This day in weather history: October 12, 2001 severe weather outbreak

The outbreak ended up producing a total of four tornadoes and strong straight-line winds

Damage was reported in Kerrville, Sabinal, D'Hanis & Hondo (KSAT)

A mainly quiet (and muggy!) October 12 is expected this year with only an isolated chance for a stray shower as our next front approaches tonight.

If you go back 21 years, though, this day turned out to be a much different story across portions of the area as severe thunderstorms plowed through South Texas.

According to the National Weather Service, a severe weather outbreak on October 12, 2001, ended up spawning a total of four tornadoes and straight-line winds up to 100 mph!

These storms would go on to cause widespread wind damage near the Kerrville area, including at least five damaged airplanes at the Kerrville Municipal Airport.

As if that wasn’t enough, even more damage was reported that day along Highway 90.

A severe thunderstorm downburst pushed through the town of Sabinal, leading to reports of damage to roofs and buildings, as well as knocked-off tree limbs.

After that storm pushed out of the Sabinal area, a tornado was then spotted by a trained storm spotter, which would go on to cause minor damage to two homes. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

A similar situation was also found just to the east in D’Hanis that night. Strong winds from a severe thunderstorm ended up producing damage to homes, trees, and businesses before an F1 tornado caused even more damage to the town.

Hondo also found extensive damage that day. A combination of strong storm winds, a tornado, and large hail uprooted trees and tore off the roofs of a few buildings.

The Hondo tornado was rated an F2 on the Fujita Scale. By the time all was said and done, almost 200 homes in and near the city limits sustained damage from these storms. The damage was estimated at 1.5 million dollars and 25 people were injured.

In addition to the damaged homes and businesses, nearly two dozen airplanes (including one commercial airliner and 14 crop dusters) were destroyed at the Hondo Airport, with commercial losses totaling 18 million dollars.

Additional thunderstorms that day produced a tornado in Gillespie County, as well as other damage that was reported in Burnet, Comfort, New Braunfels, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, and Round Rock.


About the Author:

Meteorologist Mia Montgomery joined the KSAT Weather Authority Team in September 2022. As a Floresville native, Mia grew up in the San Antonio area and always knew that she wanted to return home. She previously worked as a meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan-College Station and is a fourth-generation Aggie.