Hidalgo/South Pharr Tornado

*UPDATED AT 6:35pm CDT 7/1/2011*

***The National Weather Service in Brownsville, TX has determined the tornado that hit Pharr and Hidalgo was an EF-1, with winds peaking to 86 mph. For more on this, click here.***

At approximately 6:15pm, June 30th,  a tornado developed in southern Pharr, Texas, which it then did a series of dropping and lifting before moving westward into Mexico.  The cell that produced the tornado started in Cameron County around 4:00pm CDT and moved westward, right over Military Highway (281), but didn’t produce a tornado until it reached southern Pharr/Hidalgo area.  The storm was not warned (severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning) simply because it was a fast moving storm and did not meet severe credentials until the time the tornado was on the ground, which it then moved into Mexico within minutes.  Damage was found along small path (0.4 miles) from southern Pharr to Hidalgo.  Luckily, no one was killed or seriously injured.  There was one report of a woman that had to be taken to the hospital for some minor injuries, but is expected to be okay.  A moving truck was overturned, as well as a few businesses and buildings received some damage from the tornado.  Here is what radar looked like at approximately the time of the tornado:

Figure 1. Radar at 6:18pm CDT. The tornadic cell is circled in red.

Although the radar image above doesn’t look impressive, radar velocities in the storm reached up to 70+mph, caused by the tornado.  There is a slight hook in this storm (if you look really close), an indication of a tornadic cell signature.  The National Weather Service will conduct a survey of the damage  from the tornado tomorrow or later this weekend and rank it on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).  It will most likely be classified as an EF-0 or EF-1 tornado.  I will update this as soon as they post the results.

EF Scale (winds)

Here’s a look at the storm reports from June 30, 2011.  The Pharr/Hidalgo tornado was the only tornado reported in the whole nation.

Figure 2. SPC's storm reports from 6/30/2011. Storm reports can be found on their website at : http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/

Below are some pictures taken by Michael Gonzalez:

Image 1. Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez, taken in Hidalgo, TX (6/30/2011)

Image 2. Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez, taken in Hidalgo, TX (6/30/2011)

Image 3. Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez, taken in Hidalgo, TX (6/30/2011)

Image 4. Courtesy of Michael Gonzalez, taken in Hidalgo, TX (6/30/2011)

To see more photos of the tornado or damage, you can check out KRGV’s my5 pics here.

About Brian

University of Oklahoma graduate with a degree in Meteorology. Follow me on Twitter: @WeatherInformer
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2 Responses to Hidalgo/South Pharr Tornado

  1. Thanks for posting this info. As a storm chaser originally from South TX, I find it interesting to read about current severe weather events in your part of the country.

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