April, May and June are the most active months in Texas for tornadoes. Also, Western Texas is experiencing extreme and exceptional drought that could fuel wildfire. The past three years, the U.S. has seen an average of more than 600 tornadoes during the tornado season.
Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), are more than two miles (3 km) in diameter, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).
1979 Red River Valley tornado outbreak
In my day and time the most remembered tornado occurred on April 10, 1979, near the Red River Valley claiming 59 souls. It is noted for the F4 tornado that hit Wichita Falls, Texas, and is commonly referred to as “Terrible Tuesday” by many meteorologists. Additional ones were reported across the Southern Plains as well as in the Mississippi River Valley.
At the end of the outbreak, 54 people lost their lives in Texas, three were killed in Oklahoma and one was killed in Indiana. The Wichita Falls tornado alone killed 42 people and caused $400 million in damage ($1.74 billion in today’s dollars). An 8 miles (13 km) swath of the city had significant devastation.
A monster tornado tore through Wichita Falls, TX on April 10, 1979. This film was compiled from various media sources on the Internet and is meant to memorialize the event for the upcoming 30th anniversary this year.