AUSTIN (KXAN) — One year ago, six separate tornadoes (including one in Milam County) moved through Central Texas causing damage and injuries– but thankfully no deaths.

Jeff Mangum was a storm chaser with Tornado Trackers. He, along with his partner Gabe Cox, were our eyes on the ground as they chased the longest track tornado that day which moved through Round Rock toward Granger and then into Bell County before dissipating.

The EF-2 tornado was on the ground for 29 miles from 5:54 p.m. to 6:34 p.m.

KXAN Meteorologist Nick Bannin spoke with Jeff about that day in a two-part interview. The first part aired Monday on KXAN Weather & Traffic on the CW Austin.

KXAN Meteorologist Nick Bannin: Jeff Mangum joins us, a storm chaser who was pivotal with our coverage of the tornado outbreak last March. Jeff, welcome back, tell us about March 21 2022. What went right for you and your partner Gabe Cox and what didn’t?

Jeff Mangum, Storm Chaser: That was a very unique day, we were anticipating that there’s going to be an outbreak of severe weather of some sort. So all the models, were painting a picture saying that the Austin Metro Area was going to get hit by supercells. We had four of these very, very strong storms sweeping into the Central Texas area. What ended up happening is three of the four storms became tornado warned, the only storm that had yet to become tornado warned was the one that would end up going through Round Rock, and then to Granger. But the more we looked at that storm, we just we saw that the environment and all the parameters were set up perfectly. And we looked off to the west toward Round Rock, and you could see this huge wall cloud, and it looked like there was a tornado in progress. We’ve been hearing reports about that and the closer it got, we started seeing that it was certainly having ground circulation.

It became its widest and strongest point, I believe, right around the location of where we were and impacted some homes and some businesses right around where we were located. The most memorable part was there’s a particular Farm to Market road that we were going north to south on and we’re videoing this tornado coming right at us. You can hear it, you could smell the grass getting tossed around from from the impact of the tornadoes. So all the senses were maxed out at this point and it got to a place where it started moving very quickly to our location. We had to make a beeline south about maybe a 10th of a mile, maybe a quarter of a mile, turned around and we watched this large wedge tornado pass right in front of us and you could hear every bit of that tornado. It was robust, it was loud, it was strong and it was it was sweeping these rear flank downdraft winds so the winds from the backside of that storm were impacting us. We were probably getting 70 to 80 mile per hour winds at our location.


Stay with the First Warning Weather Team as we track any severe weather this year.