Tornado damages business, homes in Williamson County

A tornado was confirmed in Williamson County on 1/13/17 (Photo: Thomas Jones via National Weather Service)
A tornado was confirmed in Williamson County on 1/13/17 (Photo: Thomas Jones via National Weather Service)

WALBURG, Texas (KXAN) — The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that a minor tornado formed Friday morning in northeast Williamson County.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said the tornado occurred around 9:30 a.m. in a relatively unpopulated area along Farm to Market 1105 between Walburg and Weir. No one was injured. The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management reports “several homes sustained minor to moderate roof damage and one section of the roof of a local business was ripped away, strewing insulation debris for approximately one mile.” A damage assessment revealed four homes were damaged along with one business.

The NWS says the EF-0 tornado tracked north for approximately one mile and then dissipated near Farm to Market 972 in Walburg. The agency says the morning showers interacted with a stationary front, which in turn enhanced rotation enough to produce the tornado. They say these types of tornadoes are hard to detect by radar because they’re “weak” and “shallow.”

A KXAN viewer said the tornado happened near the Twin Creek subdivision. When he heard the tornado, he thought it was a neighbor working in his metal shop. He also said several trees were also damaged during the tornado.

“This morning’s tornado near Walburg formed in an unusually tropical air mass, it was not associated with a supercell thunderstorm,” says KXAN’s Jim Spencer, “in fact, we don’t even think there was a thunderstorm at all. There is a weak frontal boundary in that area, and a nearby rain shower created a little circulation that met up with the boundary—resulting in what will likely be rated an EF-0 tornado. These type tornadoes are so small and shallow, and short-lived they rarely show up on radar—so no warnings were issued.”

Tornado in Walberg area near 3400 FM 972, Williamson County, TX (Courtesy: Williamson County)
Tornado in Walberg area near 3400 FM 972, Williamson County, TX (Courtesy: Williamson County)
A tornado was confirmed in Williamson County on 1/13/17 (Photo: Thomas Jones via National Weather Service)
A tornado was confirmed in Williamson County on 1/13/17 (Photo: Thomas Jones via National Weather Service)
View of the tornado in Walburg on Jan. 13, 2017. (Report It: Dr. DeWayne Mirtsching @ The Backbone of Walburg Chiropractic office)
View of the tornado in Walburg on Jan. 13, 2017. (Report It: Dr. DeWayne Mirtsching @ The Backbone of Walburg Chiropractic office)

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