Severe Weather Episode on the South Plains
May 12-13, 2005
An outbreak of severe thunderstorms occurred across portions of the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains of West Texas from the early afternoon of Thursday, May 12, 2005 into the early morning hours of Friday, May 13.
The weather pattern on this day was highly conducive for severe thunderstorms, specifically, very large hail and tornado development. A southward moving cold front early in the day became nearly stationary by afternoon as a strong flow of moisture overspread the area from the southeast.
Numerous waves of severe thunderstorms developed throughout the afternoon Thursday and continued well into the after midnight hours on Friday. During this long duration event, and between the hours of 4:30 pm and 10:00 pm, several tornadoes occurred across the area. Additionally, very large hail reports were received throughout the event, including a number of tennis to baseball-size hail reports, and even a couple of softball-size hail reports. See the local storm report for a more complete list of the hail events.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Lubbock dispatched a damage survey team to assess reports of tornadoes and associated damage. As a more detailed review of radar data and storm video occurs in the coming days, slight modifications to the assessment can be expected. However, the following is composed from an accurate account of the survey team findings. The survey team was conducted on Friday, May 13, 2005, by the following NWS Lubbock personnel: Meteorologist-in-Charge Justin Weaver, Warning Coordination Meteorologist Brian LaMarre, and Senior Service Hydrologist John Lipe.
Pictures of damage from the first of two tornadoes to impact Ralls, TX. Click on the images for a larger view. (Photographs taken by Brian LaMarre, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, WFO Lubbock, TX)
The above images depict damage from the first of two tornadoes to impact Ralls, TX on the night of May 12, 2005. The tornado tracked from 9 miles to the southwest of Ralls for six miles and impacted the area seen in the photographs. A 2,500 square foot residence was destroyed resulting in widespread F-2 and isolated lower F-3 damage (Click here to learn about the Fujita tornado intensity scale or F-scale for short). The tornado lifted the home off its foundation and scattered debris a few yards to the north and northeast. Some debris from the home was blown over a mile to the north and northeast. Two pick-up trucks were tossed into the air and demolished when deposited upside down. One vehicle was tossed for several yards before making contact with the surface. Trees were mud-splattered and stripped of leaves and bark with large branches completely torn off from trunks. Fortunately, no one was home at the time the tornado struck this area - between 8:40 PM and 8:55 PM.
Pictures of damage from the second of two tornadoes to impact Ralls, TX. Click on the image for a larger view. (Photographs taken by Brian LaMarre, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, WFO Lubbock, TX)
These images depict damage from the second of two tornadoes to impact Ralls, TX on the night of May 12, 2005. The tornado developed approximately 1.5 miles to the west of Ralls and tracked to the north and northwest before dissipating three miles north of Ralls. The occurrence of this second tornado in relation to the weakening of the first and stronger tornado is not uncommon with long-lived tornadic supercells. This pattern is typical of a cyclic tornado when one tornado weakens and lifts while another tornado forms to the right of the original tornado path. This tornado produced extensive F-1 and isolated F-2 damage. A residence was damaged and a barn completely destroyed with a vehicle blown over and deposited on its side. The damage seen in the photos is south of U.S. Highway 62/82. As the tornado tracked to the northeast over this area, 2000 lb bales of hay were tossed from a field on one side of the highway into a field across the highway to the south where the structures, power poles and vehicle were damaged.
For a more complete account of the tornado activity on May 12th, read the public information statement below.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...UPDATED.
...DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED FOR MAY 12 2005...
UPDATED SOUTH PLAINS AND RALLS TORNADO INFORMATION.
AN OUTBREAK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRED ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
THE WEATHER PATTERN ON THIS DAY WAS HIGHLY CONDUCIVE FOR SEVERE
NUMEROUS WAVES OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED THROUGHOUT THE
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LUBBOCK DISPATCHED A DAMAGE SURVEY
IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER...
1. 430 PM...LAMB COUNTY...1 MILE WEST OF OLTON.
2. 504 PM...HALE COUNTY...1 MILE NORTH OF PLAINVIEW.
3. 541 PM...HALE COUNTY...10 MILES NORTHEAST OF PLAINVIEW.
4. 613 PM TO 625 PM...FLOYD COUNTY...SOUTH PLAINS.
THIS TORNADO WAS THE PARENT OR MAIN TORNADO INVOLVED IN WHAT IS KNOWN
5. 624 PM TO 640 PM...FLOYD COUNTY...SOUTH PLAINS.
6. 840 PM TO 855 PM...CROSBY COUNTY...RALLS.
7. 855 PM TO 910 PM...CROSBY COUNTY...RALLS.
8. 920 PM TO 940 PM...LUBBOCK COUNTY...7 MILES NORTHWEST OF IDALOU.
