|Record flooding, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms associated with 3 to 4 days of thunderstorms and heavy rain occurred over West Texas and southeastern New Mexico between April 2 and April 4. A powerful upper level low pressure system located in southwestern Arizona from Thursday, April 1 through Monday, April 5 played a major role in the development of thunderstorms over the Midland County Warning Area (CWA). A series of mid and upper level disturbances rounded the base of the low and tracked across the WFO Midland CWA during the first week in April. Near the surface, moist, easterly upslope flow helped feed abundant amounts of moisture into the area. Intensification of thunderstorms was noted in areas of locally maximized instability and upper level diffluent flow, and closely coincided with the timing of mid-level shortwave troughs crossing the area.
During this severe weather outbreak, the National Weather Service in Midland was in close contact with emergency management and other officials within our county warning area. It was only through the dedicated teamwork of emergency management, state and local law enforcement personnel, the media, the amateur radio community, SKYWARN spotters, firefighters, EMS personnel, the National Weather Service, and many other groups working together that these early April severe weather events resulted in no direct fatalities. We are accustomed to severe weather during the springtime across West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. However, the extreme nature of these events within such a short span of time, make the severe weather episodes of April 2004 quite historic. A preliminary summary of storm reports can be found here.
|Click the links to the right to learn more about this severe weather event.