May 9, 2006 - Anna to Westminster, TX Tornadic Thunderstorm

by Sam Barricklow


Many of my photographs are now available on-line in high quality, high resolution form through WorkBookStock.com


After seeing towering cumulus developing west of Sherman on visible satellite imagery, I left home around 7:15 PM to go take a look. I knew that conditions were favorable for severe thunderstorms, and even tornadoes. While driving north from Dallas on Highway 75 to Howe, Texas, I watched a thunderstorm explode from the towering cumulus into a servere thunderstorm. This storm produced large hail west of Sherman, Texas.

A flanking line of towering cumulus formed south of the big storm, developing into the Van Alstyne tornadic hail storm. Within minutes, another towering thunderhead developed south of this storm, which went on to become the tornadic thunderstorm that would move from Anna to north of Westminster, TX. Three deaths and at least ten serious injuries resulted from the tornado near Westminster. Two dozen homes were damaged or destroyed.

The following images are video freeze frames, which accounts for the grainy appearance, unless noted otherwise. I was focused on reporting the tornadoes and didn't have time to take photos during the tornadoes.


 

The thunderstorm on the right was located between Sherman and Gainesville, Texas. The developing thunderheads to the left of the thunderstorm would become the Van Alstyne and Anna - Westminster storms. (digital photo)
(Digital photo)

Near Van Alstyne - Amos Magliocco photographed a brief tornado produced by this storm. (video frame)

Eric Nguyen also photographed the Anna-Westminster tornadoes.

 

Here is a sequence of freeze frames from video shot south of Melissa from an overpass on Highway 75 of the storm that produced the Anna to Westminster tornado about 1/2 hour later.

What is unusual about this sequence of five images is that it shows a lightning bolt developing from the ground upward toward the anvil of the thunderstorm!

 
 
 
 

Wall cloud north of Anna, after the first tornado and just prior to the second larger tornado that produced the damage, injuries and fatalities.

The first tornado had been located on the left side of this image, adjacent to the RFD "slot".

The new tornado developed from under the lowest portion of the wall cloud, near, or just to the right of the center of the image.

 
 
 
I was hand-holding the camcorder. After seeing this power flash, I grabbed the microphone to report to the 147.18 MHz SKYWARN net. As a result, the camcorder image is tilted in the remaining images below.
 
 
 
 
 
A funnel cloud shows where the tornado was developing.
 
 
Home destroyed east of Anna, Texas. (digital photo)
This truck was blown about 150 yards by the tornado. The truck stayed on its wheels during most of the trip, but rolled across a road, then landed back on its wheels again before coming to rest where you see it in the photo, north of the east/west road. (digital photo)
Trees with bark stripped - located north of Westminster,Texas (large image - digital photo)
2X6 inch board stuck in the ground by the force of the tornado. (digital photo)

Report from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth


Copyright 2006 - Samuel D. Barricklow - All Rights Reserved


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Last revised: January 11, 2007