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2023 Dallas, Texas tornado
EF4 tornado
Dallas

Tornado at peak strength at 4:12 pm.
Date April 30, 2023
Times 1554-1643
Touchdown location 3:54 pm CDT
Highest winds

317 mph (estimated)

Injuries 2,100+
Fatalities 213
Damage $3.7 billion (2023 USD)
Areas affected Dallas suburbs
Part of the
2023 tornado season

The 2023 Dallas, Texas tornado was a catastrophic EF5-rated multiple-vortex tornado which affected the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, primarily the city of Dallas itself, late in the afternoon of Sunday, April 30, 2023. Touching down roughly three miles to the south of the Dallas city limits, the tornado tracked almost due north through the eastern half of the city, producing damage described as being of "extreme EF5" intensity, before continuing to the north of Dallas into Collin County and dissipating near Plano.

The tornado remained on the ground for 49 minutes over a 29.80-mile path, along which it caused 213 fatalities and more than 2,100 injuries. The tornado was rated EF5 without dispute; with the intensity of the damage in Dallas described as being "easily the most intense in the state of Texas since the Jarrell tornado of 1997". As the tornado crossed Interstate 45 in southeastern Dallas, a Doppler On Wheels truck recorded wind speeds of 317 miles per hour within one of the tornado's suction vortices; the highest wind velocity ever recorded on Earth. Ground-level wind speeds were estimated on the Enhanced Fujita scale to have been around 280 miles per hour. As a result of the record-breaking measurements, the tornado was described by the media as "the strongest ever recorded"; however, the National Weather Service disputed the label based on a lack of measurements of wind speeds in other violent tornadoes.

The Dallas tornado was the first EF5-rated tornado to directly strike the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as the first violent tornado in the area since the EF4 Garland, Texas tornado on December 26, 2015. The tornado's extensive media coverage effectively discredited the myth that large cities are "immune" to tornadoes. While downtown Dallas was only briefly grazed by the tornado's extreme outer flanks, high-rise buildings were lightly damaged, and a small area of EF2-level damage was observed to a three-story building in the downtown area. Prior to the tornado, many residents of metropolitan Dallas were largely oblivious to the risk.

Meteorological synopsis

04-30-2023 outlook

2000Z Day 1 convective outlook on April 30.

On April 29, the Storm Prediction Center issued an enhanced risk of severe weather for northeastern and north-central Texas as well as central Oklahoma for April 30. The early morning Day 1 outlook on April 30 made little change to the previous forecast, but by the late morning, as it became more apparent that robust supercells were likely across Oklahoma and northern Texas later that afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center upgraded the area to a moderate risk. A 15% hatched risk of tornadoes – indicating a 15% chance of a tornado touchdown at any given location within the risk area – was issued, along with a 45% hatched risk of large hail and a 30% risk of damaging wind gusts. The 16:30 UTC (11:30 am CDT) Day 1 convective outlook mentioned the possibility of "several tornadoes, one or two of which could be strong".

The early morning hours of April 30 were humid and overcast across northern Texas, with low-laying stratus clouds and curtains of mist observed across the region. A brief but torrential downpour occurred between 8:45 and 9:15 am CDT over the Dallas-Fort Worth area. By 10:30 am CDT, the cloud cover lightened and began to break, allowing filtered sunlight to reach the surface and humid thermal updrafts rose into the sky. CAPE values skyrocketed to 3,650 J/kg just before noon; this coupled with the presence of strong directional wind shear prompted the Storm Prediction Center to issue a tornado watch for the Dallas-Fort Worth area with a 70% probability of one or more tornadoes, and a 50% probability of one or more strong (EF2 to EF5) tornadoes.

Between 12:30 and 1:30 pm CDT, six supercells developed


Notable tornado outbreaks
March 17–19, 2019April 23, 2019April 5, 2020November 21–22, 2020February 3, 2021May 16, 2021June 9–13, 2021April 12, 2022April 30, 2023May 6–7, 2023April 10–13, 2024May 29, 2024June 15–16, 2024July 14, 2025Tornado outbreak of December 5, 2025June 11, 2026June 24, 2026
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