The Aftermath: Several Large Tornadoes Rip Through Dallas-Fort Worth [VIDEO, PHOTOS]
Several tornadoes ripped through the Dallas/Fort Worth area Tuesday (April 3rd), tossing semi-truck trailers through the air like toys destroying about 200 homes and damaging 650 more.
As of 5:00 pm CDT, there had been 17 unofficial reports of tornadoes in Texas. A portion of those reported were likely eyewitnesses spotting the same tornado, so that number will most likely be reduced as soon as meteorologist are able to survey the area on Wednesday to determine how many actual tornadoes touched down in Texas.
The National Weather Service said that storm spotters and radar showed "large and extremely dangerous" tornadoes began touching down in the southern portion of Dallas County in Arlington, near the Rangers Ballpark; Cleburne, south of Fort Worth and Lancaster, south of Dallas throughout Tuesday afternoon.
The Weather Service has said that "considerable damage" has been reported near Cleburne and Lancaster, with reports that Arlington had suffered from the worst damage reported so far - most of which occurred in the southern part of the city. AccuWeather reported significant damage at Six Flags Amusement Park in Arlington as well.
Correction: Six Flags has issued the following statement:
“…Six Flags Over Texas did not sustain any damage from Tuesday’s storm. The park will open as scheduled on Friday, April 6 …we are open for great fun and thrills at Six Flags Over Texas ! ”
A spokeswoman for the Dallas Police says that twisters have also caused damage within the Dallas city limits - some caused by hail the size of baseballs.
Around 3:45 pm CDT, Crosby Elementary School in Forney took a direct hit from a large tornado ripping off the roof and throwing cars around in the parking lot. Early reports are that there were no children inside the school at the time.
The National Weather Service forecast office in Fort Worth said that initial damage reports from a subdivision near Forney suggest that the tornado there was as category EF-3 with wind speeds estimated at 150 MPH. Other tornadoes in the area rated EF-1 and EF-2.
Dallas county spokeswoman, Maria Arita said, "Obviously we're going to have a lot of assessments to make when this is done."
According to authorities, as of 4:00 pm CDT, there had been no confirmed casualties in Dallas County.
Flights going into DFW Airport were being delayed almost three hours. A DFW Airport spokesman says that the majority of the evening flight schedule will be disrupted, mostly due to hail damage to several aircraft.
Watch amazing video footage of the tornado in Dallas tossing semi-truck trailers through the air:
Climatologists say that the tornadoes occured when a high-level trough of cold air collided with surface warm air that had been floating over Texas from the Gulf of Mexico for days. Severe weather was expected, but the severity and intensity of the storms was not.
The National Weather Service cancelled all tornado warnings for the Dallas/Fort Worth area around 3:00 pm CDT. Tornado warnings still remained in effect for counties northeast of Dallas.
The National Weather Service reported that Sunny weather is in the forecast for the Dallas-Fort Worth area Wednesday through Friday, and there is another chance for thunderstorms Saturday night through Monday in northern Texas.
Photos of the some of the damage caused by the tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area: