Grandfalls, Texas Experiences a Macroburst
Septemper 30, 2004

Information and photographs provided by
 Pat Vesper and Todd Lindley, WFO Midland/Odessa, Texas


Thunderstorms developed during the afternoon on September 30, 2004 over the Davis Mountains and moved rapidly east-northeast into the upper portions of the Trans Pecos region and the western Texas Permian Basin. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Midland issued Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Reeves County at 5:31 PM and for the western portions of Pecos County at 6:44 PM.
radar image of a severe thunderstorm approaching Grandfalls
WSR-88D 0.5 Degree Reflectivity image (7:17 PM CDT) showing
a severe thunderstorm moving into Grandfalls.
Click image to enlarge

As severe thunderstorms continued to move rapidly east northeast at 30 mph, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for southeastern Ward County at 7:15 PM. Reports from Grandfalls indicated that the severe thunderstorm struck the community between 7:17 and 7:22 PM. Quarter to golfball size hail was reported in and just south of Grandfalls as the storm passed.

In addition, five power poles were snapped along State Route 11, just south of town. In town, an abandon mobile was rolled by high wind and destroyed while the roof of another mobile home in the southwest portions of the community was blown onto a nearby pickup. Several trees were uprooted and a historic church also sustained roof damage.

A damage survey conducted by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Midland revealed that all damage was caused by severe thunderstorm winds. These were uniform in direction, blowing debris from the southwest to the northeast. The damaging winds swept through an area approximately three miles wide. These observations are consistent with the occurrence of a macroburst. A macroburst is a large downburst of winds extending in excess of 2.5 miles in horizontal dimension. An intense macroburst often causes widespread "tornado-like" damage, such as those that occurred in the Grandfalls area Thursday evening.


photograph of a damaged church
The historic church located in downtown Grandfalls suffered roof damage.
Click image to enlarge
photograph of a destroyed mobile home
Abandoned mobile home that was destroyed in Grandfalls.
Click image to enlarge

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.