Longview Tornado of December 23rd, 2009

The National Weather Service performed a storm survey in Harrison County Texas for a tornado which touched down near Longview on December 23rd 2009 at 4:39 pm.

An EF2 tornado touched down on the east side of Longview, just west of the intersections of E Cotton Street and Industrial Drive. The tornado then tracked north northeast causing damage to several industrial buildings along Industrial Drive. It crossed Industrial Drive just south of Highway 80, causing significant damage to the Fed Ex building and other surrounding industrial businesses.

The tornado then crossed Highway 80, causing significant tree and roof damage to several homes in a residential neighborhood. The track continued north northeast as the tornado crossed Loop 281 just south of Page Road. The tornado caused major roof damage to a home on Page Road before continuing northward. The storm continued to cause tree and roof damage in a residential area before crossing Peter Bonner Road near Sandy Lane. More tree and roof damage was observed as the storm tracked into a rural area, ending south of FM 449 on Keasler Road around 4:56 pm.

The tornado was rated an EF2 with winds estimated at 110 to 120 mph, and was on the ground for 17 minutes. The tornado’s width was 200 yards and the path length was approximately 7 miles.

Longview Tornado of December 23rd, 2009
Radar imagery of the tornado outbreak. Imagery on the left is of storm reflectivity. Notice how the classic hook-like apendage takes shape as the storm moves across the northeast part of the city. The hook-like feature in a strong thunderstorm is often a good sign that the storm is producing a tornado.

Imagery on the right is of storm relative velocity. Shades of red indicate air which is moving away from the radar while shades of green indicate air which is moving toward the radar. The brighter shades highlight the faster moving air. The bright reds and greens directly next to each other indicate strong rotation.

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A map of the storm tracks.

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