Saturday, May 27, 2017

20-Years Ago Today F-5 Tornado Destroyed Jarrell


Few people knew the grim reality that would set in on Jarrell, Texas on the morning of May 27th, 1997. It was a day that began like any other late Spring day in Texas: clear skies and warm conditions. In a few short hours, the town of Jarrell would be synonymous with one of the most terrifying F5 tornadoes ever witnessed.

In what has become known as the ''Jarrell tornado," the three-quarter mile wide, F5 twister was unusual in many respects and is the last F5 or EF 5 tornado to hit the state.

The Jarrell tornado was born from a thunderstorm along a cold front that was drapped across central Texas. Unlike most tornadoes that spin up and move east or east-northeast with the parent storm, the tornado that wiped out Jarrell moved southwest, paralleling I-35 for seven and a half miles.

It's forward motion was also extremely slow, almost stationary at times. Below is a radar timeline of the events of that day from the National Weather Service in San Antonio.

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