By John Metz, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
Photo's by Michael Pusley and John Metz

Reports of funnel clouds are a common occurrence across South Texas during the summer months, and on rare occasion these tropical funnels touch the ground and become what is commonly known as a landspout. A landspout is a tornado that does not arise from organized storm-scale rotation and therefore is not associated with a wall cloud (visually) or a mesocyclone (on radar).

Landspouts typically are observed beneath towering cumulus clouds (often as no more than a dust whirl), and essentially are the land-based equivalents of waterspouts. The winds associated with landspouts are typically in the range of 40 to 70 mph. Most of the time, these features never touch the ground. But when they do, they can be strong enough to cause minor damage to trees, aluminum sheds or powerlines.

The weather conditions which cause the formation of tropical funnel clouds, waterspouts, and landspouts are virtually the same. There must be a moist tropical environment, light winds and usually a weak boundary, such as a sea breeze front or outflow boundary.

On Sunday September 14, 2003 the day started out like most others with the report of a funnel cloud near Gregory Texas. Doppler radar showed some weak showers developing across the coastal bend with a slow northwest movement, but no signs of threatening weather. However, the National Weather Service issued a Severe Weather Statement stating that a funnel cloud had been sighted and that conditions were favorable for the formation of funnel clouds through the morning hour About 20 minutes later, another report of a funnel cloud was received, this time near Edroy. Doppler radar showed a very weak shower near this location. However there were no reports of a tornado.

Later that day, observers near Edroy confirmed that the funnel touched down and caused damage near Hondo Creek. A NWS Storm Survey concluded that an F0 Tornado (landspout) touched down about 1 mile south of Edroy and moved slowly northwest along and just north of Hondo Creek. The funnel was visible for about 5 to 10 minutes and several photographs were taken.
Fortunately, there were no injuries and damage was confined to a long span of cattle shades.

Photo #1:By: Michael Pusley Photo #2:By: Michael Pusley
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03
Photo #3:By: Michael Pusley Photo #4:By: Michael Pusley
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03
Photo #5:By: Michael Pusley Photo #6:Edroy Damage
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03
Photo #7:Edroy Damage Photo #8:Edroy Damage
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03
Photo #9:Edroy Damage Photo #10:Edroy Damage
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03
Photo #11:Edroy Damage Photo #12:Edroy Damage
Date: 09/14/03 Date: 09/14/03


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