NWS: May 17th Sterling County tornado upgrade to EF2

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SAN ANGELO, Texas —The National Weather Service office in San Angelo has released a second update to the initial damage survey for the tornado that hit Sterling Co. last week.

The changes include upgrade the tornado from an EF1 to an EF2 with increased winds speeds and a slightly wide path. No injuries were reported with the tornado.

The full NWS report can be found below.

...NWS Damage Survey for 05/17/21 Sterling County Tornado Update #2...

.Sterling County Tornado...

Rating:                 EF2
Estimated Peak Wind:    115 mph
Path Length /statute/:  11.4 miles
Path Width /maximum/:   1056.0 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start Date:             05/17/2021
Start Time:             07:11 PM CDT
Start Location:         19 NW Sterling City / Sterling County / TX
Start Lat/Lon:          32.0676 / -101.2002

End Date:               05/17/2021
End Time:               07:47 PM CDT
End Location:           12 N Sterling City / Sterling County / TX
End Lat/Lon:            32.0126 / -101.0217

Survey Summary:
A NWS Storm Survey was conducted yesterday in Sterling County.  Based
on this survey and more information received, the rating of this tornado was
increased to EF-2, with wind speeds estimated from 111 to 115 mph.  Because
of this survey, the tornado track has been adjusted about a 1/2 a mile
to the south, and the width of the tornado was increased to about 0.60 miles or
1056 yards.  We found many snapped Mesquite tree trunks and plenty of tree limb
damage.  The tornado moved large wind turbine propellers at two different locations,
and it snapped 16 power poles across two ranches.  The tornado caused a wind
mill stand to bend over.  A nearby crane located about a mile south of the
tornado track or in the rear flank downdraft, measured a wind speed of 109 mph.
The twister destroyed a camper.

On Monday, May 17, 2021, numerous storm chasers tracked the tornado across
northern Sterling County.  Their collective videotapes on social media showed
the tornado starting out as a multi-vortex tornado, transitioning to a large
cone near the wind farms, and then becoming rain wrapped as it struck the gas
plant. The tornado struck a gas plant on State Highway 163. It slung a large
dumpster about 300 yards into a nearby pasture.

Many thanks to the Sterling County Sheriff`s Department, the Stewart Ranch, other
ranchers and all of the storm chasers for their excellent assistance.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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