AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After storms moved through the High Plains region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, several communities were left to deal with storm damage.
Chief Meteorologist John Harris said after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the area saw heavy-duty thunderstorms move in from the west.
“But then we had a cluster of storms move into southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, and those thunderstorms were very messy. They were producing strong straight line winds, heavy rain, some flooding, and also large hail up to the size of softballs.”
At around 9:25 p.m., Harris said a tornado warning came out for Texas County, when a supercell went over Guymon.
He said the National Weather Service sent a team to Guymon on Wednesday to look at the debris pattern to determine if it was actually a tornado. Harris said their survey results showed damage was due to straight line winds up to 90 miles per hour.
“The debris pattern might indicate that it was a rotating wind, but we haven’t heard anything back on that. Plus, I know probably there was some damage with the hailstones that came down last night around Perryton and Spearman and back over toward Beaver, Oklahoma,” said Harris. If those hailstones were being tossed horizontally, then that’s going to do quite a bit of damage to a building.”
According to Harris, the northeast quadrant of the Texas Panhandle also saw plenty of hail Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, another line of thunderstorms rolled in from the north, putting out strong, straight line winds.
“A lot of places came in with 60 to 70 mile per hour plus wind speeds last night, not tornadic, but straight line winds. And hurricane force winds start at 74 miles per hour,” he said. “So a lot of these winds were at hurricane force as they blew through. And so that did some damage to outbuildings, fences, power poles. And then also we had the heavy rain that came in after that.”
He said the precipitation is really just a drop in the bucket.
“It depends on where you live. Our eastern counties have actually had several days over the last few weeks where they’ve had a lot of rain, and so it’s helped them immensely. Right here in Amarillo, we’ve kind of missed out last night.”
Harris said Wednesday’s early morning rainfall was the best precipitation we have seen since our snow fall in March, which changed over to some heavy melt.
“So for the year, we’re over five inches of rain, but we still have a deficit of up to one and six tenths of an inch below where we should be,” he said.