El Niño has had an impact on many locations throughout the United States. Florida saw a record amount of rainfall, snow storms occurred across the Northeast, and in February, the south was hit with large tornadoes. The state of Texas was just one of many that had the possibility for great impact from a strong line of storms that were headed in the deep South. There was a line of strong thunderstorms moving across Texas, which were expected to bring about the possibility of strong winds, hail, and tornadoes.
Texas hit with strong storms, but no tornadoes
Dallas experienced strong tornadoes back in December, so the state was lucky not have as much extensive damage. South Texas storms still left thousands of people without power. Golf ball size hail hit the area, causing broken windows and damage to buildings. Thankfully there were no injuries to report throughout Texas. The only actually injury that was storm related came from a bus accident. Because of the predicted bad weather, schools were canceled in southern Texas. Since schools were closed, no students were on board a school bus, which ended up on its side. The crash was believed to be weather related, but the bus driver only had minor injuries following the accident.
Storm system throughout the south
The huge storm system did not just target southern Texas, but also the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. There was such danger to these storms because the storm system developed and evolved quickly. Arkansas was hit with heavy rain, strong winds, and even snow! This was definitely strange for the state to see such varying types of weather in one day. Flash flood watches and warnings were issued in Alabama and Georgia which were expected to see the majority of the rain, with 1 to 2 inches. The National Weather Service projected the heaviest rains would fall near Atlanta, which would be a concern for commuters come time to go to work. Schools were closed in parts of south Louisiana and Mississippi. Although each of these states saw some damage from the storm system, Louisiana was hit the hardest.
The worst case scenario when you see a line of strong storms is the possibility of a tornado to follow. Large tornadoes ripped through homes, destroying them in south Louisiana. Emergency crews were on hand to help pull residents out of the mess and destruction caused by the storm. There were three known deaths from the storm, two of which occurred at a trailer park located in Convent. The tornado that destroyed multiple trailers was confirmed as an EF3, which developed speeds of 150 mph. Out of the 300 residents of the trailer park community, 31 ended up being hospitalized for minor injuries, while 7 were in critical condition.
It is only March now, and there has already been a number of strong storms that have developed into destructive tornadoes. What might this mean for the spring and summer months to come in both southern United States, as well as Midwestern locations?