In wake of severe storms, cold front chills North Texas; 3 tornadoes confirmed

Another batch of strong to severe storms is possible late next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Update: Revised at 8:57 p.m. to include additional information about the car dealership.

After a bout of severe storms unleashed rain, hail and high winds — and three confirmed tornadoes — on North Texas Thursday, a lingering cold front is expected to chill the region throughout the weekend.

The National Weather Service said lows will reach the mid-30s and lower 40s on Saturday before dropping into the mid-20s and upper 30s on Sunday. There is no rain in the forecast, but the cool temperatures will be accompanied by light winds out of the north.

The weather service advises protecting any sensitive outdoor plants, as patchy frost is possible.

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High temperatures will rise into the 70s and lower 80s by the middle of next week, the weather service said. The next chance for rain will be March 22, and another batch of strong to severe storms is possible March 23.

Power outages, 3-inch hail

Multiple lines of storms moved through North Texas on Thursday, according to Monique Sellers, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

The weather service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties, and videos posted online showed water pooled on interstates as rain and hail peppered the region.

Severe storms damage auto dealership in Irving
Severe storms caused damage to Autos of Dallas in Irving on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

Sellers said the weather service received reports of hail that measured up to 3 inches. Near downtown Dallas, there were reports of small, penny-size hail.

A tornado warning was in effect for parts of Dallas County for about half an hour as the storm system moved to the eastern and southeastern part of North Texas.

The weather service was still assessing damage Friday but confirmed a tornado hit Irving after forming in northern Grand Prairie near the Dallas-Tarrant county line. Preliminary reports classified the tornado as an EF1, meaning winds reached up to 110 mph.

A second tornado in Irving, also an EF1, with winds up to 105 mph occurred on the north side of town, just north of State Highway 183.

A third EF1 twister, with winds up to 95 mph, touched down near Corsicana, the weather service said.

The agency also confirmed straight-line wind damage in Garland, with winds reaching 75 mph.

Trail of damage

The quick-moving storms left some damage in their wake as they crossed North Texas.

Autos of Dallas in Irving, a car dealership that sells used luxury vehicles, suffered severe damage. Videos posted to social media showed parts of the roof on top of a car in the parking lot. David Mullins, the general manager of the dealership, said they were “blessed” no one was hurt.

Outside the dealership, Mullins said he saw a strange scene as the storm approached. “I saw the rain coming from maybe a few 100 yards away from us, and it was going sideways,” he said. “It wasn’t coming down.”

As he urged customers and employees to head inside the dealership’s tornado shelter, the façade had fallen off the roof and made a loud bang, he said. Inside, it was a chaotic scene with a few customers were screaming, and the windows beginning to flex.

Mullins said he had never seen wind that fast.

One car was damaged by the façade collapse, he said — a Chevrolet Tahoe a customer purchased Thursday and planned to pick up.

Mullins said a National Weather Service investigator came to the dealership to conduct damage assessment. He pointed him to a nearby snapped telephone pole. The investigator looked at it and told him, “That’s definitely a tornado,” Mullins said.

The storm also tore roofs off of several townhomes in another part of Irving, KRLD-AM (1080) reported.

The Duck Creek neighborhood in Garland saw significant damage from the storms, according to KXAS-TV (NBC5). Residents said they heard a lot of wind, and later found trees upended and damage to their homes.

Damage from Autos of Dallas is dragged away from the front of the building after the dealership was caught in the storms moving across The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex on Thursday, March 16, 2023.(Liesbeth Powers / Staff Photographer)

A little more than 9,000 customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were without power Thursday night. As of Friday morning, Oncor’s outage map showed that number was down to about 800 in the Dallas area.

The latest forecast from KXAS-TV (NBC5):

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy and chilly. Low: 36. High: 55.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy and chilly. Low: 36. High: 51.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a 20% chance of showers. Low: 39. High: 51.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low: 42. High: 60.

WEDNESDAY: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy and mild. Low: 53. High: 73.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy, breezy and mild with a 30% chance of storms. Low: 61. High: 78.

Staff writer Noor Adatia contributed to this report.

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