Severe Weather Events April 29 Through May 2

April 29th & 30th
An upper level low pressure system over the Southern Rockies moved east into Texas on April 29th and April 30th. This storm system combined with low level moisture and instability to produce severe thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorms first developed on the afternoon of April 29th across the Concho Valley and the Big Country. These storms continued on into the evening hours, producing large hail and damaging winds. The upper level low moved east into Western Texas during the day on Monday, April 30th. The combination of the cold air aloft with the approaching storm system with warm afternoon temperatures at the surface increased the instability and lead to more scattered thunderstorms. Most of these storms produced nickel to quarter size hail across the northern 2/3 of West Central Texas. However, one storm become tornadic across Coke and Runnels Counties between 10 PM and Midnight, producing golfball size and a weak tornado in Ballinger.

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TEAM SURVEYED DAMAGE FROM A TORNADIC
THUNDERSTORM NEAR THE BALLINGER AREA EARLIER TODAY AND FOUND
EVIDENCE OF A WEAK TORNADO CIRCULATION ABOUT 4 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
BALLINGER. THE TEAM RATED THE TORNADO AS AN EF0 ON THE NEW
ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE...WITH WIND SPEEDS OF 65 TO 85 MPH.

THE NEARLY HALF MILE WIDE EF0 TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN ON
HIGHWAY 67 ABOUT 4 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BALLINGER AND TRACKED 1.5
MILES SOUTHEAST TOWARD THE BRUCE FIELD AIRPORT. THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE TEAM OBSERVED ROOF DAMAGE TO OUTBUILDINGS...A
TRACTOR TRAILER WAS OVERTURNED...AND POWER LINES AND POLES WERE
KNOCKED DOWN.
Here is a loop of radar images showing the April 30th storm as it tracked through Ballinger. The airplane symbol is where Bruce Field is located.(Click to loop, 2 MB file):  

Ballinger Tornado

May 1st
On May 1st , an isolated thunderstorm developed near Lohn, in Northern McCulloch county. This storm formed on a weak cold front that was moving south across the area. In the initial stages of the thunderstorm development, this storm produced a weak tornado. This tornado was very photogenic and was seen by many people. Skywarn storm spotters across McCulloch County were on this storm and watched as the funnel developed and dipped to the ground twice. This tornado was very difficult to detect on the radar, and is one of the many reasons why Skywarn storm spotters are so crucial. After this thunderstorm matured and moved off to the southeast, it produced large hail, but no other tornadoes were reported. The official rating on these two tornadoes were EF0.

 The following graphics are of a radar image shortly before the tornado formed...and several pictures of the tornado taken from near Lohn...which is approximately 15 miles north of Brady, and also near the Brady Airport, Curtis Field. Incidentally, these images were taken with cell phone cameras.

 Here is the radar image(Click to enlarge, 1 MB file): 

Click to enlarge

Here is an image from Skywarn Storm Spotter Doug Hemphill/K5MNM looking north along FM 2635 as the tornado was beginning to form. (Click to enlarge, approx 20 kb file):

>Lohn Tornado

 

Here is a series of pictures taken by Skywarn Storm Spotter David Huie/K5DGH near the intersection of FM 504 and U.S. Highway 283.(Click to enlarge the images, approx 20-25 kb files):

 

Lohn Tornado Lohn Tornado Lohn Tornado Lohn Tornado

 

The next two images of the same storm were taken by Joe Mosier from the Brady Airport, Curtis Field.(Click to enlarge the images, approx 20-25 kb files):

  Lohn Tornado Lohn Tornado


May 2nd
Another upper level disturbance and returning low level moisture lead to another round of severe thunderstorms which first developed on the morning of May 2 across Southeast New Mexico and Southwest Texas. The line of severe thunderstorms then moved across West Central Texas during the late morning and afternoon hours. The storms produced nickel to quarter size hail, damaging winds of 65 to 80 mph and a few weak tornadoes in a swath about 50 miles wide from Sterling County over to Brown County. Also, during the afternoon hours a few supercells developed along the thunderstorm outflow boundary across the Northwest Hill Country and Northern Edwards Plateau. 

Here is an overview loop of radar showing the May 2nd event.(Click to loop, VERY large 4 MB file):

May 2nd Radar Overview

There have been four confirmed tornadoes with this event. The first confirmed tornado with this event occurred about 13 miles to the west southwest of Sterling City and was a brief touchdown. The second tornado developed near Orient around 1:35 PM. The tornado then tracked another 4 miles to the northeast into southern Coke County and dissipated near Tennyson around 1:46 PM. This tornado was given an EF0 rating. Below is a radar image as the tornado is crossing the Tom Green/Coke County line. 

Tennyson Tornado Radar - Click to enlarge

 Two other confirmed tornadoes occurred further to the east, both rated EF 1. One track started about 3 miles west of Rockwood in Coleman County. This tornado then moved across the south side of Rockwood (Southern Coleman County) where a few buildings were damaged. The tornado continued east of Rockwood for another 4 miles damaging barns and trees. (Here is a radar image as the tornado is passing Rockwood.)

Rockwood Tornado Radar - Click to enlarge

The other confirmed tornado track found started about 2 miles east northeast of Brookesmith (Southern Brown Country) crossing highway 377 where tree damage was observed and just missing a residence by a few hundred yards. The tornado continued another 4 miles to the east causing tree damage. (Here is a radar image as the tornado is crossing 377 near Brookesmith.)

Brookesmith Tornado Radar - Click to enlarge

Investigations continue on other tornado reports from May 2nd and will be updated as time permits.
This site will be updated as we continue to gather information from these events. Also we are going to add pictures and radar images of these events as well. 


Previous News:
April 7th Winter Weather Event


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