Large Hail Strikes Carlsbad, New Mexico
NWS Midland Provides A 21 Minute Lead Time

May 6th, 2005

A severe thunderstorm rolled over Carlsbad, New Mexico during the evening hours on May 6, 2005. This storm developed over Whites City around 5:20 pm mdt, then quickly strengthened as it moved northeast towards Carlsbad. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 5:48 pm MDT, with penny sized hail first reported on the south side of Carlsbad at 6:09 pm. This thunderstorm continued to intensify and storm spotters reported golf ball size hail at 6:13 pm in the downtown area. Hailstones continued to pound the city with tennis ball size hail being reported at 622 pm. This thunderstorm began to move east of the city around 6:30, but remained severe as it moved over the community of Otis. As this storm continued to move east along Highway 128, storm spotters reported a possible tornado approximately 15 miles southeast of Carlsbad at 7:19 pm MDT. A tornado warning was issued for east central Eddy county at 7:22 pm , with a brief tornado sighted 22 miles southeast of Carlsbad along Highway 128 at approximately 7:26 pm.

radar image of a severe thunderstorm

The radar image shows a severe thunderstorm over Carlsbad, New Mexico
at 6:22 pm mdt on May 6, 2005. Tennis ball size hail was reported around this time.

picture of hailstones

picture of indentations produced by hailstones

hail bouncing off a trampoline
Thanks to our weather spotters for your reports and pictures.

The severe thunderstorm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Midland provided a 21 minute lead time for the residents on the south side of Carlsbad and a 25 minute lead time for those in the downtown area.

Because of the teamwork between the National Weather Service and Eddy County emergency manager, Joel Arnwine, more than 500 people at the Carlsbad Relay for Life Event were able to take shelter well in advance of this severe thunderstorm, thus preventing injury.


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