Storms moved fast and furious through North Texas on Thursday afternoon, with a frightening funnel cloud seen by hundreds of people near Midlothian.
Just before 2 p.m., a severe thunderstorm erupted in Tarrant County. Just after it crossed into Ellis County at 2:10 p.m., a well-defined rope tornado developed. It only lasted for a couple of minutes; it cycled up, it cycled down. Video shows that it left a debris cloud in its wake near Midlothian.
No serious damage was reported and the storm system moved south and east of Dallas-Fort Worth.
9:00: All tornado watches and warnings in North Texas have now expired. National Weather Service
8:06: The tornado watch area has been shifted to the south, and no longer includes Eastland, Erath, Hood, Johnson or Ellis counties. The watch continues through 9 p.m. south of those counties. National Weather Service
6:37: All tornado warnings have now expired in North Texas. A tornado watch continues until 9 p.m. for 23 counties south of Dallas-Fort Worth. WFAA
5:48: I'm now getting multiple reports of funnel clouds in northwestern Anderson County, that's just to the north of Palestine. There are reports of baseball-size hail in connection with this storm, which is located on top of Richland-Chambers Lake. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
5:43: Emergency officials in Navarro County are confirming a rotating wall cloud about 3-5 miles northwest of Blooming Grove near the Hill-Ellis-Navarro county line. "We've not had any major reports of damage at this time," said Corsicana Fire Chief Don McMullan. "We've had a couple of trucks on Interstate 45 that were turned over. We had a short period of very heavy rain." McMullan said one storm cell was intense, producing hail ranging from quarter- to golf ball-sized. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
5:36: A tornado watch is canceled for these North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Hunt, Kaufman, Rockwall, Tarrant. National Weather Service
5:23: Another tornado is developing in Corsicana. News 8 DopplerNet shows a very well-defined tornado. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
5:21: No damage is reported in Corsicana, but there are some reports of golf ball-sized hail. WFAA
5:18: The thunderstorm that I'm very concerned about is near Corsicana right now. There is a rotating wall cloud with this storm, but a tornado warning is not in effect for that area. Damaging winds are likely, however. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
5:12: National Weather Service issues tornado warning for northeast Freestone County; southeast Navarro County; northwest Anderson County; and south central Henderson County until 6 p.m. National Weather Service
5:02: Rebecca Grogan lived through the 1993 tornado that devastated Lancaster. Today, she and her daughter Brittany were pulling up to a Midlothian shopping center when she spotted a twister. "I looked up, and it looked like there was a funnel cloud," she said. "I just started taking pictures. A couple of minutes after I started taking pictures, that's when the alarms went off." Grogan said she was mesmerized by the incredible sight. "I've seen them coming, but I've never actually seen one forming like that, and it kept dipping in, coming down and going back up," she said. Daughter Brittany was a little more shaken up by the experience. "I was scared to death," she said, adding: "My mom's crazy!" Gary Reaves reporting from Midlothian
4:52: On the Ellis-Navarro County line north of Corsicana we have hail and a bit of a "hook" is developing on the back side of this storm. The storm is headed toward Corsicana. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
4:44: There is rotation aloft right now across southern Ellis County and the northern portion of Navarro County, but I do not have any reports right now of any tornadoes on the ground. This is not the intense rotation that we have seen earlier this afternoon. Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus
4:32: I don’t think people should take it too lightly because we don’t have rotation at this point. We still have a lot of high winds, a lot of rain accumulating, just north of Richland Chambers, so this thing could very well fire right back up, as we make our way to the early evening. We’ve seen it time and time again. Troy Bush, HD Chopper 8
4:16: There is a tornado warning in effect for Navarro County until 4:30 p.m. That’s our only tornado warning at the moment. WFAA chief meteorologist Pete Delkus
3:43: I am 17 miles from it and this thing looks so big. We’re about three miles east of Rice.Troy Bush, HD Chopper 8
3:32: We've dodged the bullet, I believe. A unloaded UPS was flipped up and turned over in Midlothian. The fire chief... said the touchdowns may have occurred in fields. Ellis County Emergency Management, John Patterson
3:05: A UPS truck was reported to be overturned at Highway 287 and US 67. No details as to whether the driver was injured.- WFAA chief meteorologist Pete Delkus
3:04: I am concerned by a hook that has developed in the storm as it heads into Waxahachie. It continues to move southeast at about 15 mph. - WFAA.com
3:01: There is pretty heavy rainfall and the occasional drop of hail and hardly any wind right now. The temperature has dropped to about 68 degrees. - WFAA's Brian Titsworth
3:03: I am heading southbound on Highway 287 in Waxahachie and we are in very heavy rain and some light hail. The sky is just black. There could be anything in those clouds, but we wouldn't be able to see it. A lot of motorists are pulling off on the side of the road. But, we have not observed any rotation or funnel clouds. - WFAA's Jim Douglas
2:55: The tornado that was spotted in Ellis County was said to have touched down just before 2 p.m. a few miles outside of Midlothian. - WFAA chief meteorologist Pete Delkus
2:59: The tornado warning for Ellis County has been extended until 3:30 p.m. - The National Weather Service
2:42: There is a tornado warning for Waxahachie and rotation has been spotted just outside the area. Those in Waxahachie should seek shelter. Go to the lowest floor of your home because we have a wall cloud that has a history of creating at least one tornado. - WFAA chief meteorologist Pete Delkus
Thursday afternoon, severe weather rolled into North Texas, with reports of a tornado, hail, high water and at least one crash involving four cars.
Prior to the Ellis County tornado spotting, there were also reports of a tornado that was moving eastward along Interstate 30 at Sulphur Springs shortly before 1 p.m. Also, several ominous clouds hovered over the Grand Prairie-Arlington area and other spots in North Texas.
Hail as large as golf ball-sized was reported across North Texas.
There was also been reports of several thousand people throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area without power. And, Dallas Fire-Rescue has responded to a call of high water in the 1200 block of Anderson Avenue in far west Dallas.
As heavy rains fall across North Texas, wind gusts have been reported as high as 60 mph.
Gate holds and taxi delays due to thunderstorms have created a delay of over 30 minutes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.