The Woodward News

June 24, 2014

Storms strike in area Sunday

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Residents in the panhandle and Laverne got their prayers answered, They finally got the rain they've been praying for since about this time last year.

Problem was, residents said,  it all came in about two hours and brought a few friends with it, hail, damaging straight line winds and at least one reported tornado tagged along as well.

According to National Weather Service of Amarillo meteorologist Justyn Jackson, Sunday night's fury, that caused flash floods and downed power lines in the Knowles, Gate, Rosston and Slapout region was caused by a super cell thunderstorm system called a "northwest flow aloft" system.

"The main show in town was a really big super cell thunderstorm that formed in Beaver County," Jackson said. "It traveled east initially and then finally started developing more south and produced a rash of severe storms all the way from Beaver and south as far as Canadian."

The storms caused multiple reports of damage with hail as large as golf balls, some in Knowles residents reported. Straight line winds of over 66 miles per hour were measured at the Oklahoma Mesonet station south of Slapout, Jackson said.

And about 10 miles north of Slapout, a tornado touched down, he said.

"The thing was, it was only on the ground about 10 to 15 seconds," he said. "So not any reported damage from that yet."

The "magic" that caused the disturbance was a cool front coming in from Kansas, Jackson said. That cool front ran into moist, warm air from the Oklahoma  panhandle and the convection began, he said.

All day Monday, a investigation crew from the Amarillo office spent the day near Slapout seeking data to ascertain whether there were more than one tornado that touched the ground, Jackson said.

"Well, this is the peak of severe weather season," he said. "So we were not surprised to see this kind of system, which is notorious for producing these kinds of severe storms."

And the trend isn't quite over yet, Jackson warned.

Jackson anticipated Monday night's possibilities to be in the 30 percent range for more thunder showers, with most of the action taking place in the Guymon region. That system will develop in Colorado and New Mexico, he said.

But Tuesday night, there is another chance for significant storms again in the Beaver County region. These storms are projected to be similar to the storms from Sunday with more high winds, more hail and more heavy rains, he said.

"Tuesday might see a repeat performance starting around 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. going into midnight to 1 a.m.," Jackson said.