Remembering historic twin tornadoes that hit Austin 100 years ago

The extreme warmth and humidity on May 4, 1922, created a recipe for disaster.

"It was a pair of really strong tornadoes. The weird thing though is they were moving from north to south and southwest which is a really strange direction for tornadoes," said Carlo Falco, FOX 7 Austin Meteorologist.

The National Weather Service said significant thunderstorms developed during the late afternoon hours that day, and reduced to two different tornadoes. As Falco mentioned, their path was north to south and southwest, not the usual path of southwest to northeast.

"In this case we had a crazy weird jet stream setup. Once you get the thunderstorm to develop up into mid-levels of the atmosphere, the jet stream is going to move it southwest to northeast typically," he said.

Harrowing images show one of the twisters hovering over the State Capitol.

Retrospective analysis from the National Weather Service categorized the twin tornadoes as an EF-2 and the other an EF-4.

"In this case it was the first tornado on the west side of Austin that ended up being the weaker tornado and then the slightly stronger tornado got put down just east of downtown Austin and then went southwest," said Falco.

The twisters injured more than 50 people and killed 13, including a St. Edward’s University student inside his dorm.

"That building sat right near the campus' main building which still stands today," Falco said.

Falco said the threat of tornadoes in Austin is decreasing by the day, but severe weather season remains in effect, and twisters, flooding, hail, are all still possible.

"Know your tornado and severe weather plan before you need to use it," said Falco.

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