Thursday's tornado caught many by surprise. In fact, the National Weather Service (NWS) didn't even issue a tornado warning. The experts at the NWS, say an August tornado is rare. There were even broadcast reports from other area stations that said this wasn't severe weather, and there was no danger. Though the NWS says it was in fact a tornado, and any tornado is serious and can be dangerous.
"We had a weak tornado touch down near Wolfforth around 1 p.m.," said Justin Weaver, Meteorologist in Charge at Lubbock's NWS office.
This tornado,or what is commonly called a land spout, touched down just south of 1585 and CR179. NewsChannel 11 viewers captured the funnel cloud in pictures and though it may have looked relatively harmless compared to other tornadoes the NWS says nothing could be further from the truth.
"Same rules we use in the spring time. When you see a tornado approaching your area you need to seek shelter," Weaver added.
But if a tornado touched down, and we now know that one did, why wasn't a tornado warning ever issued by the NWS? Weaver says that our August tornado was rare and only on the ground for four minutes.
"If one develops and we can get the warning out by that time they've usually dissipated," said Weaver.
But the fact remains no matter the size of the tornado, "all tornados are dangerous. Any tornado that touches the ground can cause debris that can cause injuries," said Weaver.
The NWS checked their data and confirmed the winds associated with this tornado were between 65mph and 85mph. To put that into perspective hurricane force winds start at 70mph.
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