ELLIS COUNTY - There were more than 100 homes in Ellis County damaged or destroyed during Saturday's historic round of tornadoes. The National Weather Service has now confirmed the tornado that touched down there was officially an EF3, which means wind speeds reached 150 to 160 miles per hour.
The devastating damage was on full display Monday morning as officials from the National Weather Service team surveyed the neighborhood. Mark Fox, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the team, explained the amount of damage. “We've got exterior walls collapsed and a lot of the structure gone so the good news here is no fatalities,” Fox said.
More good news from the National Weather Service: Even though this is considered an El Niño season, they say falling temps should prevent storms of this magnitude for the remainder of the winter. “You typically see less thunderstorms and more rain or snow or something like that but with any El Nino year, the moisture is definitely going to be there so we watch every storm system like it was the middle part of April or May,” he said.
But the Fox and the National Weather Service warn don't be fooled when it comes to dangerous weather; it can strike at any time, especially in Texas. "Don't rely on the calendar to tell you when severe weather is supposed to happen. When the environment is right, that's when the storms are going to happen, whether it's December 26 or May 15 or April 3. We've got to be ready; we have all sorts of weather here in North Texas," Fox said.