Hail and Tornadoes Strike Gaines County, Texas
April 3, 2004


Thunderstorms developed over Lea County, New Mexico during Saturday afternoon on April 3. The most notable of these thunderstorms was a supercell thunderstorm that developed near Eunice at 3:36 PM and moved northeast into Gaines County. This storm moved slowly northeast across western portions of Gaines County, crossing Highway 62/180 from 15 miles west of Seminole to the New Mexico border.

Due to the slow storm movement and the large size of the storm, higher intensities stayed over Highway 62/180 from 3:54 PM to 5:00 PM. This resulted in up to 1 ½ feet of hail accumulation and the closing of Highway 62/180. Below is a photo from this hail event taken during the late afternoon on April 3.

photo of hail covered roads in Gaines county

 

Two more supercell thunderstorms developed after the initial storm moved north of Gaines County. One storm formed in extreme northwestern Andrews County, and moved into southwestern Gaines County just after 6:00 PM. The second thunderstorm produced a brief tornado at 7:05 PM, thirteen miles southwest of Seminole. Click here for a link to radar imagery of this supercell thunderstorm. No damage was reported with this tornado. This thunderstorm continued to produce funnel clouds as it slowly drifted to the north over Gaines County. The third thunderstorm developed over eastern Lea County in New Mexico by 7:00 PM CST, causing flash flooding in Lea County and nickel size hail in Eunice, NM.

 


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