Jarrell, TX Tornado, May 1997

Jarrell tornado from stormstalker

The Jarrell, Texas Tornado of May 27, 1997 is the 10th deadliest tornado in Texas.

The Jarrell tornado is the last confirmed F5 tornado in the state of Texas. This tornado followed an unusual path, moving to the south-southwest and has revived studies on the role of gravity waves on thunderstorm initiation. This storm killed 27 persons (injuring 12 more) and hundreds of cattle. More than 40 homes were completely destroyed, some of which were completely removed from their foundations. - Top Ten Deadliest Tornadoes, since 1900, NOOA.

The 1997 Central Texas tornado outbreak was an unusual tornado outbreak in Central Texas which occurred on May 27, 1997. The F5 tornado that struck the town of Jarrell, Texas killed 27 people out of 1319 residents. The tornado was 3/4 of a mile wide and tracked across the ground for 7.6 miles. Double Creek Estates, a subdivision of Jarrell, was literally wiped off the face of the earth with all 38 homes and several mobile homes destroyed.

When the tornado crossed county roads outside Jarrell, it tore a 500-foot  length of asphalt from the roads. About 40 structures were completely destroyed by the tornado and dozens of vehicles were rendered unrecognizable after being thrown great distances, some more than half a mile. Some of the vehicles were pulverized into many pieces and strewn across fields, and others were simply never found. A small-steel frame recycling facility was completely obliterated, with nothing left of the structure but the foundation and a few mangled steel beams. Telephone poles in the area were snapped off at the base and splintered, and trees in the area were completely shredded and debarked. Many researchers, after reviewing aerial damage photographs of Double Creek Estates, considered the Jarrell storm to be the most violent tornado, in terms of damage intensity, that they had ever seen. Many of the homes in the tornado's path were well-constructed and bolted to their foundations, but the tornado left only the slab foundations, and there was no debris left throughout most of the area. The debris from the destroyed homes was finely granulated into small fragments, and scattered for long distances across the countyside. Several entire families were killed in the tornado, including all five members of the Igo family and all four members of the Moehring family.

The tornado's slow movement combined with the high winds is the reason why the tornado was so destructive. The tornado also picked up a lot of loose soil, giving it a sandblasting effect on the houses. Only one person was seriously injured and less than a dozen people suffered minor injuries after the tornado, a testament to the small probability of survival in the Double Creek neighborhood.

There were 27 human fatalities in the Double Creek subdivision. In addition, about 300 cattle were killed by the storm. About 10 minutes prior to the main event, eyewitnesses spotted additional tornadoes north and west of Jarrell. - 1997 Central Texas Tornado Outbreak, wikipedia

"Jarrell" Reprise: A Fresh Look at the Unusual Central Texas Tornado Outbreak of May 27, 1997 by Lon Curtis and Alan R. Moller

The Jarrell Tornado from Stormstalker

The Aftermath of the Jarrell Tornado from extremeplanet

Jarrell Tornado videos from youtube.