After getting pelted during early evening with pockets of large hail, portions of the City of Del Rio and Eastern Val Verde County endured a second round of storms late in the evening on May 10th, 2017. A confirmed tornado was reported by Laughlin AFB weather personnel just north of the base in a rural part of far-southeastern Val Verde County.
Shortly after crossing the Rio Grande from near Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, what appeared to be an insignificant thunderstorm erupted into a tornadic state just west of the Del Rio International Airport, triggering a National Weather Service-Issued Tornado Warning at 10:35 PM.
The thunderstorm began to gain momentum shortly after crossing the Rio Grande River, similar to a previous storm just hours before, and displayed easily-identifiable radar-indicated hail (pink, in the base reflectivity image above). While this storm did not look to produce very large hail - immediate concern was drawn to the tornadic vortex signature (upside-down triangle) found near the hook (inflow) of the supercell thunderstorm.
While this signature can often be mis-interpreted by weather radars - a quick look at inbound-vs-outbound velocities (shown in the image to the right above as green = inbound and red = outbound) verifies decently strong rotation in the storm (and was further verified with elevated radar scans).
This was enough to warrant a tornado warning, which accompanied the storm across much of the northern half of the city and into more rural ranch land north of Laughlin AFB into Kinney County.
While at the time of this writing there has not yet been any reports of damage or injury from this storm, a wall cloud and a brief tornado were visually observed roughly four miles from the airfield northwest of Laughlin AFB shortly after these radar images were taken.
Dan Schreiber is a freelance meteorologist with experience