Photos taken from Doolittle, Texas (6 miles northeast of Edinburg) after microburst containing 60 to 65 mph winds damaged many homes and buildings.  For individual pictures, click here. 
Busy Spring Storm Season Continues
Mini Supercell Brings Damaging Winds, More Hail on May 9th 2012

Event
A thunderstorm, forming along boundaries from earlier activity during the afternoon on May 9th and aided by proximity to a stationary surface front and another wave of energy ahead of an upper level disturbance, quickly became severe northeast of Edinburg. Between 9 and 945 PM, winds increased, rain poured down, and hail developed as the storm formed and began moving east. At approximately 930 PM, a microburst and large hail struck a colonia in Doolittle (map, below), damaging nearly every home (most were of poor construction) and rolling two unanchored trailers. One resident’s ceiling caved in from the combination of hail, estimated to be quarter sized, torrential rains, and driving 60 to 65 mph winds. Another tin roof was completely blown from a mobile home. A man was inside one of the trailers when it rolled; fortunately, he was not injured. Nearby, several large limbs were broken from mesquite trees, and one tree was partially uprooted. Shed damage was also noted at the Diamond B Ranch, just north of the colonia. 

The storm would continue east through Hidalgo County, just north of State Highway 107, then persist into southern Willacy County, where additional hail fell. Much of the hail was the size of a quarter or less, though some reports indicated a few golfball to baseball size stones mixed in. A second storm moved northeast through the King Ranch at about the same time the rotating storm which produced the Hidalgo County damage slid into Sebastian (Willacy County). The following preliminary storm report provided additional details:


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BROWNSVILLE TX  
518 PM CDT THU MAY 10 2012    

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...  
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....  
            ..REMARKS..    

0930 PM     TSTM WND GST     4 NE EDINBURG           26.34N  98.12W  
05/09/2012  E65 MPH          HIDALGO            TX   EMERGENCY MNGR  
            HIDALGO EM REPORTS TWO MOBILE HOMES DESTROYED AND HOME  
            UNDER RENOVATION SEVERELY DAMAGED. OUTBUILDINGS AND 
            OTHER STRUCTURES ALSO DAMAGED NEAR DOOLITTLE. WINDS 
            ESTIMATED BY NWS SURVEY AT 60 TO 65 MPH. NO INJURIES.    

0946 PM     HAIL             EDCOUCH                 26.29N  97.96W  
05/09/2012  E2.75 INCH       HIDALGO            TX   TRAINED SPOTTER  
            SPOTTER REPORTED HAIL HAD BUSTED HER WINDOWS IN 
            EDCOUCH. WAS NOT CONFIDENT OF EXACT HAIL SIZE.    

0957 PM     HAIL             10 NE EDINBURG          26.40N  98.05W  
05/09/2012  E0.75 INCH       HIDALGO            TX   PUBLIC  
            PUBLIC REPORTS PENNY-SIZE HAIL 10 MILES NE OF EDINBURG
            NEAR ELSA AT THE INTERSECTION OF FM 2812 AND VAL VERDE   
            ROAD.    

1033 PM     HAIL             15 S SARITA             27.00N  97.80W  
05/09/2012  E1.00 INCH       KENEDY             TX   OTHER FEDERAL   
            BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINT 15 MILES SOUTH OF SARITA  
            REPORTS PREDOMINANTLY NICKEL-SIZE HAIL WITH EMBEDDED  
            QUARTER-SIZE HAIL.    

1035 PM     HAIL             SEBASTIAN               26.34N  97.80W  
05/09/2012  E0.75 INCH       WILLACY            TX   NWS STORM SURVEY   
            VISUAL EVIDENCE SHOWED NO HAIL IMPACT IN SEBASTIAN.   
            ESTIMATED SIZE BASED ON CONVERSATIONS WITH AFFECTED  
            RESIDENTS. HAIL LASTED UP TO 10 MINUTES. PREVIOUS REPORT  
            OF SOFTBALL SIZED HAIL COULD NOT BE VERIFIED BY SURVEY.    

1045 PM     HAIL             2 S RAYMONDVILLE        26.45N  97.78W  
05/09/2012  E1.75 INCH       WILLACY            TX   EMERGENCY MNGR   
            WILLACY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGER REPORTS GOLFBALL-SIZE   
           HAIL 2 MILES SOUTH OF RAYMONDVILLE.
Map of location where damaging winds struck colonia near Doolittle, TX
Map of primary damage area, Doolittle, Texas (about 6 miles northeast of Edinburg). Red shaded area was surveyed; colonia did not exist when the map image was created.
Animated loop of 0.5 degree velocity indicating brief microburst near Doolittle, Texas, May 9, 2012
Loop of 0.5° base velocity images between 921 and 945 PM CDT May 8th, across central Hidalgo County along and just east of Highway 281. The third frame (931 PM CDT, time not shown) shows a thin bright green stripe near the damage area, which indicated near 60 mph winds at around 5000 feet above the ground.
Animated loop of 0.5 degree reflectivity showing rotating thunderstorms from central Hidalgo through southern Willacy County, May 9, 2012
Loop of 0.5° base reflectivity images between 859 and 1056 PM CDT May 9th. The time lapse shows a rotating thunderstorm moving from central Hidalgo County into southern Willacy County. Bright white and gray colors indicate abundant hail of different sizes, along with torrential rains.

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