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Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 04/03/2012

Three confirmed tornadoes strike Dallas, Ft. Worth Texas area


Radar shows two supercells that spawned tornadoes in the Dallas Fort Worth area - one west of town near Irving and one east of town at 2:08 p.m. CT (3:08 p.m. ET). Red outlines indicate areas under tornado warnings at that time. (Radarscope)

AP story: Large tornadoes tear through Dallas area, damage homes and leave crumpled trailers along roads

(updated at 6:30 p.m. ET)

Three confirmed tornadoes charged through the heart of the Dallas- Ft. Worth area earlier today leaving behind pockets of severe damage. One ripped through Arlington and a second through southeast Dallas county (around Lancaster) between 2 and 3 p.m. ET. A third twister tore through Forney, east of town, between 4 and 5 p.m. ET. The NBC news affiliate in Dallas, streaming live coverage of one of the tornadoes, called the tornado swarm “a nightmare scenario” (See also WFAA.com streaming coverage).

All planes at DFW airport - where large hail damaged 110 aircraft - were grounded. American Airlines has canceled all flights through the rest of today. Very little flying is expected through the evening due to mandatory hail damage inspections.

As the tornadoes swept through, live video showed power flashes, lofted debris, and 50 foot tractor trailers being tossed into the air. Emergency officials reported heavy residential damage around Arlington and Lancaster (southeast Dallas county). The tornado in Forney damaged a school. There have been no reports of fatalities.

Photos: Dallas 1| Dallas 2 | Semitrucks being thrown in the air

Videos: Tornado in Arlington, TX | Tornado spotted by Texas Rangers player | Forney, Texas tornado | Tornado tosses semi-trucks

Keep reading for earlier live blog updates and photos....

Compilation of photos - allow a few seconds to load...

Update, 5:00 p.m.: In the immediate Dallas area, the threat of tornadoes has ended, although it persists with warnings in effect well east and northeast of town. I am concluding this live blog. Stay tuned to the National Weather Service or local media for the latest warnings.

Update, 4:40 p.m.: A confirmed tornado (third of the day) has touched down around Forney, Texas in Kaufman county east of Dallas, and is moving northeast. WFAA reports significant damage (mainly to roofs) around Forney, and Twitter reports indicate an elementary school there was hit.

Update, 4:20 p.m.: The tornado warnings on the north side of Dallas have expired, but a new tornado warning is in effect through 5:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. local time) for eastern Dallas county, northwestern Kaufman county, and Rockwall county.

Update 3:50 p.m.: A tornado warning (for a doppler indicated, not confirmed tornado) is in effect until 4:30 p.m. (3:30 local time) for northwestern and central Dallas county and east central Tarrant county headed towards the vicinity of Irving. In Arlington, children are sheltering in place at schools.

Update: 3:40 p.m.: Two tornado warnings remain in effect in northern Dallas county. One on the east side which extends into southeastern Collin, and northwestern Rockwall county until 4:15 (3:15 local time). The other on the west side which extends into southwest Collin and southeast Denton county until 4:00 (3:00 local time). WFAA is reporting a tornado on the ground around Addison which is southwest of Plano.

Update: 3:30 p.m.: AccuWeather’s Jesse Ferrell indicates DFW observed 1.75” diameter hail. Heavy damage reported in Lancaster, TX. AccuWeather indicating “Significant damage reported at Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, Texas”

Update 3:20 p.m.: The tornadic storm has passed DFW where flights are grounded - not clear if a tornado touched down at the airport itself. Dallas News reports no structural damage to Rangers Ball Park in Arlington.

Update: 3:10 p.m.: WFAA news is reporting extensive damage (to at least 20 homes) in Tarrant county near Arlington, Texas. Very large hail being reported at DFW airport.

Update: 2:55 p.m.: A tornado remains on the ground near Arlington, Texas - the tornado is heading in the general direction of DFW Airport. Travelers are being directed to storm shelters. The warning for this storm continues through 3:20 p.m. ET (2:20 p.m. CT)

Update, 2:50 p.m.: Both tornadoes have spun down and radar is showing weaker circulations. However, the tornadoes could spin back up. Tornado warnings remain in effect. AccuWeather: “Heavy structural damage in this area to a lot of homes,” from the scanner.

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 04/03/2012

 
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