FOR REFERENCE...THE FUJITA TORNADO INTENSITY SCALE IS BASED ON
F0...40 TO 72 MPH
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF OUR LOCAL
Note: The below information contains preliminary reports as they were received throughout the severe weather event. Some reports may show multiple reports of tornadoes. This can occur as various sources witness the same tornado from different locations at different times. The official account of tornado occurrences across the area during the event can be seen in the above Public Information Statement. However, all reports are important to the National Weather Service and a sample of them can be seen below.
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 0145 PM HAIL 8 E HALFWAY 34.19N 101.81W 05/12/2005 3.00 INCH HALE TX TRAINED SPOTTER 2 TO 3 INCH HAIL ALMOST COVERING THE GROUND 0155 PM HAIL PLAINVIEW 34.19N 101.72W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH HALE TX PUBLIC NICKEL TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED ON NORTHWEST SIDE OF CITY. 0200 PM TORNADO 1 S PLAINVIEW 34.18N 101.72W 05/12/2005 HALE TX TRAINED SPOTTER TORNADO REPORTED SOUTH OF PLAINVIEW AIRPORT. 0200 PM HAIL PLAINVIEW 34.19N 101.72W 05/12/2005 2.00 INCH HALE TX PUBLIC ONE TO TWO INCH HAIL REPORTED VIA INTERNET BY PUBLIC ON SOUTH SIDE OF CITY. 0215 PM HAIL PLAINVIEW 34.19N 101.72W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH HALE TX EMERGENCY MNGR GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED BY EOC...EASTERN CITY LIMITS POWER OUTAGES ALSO REPORTED. 0220 PM TORNADO 3 SE PLAINVIEW 34.16N 101.69W 05/12/2005 HALE TX STORM CHASER TORNADO LOCATED 3 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE PLAINVIEW AIRPORT. 0345 PM HAIL 9 N LOCKNEY 34.25N 101.44W 05/12/2005 4.25 INCH FLOYD TX STORM CHASER SOFTBALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN LONESTAR 0355 PM TORNADO 7 NW SOUTH PLAINS 34.30N 101.40W 05/12/2005 FLOYD TX TRAINED SPOTTER 6 MILES WEST OF INTERSECTION OF 207 AND CR A OR 2 MILES NORTH OF LONE STAR. BRIEF TOUCHDOWN...NO DAMAGE COULD BE SEEN. 0410 PM HAIL OLTON 34.18N 102.14W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH LAMB TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0415 PM HAIL OLTON 34.18N 102.14W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH LAMB TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0449 PM HAIL EDMONSON 34.28N 101.89W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH HALE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 0510 PM HAIL KRESS 34.37N 101.75W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH SWISHER TX CO-OP OBSERVER 0517 PM HAIL DIMMITT 34.55N 102.32W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH CASTRO TX TRAINED SPOTTER 0517 PM TORNADO 7 S SILVERTON 34.37N 101.30W 05/12/2005 BRISCOE TX TRAINED SPOTTER TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AT 517 PM AND WAS ON THE GROUND UNTIL 525 PM. DAMAGED POWER POLES AND TREES. 0531 PM HAIL 2 N SOUTH PLAINS 34.25N 101.31W 05/12/2005 4.25 INCH FLOYD TX TRAINED SPOTTER 1/2 MILE EAST OF INTERSECTION OF 207 AND FM 689 0531 PM TORNADO 4 NW SOUTH PLAINS 34.27N 101.36W 05/12/2005 FLOYD TX TRAINED SPOTTER ABOUT 3 MILES SW OF INTERSECTION OF CR A AND CR 8. TORNADO ON THE GROUND FOR ABOUT ONE MINUTE. 0535 PM HAIL TAHOKA 33.16N 101.79W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH LYNN TX PUBLIC 0541 PM TORNADO 11 NE PLAINVIEW 34.30N 101.59W 05/12/2005 HALE TX TRAINED SPOTTER 0600 PM HAIL 6 E KRESS 34.37N 101.64W 05/12/2005 3.00 INCH SWISHER TX CO-OP OBSERVER 2-3 INCH HAIL REPORTED 0607 PM HAIL 10 S SILVERTON 34.33N 101.30W 05/12/2005 1.25 INCH BRISCOE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 0617 PM TORNADO 3 NNW SOUTH PLAINS 34.26N 101.33W 05/12/2005 FLOYD TX TRAINED SPOTTER 0620 PM HAIL SOUTH PLAINS 34.22N 101.31W 05/12/2005 3.00 INCH FLOYD TX STORM CHASER 3 INCH HAIL REPORTED NEAR SOUTH PLAINS 0630 PM TORNADO 10 SW QUITAQUE 34.26N 101.18W 05/12/2005 FLOYD TX NWS EMPLOYEE 0637 PM HAIL 3 NW WILSON 33.35N 101.76W 05/12/2005 0.75 INCH LYNN TX TRAINED SPOTTER 0650 PM HAIL 1 E QUITAQUE 34.37N 101.04W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH