Concept

2000 Fort Worth tornado outbreak

Summary
During the evening hours of March 28, 2000, a powerful F3 tornado struck Downtown Fort Worth, Texas, causing significant damage to numerous buildings and skyscrapers as well as two deaths. The tornado was part of a larger severe weather outbreak that caused widespread storms across Texas and Oklahoma in late-March, spurred primarily by the moist and unstable atmospheric environment over the South Central United States as a result of an eastward-moving upper-level low and shortwave trough. The tornado outbreak was well forecast by both computer forecast models and the National Weather Service, though the eventual focal point for the severe weather—North Texas—only came into focus on March 28 as the conditions favorable for tornadic development quickly took hold. The F3 Fort Worth tornado initially began as a relatively weak tornado in River Oaks, gradually strengthening as it tracked southeastward and then eastward towards Fort Worth's central business district. The twister damaged 266 homes across its long and wide path, out of which 28 were destroyed. Damage surveys indicated that much of the tornado's destruction was due to structural deficiencies in many of the older subdivisions impacted by the tornado. Various high-rise and low-rise buildings in downtown Fort Worth sustained various degrees of structural damage including numerous broken windows. Nine other tornadoes also occurred across North Texas on March 28; although most were relatively inconsequential, another strong F3 tornado struck portions of Arlington, including Arlington Municipal Airport. Aside from the two deaths caused by the tornado, a third person was killed in north Fort Worth by a fall of baseball-sized hail. Early on March 28, an upper-level low tracked eastward into the Southern United States along with its associated shortwave trough, sending the subtropical jet through Texas and bringing along with it strong west-northwesterly winds in the upper-levels of the troposphere.
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