Home News Local News Dexter tornado on ground for less than 20 minutes

Dexter tornado on ground for less than 20 minutes

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The tornado that ripped through Dexter Tuesday night was on the ground for less than 20 minutes before it dissipated, according to the National Weather Service.

Sharon Sullivan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Albuquerque, said Friday that the first reports of a tornado came in at 5:55 p.m. and were last reported at 6:12 p.m. in Dexter.

“It pretty much fell apart after that,” Sullivan said.

The Enhanced Fujita (EF) — a scale that measures tornadoes on a 0 to 5 scale based on wind speeds and damage — indicates the tornado that touched down in Dexter was an EF 2.

An EF 2 tornado is characterized by winds of between 111 and 135 mph, Sullivan said.

The tornado reached an area 200 to 300 yards wide and had a path length of 15 miles, she added.

The National Weather Service was unable to confirm that a second tornado had been in Hagerman, after a sighting near Lincoln Street Tuesday evening, Sullivan said. She added that the tornado was also classified as an EF 2 based on the nature of the damage.

Structures in Dexter were missing fragments of their roofs and some buildings were ripped from their foundations, but stronger tornados would have also removed the foundation of those buildings, Sullivan said.

The last EF 2 tornado was reported to have touched down in New Mexico in Union County in 2010, she added.

A tornado striking in March is unusual, Sullivan said. She added that typically tornadoes form in June during the severe weather season.

Tornadoes, when they do happen, are usually in remote areas, but in Dexter, it had touched down in the more densely populated downtown area of the community.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.