It has officially now been 6 years since the Tornado Outbreak that impacted North Texas on 12/26/2015. This tornado outbreak produced 12+ confirmed tornadoes, with the strongest ratings being EF-4 and EF-3.
That afternoon the environment was very unstable and humid, an environment typically seen more in the spring time months and not a usual environment you’d see during the December month. The ingredients needed for storms that day were three times the normal needed for the development of severe weather.
The 18 UTC weather balloon launch as shown, displayed an environment with very strong surface winds, very unstable air, and no protective “CAP” to limit development across north Texas that afternoon.
As the afternoon progressed storms developed and quickly began to rotate with numerous tornado warnings being issued, before several confirmed tornadoes were observed that afternoon into the late evening.
A total of 12 tornadoes were confirmed in the viewing area, with the strongest tornadoes occurring over parts of Dallas, Collin, and Rockwall counties as an EF-4 caused significant damage to the Rowlett area, and damage to the communities of Sunnyvale and parts of Garland.
The second strongest tornado of the day occurred over the Midlothian area, and was rated as an EF-3 tornado.
A total of 13 fatalities occurred that night, and the Rowlett EF-4 was rated as the deadliest and highest rated tornado to impact Dallas county in the month of December. The overall outbreak ranked 3rd for confirmed amount of tornadoes within a 24 hour time period.
The communities impacted have continued to recover over the years, and we continue to think of pray for those who were impacted by these storms, and those who lost loved ones in this storm.
This outbreak is an unfortunate and sobering reminder that Mother Nature does not abide by months, seasons, or time. Severe weather can occur at any time.