National weather service in San Angelo releases damage survey for Sterling County tornado on May 17, 2021

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Sterling County tornado on May 17, 2021

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The National Weather Service (NWS) of San Angelo has released the damage survey for the Sterling County tornado early this afternoon. On Monday, May 17, 2021, a tornado was recorded by numerous storm chasers as it formed around 7:11 p.m. that evening.

The storm originally became a severe thunderstorm, before evolving into a multi-vortex tornado. The tornado produced strong winds, large hail, and damage across northern Sterling County.

As the evening progressed, the Sterling County tornado continued to track across northern Sterling County (near the area’s wind farms), before becoming rain wrapped as it struck a gas plant in the area.

Damage was discovered by the National Weather Service Survey Team (NWSST), along with the tornado’s beginning and ending track information. Thanks to the storm chaser reports and radar data, the National Weather Service in San Angelo was able to validate the path of the tornado.

The tornado struck a gas plant on State Highway 163, which resulted in the highway being closed until the following morning. In addition, a large dumpster was slung 300 yards into a field near this area as well.

The final rating for this tornado was an EF-1 based on damaged surveyed at the gas plant in Sterling County. Some other data from the tornado include peak winds at 100 miles per hour, the length of path 11. 6 miles, and the width path of 384 yards. No fatalities or injuries resulted from this tornado outbreak. An ongoing investigation continues for further details on the tornado’s track. Future updates will be provided later.

Below is the EF Scale for classifying tornadoes:

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

National Weather Service of San Angelo

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