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Tornado outbreak of May 19, 2022
the McLendon-Chisholm EF3 shortly after touching down east of Dallas.
Type: Tornado outbreak
Active: May 19-20, 2022
Duration of tornado outbreak1: Unknown
Maximum rated tornado2: EF4 tornado
Highest winds 200 mph (320 km/h) near Blue Ridge, Texas (tornadic)

90 mph (145 km/h) in College Station, Texas (non-tornadic)

Tornadoes confirmed: 81 confirmed
Damage: $5.1 billion (2022 USD)
Injuries: 1,136 injured
Fatalities: 76 dead
Areas affected: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana (isolated tornado)

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

the Tornado outbreak of May 19, 2022 was a intense tornado outbreak which impacted the south central United States on May 19, 2022. Several tornadoes of EF2+ intensity, including 2 tornadoes of EF4 intensity, occurred across north Texas and southern Oklahoma that evening into that night. Most of the tornadoes occurred that night, resulting in a unusually high amount of deaths for a outbreak of mostly EF0-EF2 tornadoes. There were 8 tornado emergencies issued that day, 6 of which were in North Texas.

Meteorological synopsis

On the morning of May 19, 2022, a significantly unstable atmosphere was noted over north and central Texas, as well as southern and eastern Oklahoma. Significant tornado parameter values were noted to be around 4 to 6 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Early that morning, the Storm Prediction Center, anticipating a regional tornado and severe weather outbreak, issued a enhanced risk for large parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, mainly east of a Wichita Falls-Enid line. The environment in place favored the development of supercell thunderstorms across north Texas as well as central and eastern Oklahoma, and in the 06Z outlook, the SPC upgraded the risk from a enhanced risk to a moderate risk, which made note that a upgrade to a high risk may be required in future outlooks for north Texas, although this upgrade would never happen. Destabilization continued through the early afternoon, before a MCS moved through central Texas, preventing further destabilization further south.

Around this time, the first tornado of the outbreak occurred, with a isolated thunderstorm producing a EF0 tornado near Bedford, Indiana. This would be the only tornado of the outbreak in Indiana. It wouldn't be until rush hour (5 pm CDT) that the SPC would issue a PDS tornado watch for north Texas and south central Oklahoma, with a 90% chance of 2 or more tornadoes, and a 70% chance of 1 or more strong (EF2+) tornadoes. This watch made note of a robust setup which would favor the development of long-tracked, discrete supercell thunderstorms. A few severe thunderstorms were noted as being possible further north across northeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, southwestern Missouri, and far southeastern Kansas. Thunderstorms began rapidly initiating along a Granbury-Norman line around 6 pm CDT, with the first tornadoes of the day touching down west of the Metroplex around 6:45 pm. The initial supercells managed to move east, and managed to survive, despite a existent minor cap. This cap finally broke around 7:45 pm, allowing for more intense EF2+ tornadoes to occur. The first of two violent tornadoes that day struck rural areas near Blue Ridge, Texas, and was rated a 200 mph EF4, or near EF5 intensity. Several more intense tornadoes occurred through about 10 pm that night, before the supercells merged into a squall line, which would race northeast, producing mostly EF0 and EF1 tornadoes across southeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, and into western Arkansas through early on May 20.

Notable tornadoes

See article here: List of tornadoes in the Tornado outbreak of May 19, 2022

Blue Ridge-Leonard, Texas

EF4 tornado (NWS)
Duration 0102 – 0127
Intensity 325 km/h (200 mph) (1-min)

As thunderstorms began to initiate north of the Metroplex that evening, one storm that developed near McKinney explosively intensified and soon enough, a area of broad rotation began to develop as the storm moved towards Blue Ridge. A rotating wall cloud was reported near Altoga at 0049, followed by a short-lived EF0 tornado not long later. At 0059, a funnel cloud was sighted southwest of Blue Ridge, and this funnel cloud touched down in a field at 0102. Remaining weak for most of it's early life, the tornado moved east across open fields for several minutes, striking a few buildings at EF1 intensity, however, by 0108, a period of rapid intensification began on the tornado, with it quickly growing from a stovepipe into a large wedge tornado. A tornado emergency was warranted for Leonard at 0111, the first of the day, as the tornado moved southeast of Blue Ridge, causing EF4 to near EF5 damage to many structures along the way. One person was killed southeast of Blue Ridge when their car was thrown by the tornado. The tornado began to move northeast over open fields and considerably weaken, dropping to EF3 intensity about 5 miles southwest of Leonard, before pulling east as a EF1 tornado. It briefly re-intensified into a EF2 tornado, before rapid weakening began once again around 0120. The tornado lifted east-southeast of Leonard at 0127.

Southeast Arlington-Cockrell Hills-Dallas-Casa View, Texas

See article here: 2022 Dallas tornado

EF2 tornado (NWS)
Duration 0131 – 0209
Intensity 215 km/h (130 mph) (1-min)

During the later afternoon hours, a supercell thunderstorm moved into the Arlington area, and a small tornado touched down at 0131 in residential areas of Southeast Arlington, quickly intensifying into a high-end EF2 tornado by the time that it was nearing Juan Seguin High School. At said high school, structural damage was noted to had possibly supported a EF3 rating, and localized very high-end EF2 damage was documented along a relatively long track until the tornado began to weaken as it passed north of Joe Pool Lake. The National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth, receiving reports of a strong tornado on the ground and with radar indicating a rather impressive debris ball with debris being thrown upwards of 7,000 feet into the air, issued a tornado emergency for the southwest Dallas area at 0140. Damage seems to indicate that the tornado began to reintensify as it passed east of Mountain Creek Lake, with storm surveyors noting "damage that would typically result in a EF3 rating" in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, however issues in structural integrity led to a high-end EF2 rating being applied here. Not long later, the tornado crossed into Dallas itself at EF2 intensity, causing widespread significant damage and becoming one of the costliest tornadoes on record in the United States, killing 2 people in the process. The tornado began to quickly weaken from this point forward however, moving through Casa View at EF1 intensity before lifting about halfway between Garland and Mesquite at 0209.

McLendon-Chisholm-Lone Oak, Texas

EF3 tornado (NWS)
Duration 0220 – 0257
Intensity 270 km/h (165 mph) (1-min)