April storm damage in Point Venture was a tornado after all

Point Venture storm damage. (Courtesy: Donnie Norman)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — National Weather Service meteorologists have taken the lull in active weather to comb over videos, pictures and radar images from the severe storms on April 2 which looked, to many who sent them in, like tornado damage. NWS crews initially thought the damage was likely due to straight line winds, but the agency decided to go back and look through the evidence a second time.

NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Paul Yura has officially ruled the damage at Point Venture that day an EF-0 tornado, which ended with a microburst. The microburst itself—intense winds that can flatten buildings—did most of the damage to homes and business both in Point Venture and in Lakeway. The Granger (GRK) radar site showed a 1-2 mile area of 70-80 mph strong thunderstorm winds near the surface

Yura say with the aid of security video, he was able to determine the official track of the tornado started near Noack Hill. From there, it continued northeast over to Lake Travis and near Bee Creek.
Image courtesy of NWS New Braunfels.
At this point, his research was helped by the viral video of a waterspout moving over the lake and toward Point Venture, taken by a man and his family in his lake house. There, the trail ends as there is no video on Point Venture itself. Yura says “radar data was little help” in this instance.
The tornado lasted 3 minutes and its path length was around 3 miles.
Here is KXAN’s Weather Diary entry for that day:

TORNADO WARNING IN TRAVIS, WILLIAMSON, HAYS AND BLANCO COUNTIES between 8-10 a.m. as a line of strong to severe showers and t-storms move through the area. Pea to quarter size hail reported, and 50-60 mph wind gusts knock down trees, signs and blow away furniture. Point Venture in Lakeway receives the most damage w/70mph straight-line winds that destroy parts of marinas, houses and businesses, forcing some docks to lose their mooring and drift out into the lake. Viewer video appears to show waterspout moving from Bee Creek area to Point Venture. Widespread 0.50-2″ seen across the area, with 4″+ totals in portions of Llano and Burnet County along the CO River. Line of storms remain strong to severe through the Austin metro, losing strength as it tracked into our eastern counties shortly after noon. By the late afternoon, skies had cleared with pleasant, average temps for early April.

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