Masters

T-3 (Photo5150)
A Tornado crosses the 283 west of Laverne Oklahoma during a severe thunder storms passing through the great plains late monday night April 23,2007Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily News
TORNADO!! (kshippychic)
My first time seeing a tornado - I cannot tell you how fun this was. I never got to see one actually touch down, but I saw so many just finger up and down out of the clouds!! It was just amazing. Thes were taken just east of Nickerson, Kansas!

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257. kmanislander
1:35 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Tried loading the ATL wind field and surface map. Big high stretching all the way across the ATL. Looks like the 2004 set up.

Also noticed that the 8:05 Caribbean discussion referred to a 1008 mb low over N Colombia near 10 N 94 W !!

I think they must mean 74 W
This low may be responsible for the showers in the S Caribbean
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256. kmanislander
1:31 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
We had better hope that this pattern does not persist through the season.

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255. MisterPerfect
12:44 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Stop slacking and update your blog Dr. M.

Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20250
254. chessrascal
12:41 PM GMT on April 27, 2007

latest quickscat
253. StoryOfTheCane
11:14 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
This area is pretty active, once conditions are stable look out

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252. dewfree
9:38 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
If La nino event comes in three mounths from now as predicted i believe it will transend into Oct Huricanes effecting the continental US on the lower half of corse like isaid earlier . but cant rule out a southeastern event though unlikely at this time . eastern mexico and the gulf a great area of intrest if the NAO continues in its curent pattern .watch for the change in NAO .tht will be the diffrence in a hard charging la nino or a week at best just rain events from tropical systems this year .im gone now back in two weeks to up date my ideas on the issue and as far as the tornadoes in TX well they have been thier ever sence i have been here so isnt anything new to me .The mexico thing is though and i'll keep watchig the develping year have a good bye
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 589
251. dewfree
9:23 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
may even be a good year for Shouth America to get in on a Huricane this time around keep watch out and we'll see !!
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 589
250. dewfree
9:11 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
Bermuda high has too much influence this year it is lkely if any Huricanes development will have a higher likelyhood of effecting southern fl and al,miss,la,northern tx. most will be strong while out to se but i believe they will as many have in the past weeken as they get close to the continetal US as upper level trough interfearence comes to play not to say that one high risk or two want slip in . mre or less the danger is flooding lts of rain whre thier will be drought and as always natured way of replenishing the lost as well as taking heat off the ocean and cooling drought infested areas whitch in this manner will be a welcome relief . three years next will be one to wtch bit this is a medium threat year . although elnino has appeard to relax a bit dont count it out but most importantly the NOA will have more to do in the play this time around . have a goo day and night im intermitant at best so see ya
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 589
249. dewfree
8:57 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
Stupidity knows no bounds and freedom is bound only by those who seek to control others
by means of legilation . no way you or i can be free in a land that you can't do anything that is legislated threw stupidity. Who needs to know weather of anykind .Sooner or later they will find a way to legislate weather . stupidity !!! The only thing that is right is the first 10 admendments to the Constitution of the US .everything else is wrong no wonder we have weather.i prey someday we The People wake up and see that any legislation is bad to the cause of freedom .Stop worrying about polotics and worry about secret societies tightening their grip on you and I .Im just wondering here how they will someday legislate Weather he he .smoke if you want drill oil ells in your yard and watch out for weather he he /tornadoes will go farther and farther into Mexico where they once were and wil be again and this dumb supposedly democracy will fail as all have .only a republic can survive the test of time .That of corse is what we are suppose to have here . but anyway just go ahead and listen to the global warmest talk abut warming and watch us sink into cooler days and dryer weather and drought .What has been will be again and that ladies and gentelmen is a fact !!
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 589
1:56 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
Posted By: pottery at 1:54 AM GMT on April 27, 2007.
I think we should take up a collection, to get Taz to Florida for the Season. You get to sit on the beach and watch one roll in Taz, what you say ?
Will that be smoking, or non-smoking?
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246. pottery
10:16 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Anyway I'm out. See you all tomorow sometime. Stay strong .
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244. pottery
10:12 PM AST on April 26, 2007
DDR, if you are still on, I just checked Piarco weather.

" mostly cloudy "... So I went outside to see. Who writes these things??, there isnt a cloud in the sky. Its wishfull thinking !!!!!!!!!

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242. Tazmanian
6:59 PM PDT on April 26, 2007
hello StormJunkie
241. ryang
10:00 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Evening SJ...
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240. StormJunkie
9:57 PM EDT on April 26, 2007
Evening all!

