DUMAS, Texas(KAMR/KCIT)— According to reports, around 7 p.m. Monday, Dumas residents heard tornado sirens and saw what looked like multiple tornados touching down. Minutes later MyHighPlains received numerous photos and videos of the tornados.
According to a social media post from the Moore County Emergency Management, there were no actual tornadoes, just landspouts that came down with the thunderstorms.
Officials advised that If people hear the sirens again, they should go to an inner room with no windows if possible and cover up with blankets or some thick material.
According to Chief Meteorologist John Harris, these tornadoes were landspouts caused by a weak frontal boundary with converging winds and summer thunderstorms. Harris stated that landspouts are still considered tornadoes because they come in contact with the ground.
“These landspouts came from thunderstorms that were non-severe,” Harris said. “Sometimes with summertime thunderstorms, there will be boundaries, that collide that will actually start to cause a spin up that will start the process, and this is what happened with our Dumas landspout, or weak tornado this evening.”
“These thunderstorms are very high based. The thunderstorm may not even develop until about 10,000 feet off the ground, “Harris stated. “The rain makes its way to the ground from the thunderstorm and evaporates. As it makes its way to the ground, it accelerates. Once the rain, cold air hits the ground, it spreads out in all directions, Harris continued. “It then creates these horizontal vortices going away from the center of impact or from wherever the winds came to the ground. These horizontal vortices get caught up into the updraft of the thunderstorm and will actually create a tornado or a landspout from the ground up. And that’s what we had happen tonight,” Harris said.
Harris stated that these landspouts are on the low end of the tornado scale, and typically do not cause major damage.
“Landspouts are typically very weak. They’re on the very low end of tornado scale. We call it an EF -O. Wind speeds of an EF zero run anywhere from 65 to 85 miles per hour,” Harris stated. “They can do minor damage if they come down in a city: outbuildings can be damaged or even destroyed, fences can be torn apart, lawn chairs can be tossed around, and other things like that, but they’re typically not going to be a tornado that creates devastation in a city,” Harris said.
For the latest weather updates and severe weather coverage, visit MyHighPlains.com