The 16 tornadoes that dropped down on North Texas last week, ripping homes off their foundations and killing six people, was a prelude.
Severe weather is gathering over swathes of Midwest United States, from Texas to North Dakota. There is nothing unusual about this weather or its severity; it is, quite simply, tornado season. On Sunday, tornadoes killed one person and injured 21 in Oklahoma as well as touching down in Iowa and Kansas. As of Monday, a tornado weather warning is in effect across much of the central and southern Plains.
Still, the tornadoes in Texas took people by surprise. Granbury was worst hit, with wind speeds of at least 179 miles per hour. Experts rated the twister a four or "devastating" on a five-point scale, where a five is "incredible".
Some 150 dogs, 20 cats, birds, gerbils, lizards and even a rooster were misplaced in the aftermath. Residents of Granbury described the scene as a ‘warzone' to Hood County News.
At first glance, it appears the twisters of such magnitude are rare, with the previous tornado of comparable intensity in Texas recorded back in May 1999.