On April 1, 2013, northwest Texas received a not-so-pleasant surprise on April Fool’s Day. A tornado touched down in Briscoe County near the small city of Silverton just after 4:30 p.m. According to officials, this is the first April 1 tornado in the United States to strike in four years and the fifth to touch down on this day since the year 2000. While the month of April marks the beginning of the most active period for tornadoes across this nation, the first day of April has generally been quiet.
Unfortunately, this tornado caused some property damage, with strong winds that blew up to 66 miles per hour (mph) during this storm. The aftermath of the tornado shows just exactly what was damaged, including:
- Barn damage
- Power poles were snapped, causing power outages
- Damaged irrigation pivot
- Broken windows
According to the National Weather Service meteorologist Lance Goehring, “the tornado touched down near Silverton for about five minutes and hail hit the southern Texas Panhandle Monday.” The tornado actually touched down about six miles southwest of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway.
The hailstorm that accompanied the tornado was reported to have produced nickel-sized hail, and the storm lasted for about 20 minutes in the southern Texas Panhandle. Reports throughout Childress, Hale, and Hall counties included winds, which were recorded over 70 mph, and heavy rain.
Tornado activity is expected to increase as we head into May, which may lead to even more property damage and Texas first-party insurance claims.