Cows survive quarter-mile journey in Elgin tornado

The National Weather Service was the EF-0 tornado was on May 23, 2017.
The National Weather Service was the EF-0 tornado was on May 23, 2017.

ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — Several cows and one bull survived being carried more than a quarter mile by a tornado Tuesday evening near Elgin. The cattle were reportedly tossed over fences into an adjacent pasture.

All were knocked unconscious and one cow injured its leg. However, all members of the herd survived, according to Aaron Treadway, a National Weather Service meteorologist who surveyed the storm.

The survey team determined Tuesday’s storm damage in the Elgin area was caused by an EF-0 tornado. Initially believed to be a result of straight-line severe thunderstorm winds, meteorologists found a damage pattern indicating a weak tornado, about 200 yards wide, caused the damage. Peak winds were estimated at 85 mph.

The NWS determined the tornado began just east of Highway 95 and just north of Roemer Road where it flipped a shed off its foundation. The tornado then caused “extensive damage” to a business along Roemer Road. The tornado then continued east-southeast causing damage to a barn and roof damage to a home.

The tornado, which lasted only two minutes and spanned 1.77 miles, ended just east of Red Town Road.

The KXAN First Warning Weather Team says there was never a tornado warning because there was no indication on the radar to suggest a tornado. There was, however, a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for that area. Weak tornadoes do not always present clear radar signatures.

The National Weather Service was the EF-0 tornado was on May 23, 2017.
The National Weather Service was the EF-0 tornado was on May 23, 2017.

EF Scale: The enhanced fujita scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories.

EF0 – Weak: 65 to 85 mph
EF1 – Weak: 86 to 110 mph
EF2 – Strong: 111 to 135 mph
EF3 – Strong: 136 to 165 mph
EF4 – Violent: 166 to 200 mph
EF5 – Violent: >200 mph

An EF-0 tornado damaged buildings in Elgin on May 23, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
An EF-0 tornado damaged buildings in Elgin on May 23, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)

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