BRISCOE TX EMERGENCY MNGR 0650 PM HAIL SLATON 33.44N 101.64W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH LUBBOCK TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0705 PM HAIL 3 SE WOODROW 33.42N 101.81W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH LUBBOCK TX TRAINED SPOTTER GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED 1/2 MILE EAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 87 AND 41 0714 PM HAIL 2 N QUITAQUE 34.40N 101.06W 05/12/2005 2.75 INCH BRISCOE TX EMERGENCY MNGR 0735 PM HAIL RANSOM CANYON 33.53N 101.68W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH LUBBOCK TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 0801 PM HAIL 2 E RANSOM CANYON 33.53N 101.65W 05/12/2005 2.50 INCH LUBBOCK TX BROADCAST MEDIA LOCATED AT BUFFALO SPRINGS. 0804 PM HAIL PLAINVIEW 34.19N 101.72W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH HALE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT FLOODING ALSO REPORTED IN PLAINVIEW 0815 PM TSTM WND GST 6 SE LUBBOCK 33.51N 101.80W 05/12/2005 60 MPH LUBBOCK TX PUBLIC ROOF BLOWN OFF A CONVENIENT STORE. 0817 PM HAIL PLAINVIEW 34.19N 101.72W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH HALE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 0840 PM TORNADO 2 S LORENZO 33.64N 101.54W 05/12/2005 CROSBY TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0850 PM TORNADO 5 W RALLS 33.68N 101.47W 05/12/2005 CROSBY TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE TWO TORNADOES BETEEN RALLS AND LORENZO AS REPORTED BY RALLS FIRE DEPT 0850 PM HAIL RALLS 33.68N 101.38W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH CROSBY TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE REPORTED BY RALLS FIRE DEPT 0856 PM HAIL 9 E ABERNATHY 33.84N 101.69W 05/12/2005 0.75 INCH HALE TX STORM CHASER 0900 PM TORNADO RALLS 33.68N 101.38W 05/12/2005 CROSBY TX EMERGENCY MNGR POWER LINES DOWN AND HOMES DAMAGED 1/2 MILE WEST OF RALLS 0900 PM TSTM WND GST 2 W RALLS 33.68N 101.42W 05/12/2005 70 MPH CROSBY TX TRAINED SPOTTER POWER LINES DOWN. WIND SPEED ESTIMATED 0912 PM HAIL 10 W ESTELLINE 34.55N 100.61W 05/12/2005 2.00 INCH HALL TX PUBLIC AT PARNELL COMMUNITY 0950 PM HAIL 1 N NEW DEAL 33.75N 101.84W 05/12/2005 2.50 INCH LUBBOCK TX TRAINED SPOTTER 0954 PM TORNADO 7 NW IDALOU 33.73N 101.60W 05/12/2005 LUBBOCK TX STORM CHASER BRIEF TORNADO 0955 PM HAIL 10 N CHILDRESS 34.57N 100.25W 05/12/2005 0.88 INCH CHILDRESS TX TRAINED SPOTTER 1005 PM HAIL NEW DEAL 33.73N 101.84W 05/12/2005 2.75 INCH LUBBOCK TX LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED AT INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 5300 AND INTERSTATE 27. 1010 PM HAIL 5 E PETERSBURG 33.87N 101.51W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH FLOYD TX PUBLIC 1023 PM HAIL 5 S FLOYDADA 33.91N 101.34W 05/12/2005 0.88 INCH FLOYD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 1033 PM HAIL 4 W NEW DEAL 33.73N 101.91W 05/12/2005 1.50 INCH LUBBOCK TX TRAINED SPOTTER 1041 PM HAIL 4 S FLOYDADA 33.93N 101.34W 05/12/2005 1.00 INCH FLOYD TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 1105 PM HAIL 5 W DOUGHERTY 33.94N 101.17W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH FLOYD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT ALONG HIGHWAY 602 1118 PM HAIL ANTON 33.81N 102.16W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH HOCKLEY TX BROADCAST MEDIA 1145 PM HAIL ROARING SPRINGS 33.90N 100.86W 05/12/2005 1.75 INCH MOTLEY TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 1204 AM HAIL 8 NW ABERNATHY 33.92N 101.95W 05/13/2005 1.00 INCH HALE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 1230 AM HAIL CONE 33.80N 101.39W 05/13/2005 2.00 INCH CROSBY TX STORM CHASER 1244 AM HAIL 7 S PLAINVIEW 34.09N 101.72W 05/13/2005 1.75 INCH HALE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT 0115 AM HAIL 1 SW LOCKNEY 34.11N 101.45W 05/13/2005 1.75 INCH FLOYD TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0212 AM HAIL 5 W PADUCAH 34.01N 100.39W 05/13/2005 1.00 INCH COTTLE TX FIRE DEPT/RESCUE 0230 AM HAIL 4 E PADUCAH 34.01N 100.23W 05/13/2005 1.75 INCH COTTLE TX AMATEUR RADIO