I'll chip 5$ pottery!

Evening Taz :)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 18190
239. ryang
9:56 PM AST on April 26, 2007
StormW you have mail...
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238. DDR
1:51 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
nice to meet you also :D
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237. RL3AO
8:55 PM CDT on April 26, 2007
I think we will be getting a little break from severe weather...then May gets here.
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236. pottery
9:49 PM AST on April 26, 2007
I think we should take up a collection, to get Taz to Florida for the Season. You get to sit on the beach and watch one roll in Taz, what you say ?
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233. pottery
9:45 PM AST on April 26, 2007
...well fancy meeting you here, DDR.
Yeah, I thought I was still sleeping when I went outside this morning, havent seen the sky that pretty in Months............

Good to meet you.
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231. ryang
9:44 PM AST on April 26, 2007
LOL....Taz what are you trying to say???
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230. pottery
9:42 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Yeah Ryang, you can see from that link, if you click " product information " that the image includes dry air ( even polar dry air ) ,and only when you JAVA it, can you see the origins of the dry, dust, whatever........
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229. DDR
1:38 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
im from trindad, t&t, oh and pottery im from st augustine, pottery your right the african dust has cleared away, we had a blue sky today at last
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228. RL3AO
8:43 PM CDT on April 26, 2007
And Taz, isnt your wave a little close to the equator?
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227. TayTay
1:42 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
looks like an eye may form over the Great lakes.
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225. Levi32
5:42 PM AKDT on April 26, 2007
Just convection.......they aren't even tropical waves. Sorry David you gotta wait one more month lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26780
224. pottery
9:39 PM AST on April 26, 2007
What you got there Taz ??
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223. Tazmanian
6:33 PM PDT on April 26, 2007

7N 178E
2N 156E

do you see it?
222. ryang
9:33 PM AST on April 26, 2007
WOW Pottery thanks,well expect hazy skies...
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221. pottery
9:32 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Later, Thelmores
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220. pottery
9:28 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Ryang, try this
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219. thelmores
1:07 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
Pottery, hope you get some rain.... and I too share you appreciation for some good brew! :)

nite weather world!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3833
218. ryang
9:25 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Hi Pottery,i don't think it can animate,but it's showing lots of dust that the trade winds wil blow across the atlantic...
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217. pottery
9:19 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Hi Ryang. My point earlier , in your blog, is that the Sahara dust is NOT as prevalent as it was a week ago overhead Trinidad.. Bear in mind that when you look at the image you posted, that the image is showing hot dry air as well as dust ( if there is any ). To see the real situation, animate the loop.
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216. ryang
9:18 PM AST on April 26, 2007
DDR where are you from??
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215. pottery
9:12 PM AST on April 26, 2007
DDR, I'm near Freeport, central Trinidad. I dont think we will get rain tonight, but we did get a trace early this morning. Maybe a little convective stuff. Not enough to measure......
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214. i12BNEi
1:05 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
Hello again all.Hey,does anyone know where to get some novice help on wefax? I have a Kenwood TH-F6A and am trying to prepare for the season.I have downloaded JVcomm as well as SEATTY.I figured all these weather buffs should be able help me out.Thanks again all.You can email me DE KI4NEI 73.
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213. DDR
1:02 AM GMT on April 27, 2007
goodnight everyone,POTTERY which part of trinidad are you from? look like a little rain tonight?
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212. Levi32
4:58 PM AKDT on April 26, 2007
Ok Adrian I just have to know what software you use for those graphics lol. Must be radar-smoothing software or something.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26780
211. pottery
8:53 PM AST on April 26, 2007
Hello ??
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210. hurricane23
8:40 PM EDT on April 26, 2007
Strong line with hail moving threw...

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13873
209. MZT
10:53 PM GMT on April 26, 2007
The Mosquito Bay (north of Panama) is a common site of slowly generating tropical storms. But even if something can form there, it may take several more days to be named.

Invests from here usually don't amount to much, unless they can move north and get farther from land. More often, they drift west into the Nicaraguan mountains and fizzle.

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207. 21N71W
5:22 PM EDT on April 26, 2007
Hello hello to all!
Cloudy here in the Turks and caicos Islands with current conditions as follows :
Temperature 80.8 F / 27.1 C
Dew Point 73.3 F / 22.9 C
Humidity 78%
Wind Speed 13.0mph / 20.9km/h
Wind Gust 19.0mph / 30.6km/h
Wind ENE -
Pressure 29.93in / 1013.4hPa

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