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2017 Gulf of Mexico Tornado Outbreak
Type: Unknown
Active: June 7 - Ongoing
Duration of tornado outbreak1: 2:19 PM (June 7 Central Time) - Ongoing
Maximum rated tornado2: EF5 tornado
Highest winds Unknown
Tornadoes confirmed: <19
Damage: <$10.1 billion (2016 USD)
Injuries: Unknown
Fatalities: <703
Areas affected: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama

1Time from first tornado to last tornado
2Most severe tornado damage; see wikipedia:Enhanced Fujita scale

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico Tornado Outbreak was a tornado outbreak that spawned an unknown amount of waterspouts, tornadoes, wind damage, hailstorms, and other severe weather. Damage totals are unknown for the moment, as are fatalities.


Meteorological Synopsis

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
19 8 5 2 2 1 1


On June 5, a tropical disturbance crossed over from the Eastern Pacific through Mexico out into the Gulf of Mexico. The following day,the area of convection lost tropical characteristics. This allowed the storm system to begin spawning numerous severe thunderstorms in Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and even the tropical paradise Cuba. At 2:19 PM Central Time on June 7, the first severe weather report came in from Bay City, Texas, where the town experienced up to baseball sized hail. After that, the NWS (national Weather Service) was flooded with reports of hailstorms, wind damage, waterspouts, landspouts, funnel clouds, and even full blown tornadoes. This trend continued for 2 days, until the moisture was absorbed by Tropical Storm Bret, and ultimately helped intensify the storm into a hurricane.


Severe Thunderstorm History

June 7

At 2:32 PM, the only tornadic thunderstorm at the time began to drop tornadoes. It dissipated near the Texas-Louisiana border at 3:54 PM. After that, multiple brief and weak supercells began spawning weak tornadoes over central east Texas. The last of those storms dissipated at 5:12 PM. The remnants of those thunderstorms kicked up more tornadoes in Louisiana at around 7:00 PM. The storms then moved across Mississippi into Alabama, and then died off at about 9:15 PM south of Birmingham, Alabama.

June 8

June 9

Tornadoes

Main article here: List of Tornadoes in the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Tornado Outbreak

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
19 8 5 2 2 1 1



Notable Tornadoes

EF5 tornado (NWS)
Tornado 340.jpg Joplin tornado damage.jpg
Duration 3:18 PM – 3:53 PM
Intensity 400 km/h (245 mph) (1-min)

Houston, TX Tornado

At 3:18 PM, the same supercell that caused the Victoria tornado dropped a large, multiple vortex cone tornado in Sugar Land. The tornado instantly began doing EF2-3 damage, ripping roofs off buildings and imploding outside walls. The tornado then grew to about a mile and a half in width as it moved into Bellaire, where 95% of buildings towards downtown Houston. The tornado moved over Rice University, where the entire campus was completely destroyed. Then, the worst case scenario came true when the tornado moved through downtown Houston. The JP Morgan Chase tower among many other skyscrapers suffered catastrophic damage, including the top 6 floors of the Wells Fargo Center being obliterated. The tornado then began to rapidly weaken and shrink as it moved north east, and ultimately dissipated in North Shore, a community of Houston. Thousands of homes and businesses suffered at least EF3 damage, with over 650 of those being leveled. In downtown, a 350 foot building collapsed, and significant ground scouring took place near the Houston Zoo. Originally rated very high-end EF4 due to only 195 mph winds being found was bumped up to an EF5 when 245 mph winds were found to have been sustained from Bellaire to Downtown Houston. The tornado hit 2 major Interstates during rush hour, thus over 250 fatalities where from those who were driving. Overall, the tornado killed 682 people and caused $9.2 billion in damages, numbers that hadn't been seen since the 1925 Tri-State tornado.
EF4 tornado (NWS)
Garland Texas EF4 tornado.png Chapman tornado damage.jpg
Duration 8:21 PM – 8:47 PM
Intensity 295 km/h (185 mph) (1-min)

Livingston, AL Tornado

At 8:19 PM, a funnel was spotted near the Alabama-Mississippi border. 2 minutes later, the tornado touched down and quickly grew into a violent stovepipe tornado while heading for Livingston and the University of West Alabama (UWA). At 2:23, the tornado struck the town, with such tremendous power, a smaller EF1 tornado was spawned. A few blocks south of the UWA, the towns church was partially swept away, leaving only a small amount of debris on the foundation. The tornado then turned north, directly over the unprepared college. The stands in the football stadium were blown away, and the cafeteria was completely destroyed. Multiple other buildings on campus, including the office and a subway, were completely or partially destroyed, with one dorm room being almost completely swept away, Over 65 parked cars were mangled and thrown over 100 yards. After the tornado left the university, it moved over heavily forested area, leaving a massive scar that revealed the tornado's path. It then rapidly weakened and ultimately dissipated at 8:47 PM. However, inits wake was enormous damage, and 18. Rated a high-end EF4, officials say that the death toll could have been much higher if the the tornado sirens had been sounded any later then they did. Overall, 18 were dead and $550 million in damages had occurred.

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