June 12-13 Severe Weather and Heavy Rain

 A nearly stationary front over the region resulted in numerous storms from the afternoon of June 12 through the early morning hours of June 13. There were nearly 60 severe weather reports, including large hail, damaging wind, and flooding. One storm chaser even reported hail of six inches in diameter at Sunray in Moore County, TX. Hansford County was especially hard hit by heavy rain, which led to several reports of flash flooding.

So what caused the event?  Obviously, abundant moisture in the atmosphere provided the fuel for the storms, but there were two other major components that helped storms form frequently over the same areas.  The image below shows the general weather pattern in place that triggered the event.

Weather Pattern in place on June 12, 2010.

Southeast winds in place pumped very high dew points into the atmosphere over the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.  The moisture content in the atmosphere was nearly twice the normal amounts for this time of year.  At the same time, a cold front moved south into the Panhandles and stalled to become a stationary front.  This front was located from Tucumcari, New Mexico, to Boys Ranch, Texas, to Stinnett, Texas, to Beaver, Oklahoma, to Dodge City, Kansas. 

A large low pressure system in the upper atmosphere was positioned well east of the Panhandles and provided strong southwest to northeast oriented jet stream.  As the jet stream ran into the stationary front, the moist atmosphere ignited and generated storms along and just north of the front.  This pattern remained fairly constant through the early morning hours on June 13th, which allowed the storms to regenerate for many hours.

Rainfall estimates in place on June 12, 2010.

Initially, the storms became severe very quickly and produce hail across Moore and Sherman counties around 2:30pm in the afternoon.  Soon after that, the strong wind shear in the atmosphere caused a few storms to rotate.  One brief tornado developed south of Sunray, Texas but fortunately remained over open country.  Over the course of afternoon, evening and early morning hours, these storms produced frequent severe weather and extremely heavy rain.

  A near record flood event occured at Palo Duro Creek near Spearman, Texas.  The creek rose to 22.48 feet and the flood of record was 22.50 feet set in 1938.  The image to the left shows a radar estimated precipitation map.  Often times, radar estimated precipitation runs slightly higher than observed precipitation because hail stones trick the radar into thinking there is more rain present than actually falls out of the storm.  However, this image certainly shows that very heavy rainfall did occur.

This image shows the river stage at the Palo Duro Creek near Spearman, Texas. The image on the left shows the river gauge readings from the Palo Duro Creek near Spearman, Texas.  The blue dotted line indicates the observed river stage.  At its highest point, the Palo Duro Creek rose to 22.48 feet based on this graphic.  That is above the "Major Flood" stage.  The green dotted line shows the forecast flood stage.  Notice that this line quickly falls through the next few days.   However, additional rainfall may prevent the river stage from falling. 

  These images of Palo Duro Creek were taken west of Spearman where Highways 15/207 cross the creek.

Palo Duro Creek flowing across Highway 15 Palo Duro Creek flowing across Highway 15 Palo Duro Creek flooding west of Spearman

 

The storms also produced strong, straight-line winds at Bryans Corner in Beaver County, OK.  A church lost portions of its roof as well as having a wall collapse.  A grain silo, a steel windmill, and a steel reception tower were destroyed.  A center-pivot irrigation system was also blown over.  Damage was noted southwest and northeast of town.  Based on the damage, a survey team from NWS-Amarillo concluded that wind speeds were around 90mph.  That's equivalent to an EF-1 tornado!
Destroyed grain silo near Bryans Corner, OK   Damage to a church in Bryans Corner, OK

This storm produced more than the tornado though.  Storm chasers were following this storm and relayed reports to the National Weather Service of very large hail.  The hail stones quickly rose in size from 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter which is about the size of a grapefruit.  Then, a few moments later we received reports of hail stones up to 6 inches in diameter.  To put this into perspective, the largest hail stone ever recorded fell in Aurora, Nebraska in 2003.  This stone was 7 inches in diameter.  So clearly, hail of 6 inches in diameter is extremely rare and potentially dangerous.  The "lucky" storm chaser who encountered this hail was Bart Comstock who allowed us to post the two pictures below of some of the large hail.  Unfortunately, one of these hailstones smashed into Mr. Comstock's windshield causing glass to shatter into his vehicle.  The hail stones you see in this photo below appear to be 5 inches across!  Mr. Comstock also had video evidence of hail stones that were 6 inches across!

Hailstones from the June 12, 2010 event.

Hailstones from the June 12, 2010 event.

 
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
1256 PM CDT THU JUN 17 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0238 PM HAIL 8 W DUMAS 35.86N 102.11W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0244 PM HAIL 7 NW DUMAS 35.93N 102.05W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0304 PM HAIL CACTUS 36.04N 102.01W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX TRAINED SPOTTER

HAIL WAS ONGOING.

0309 PM HAIL 1 NNE CACTUS 36.06N 102.00W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH SHERMAN TX TRAINED SPOTTER

0314 PM TORNADO 8 S SUNRAY 35.90N 101.82W
06/12/2010 MOORE TX STORM CHASER

STORM CHASER IDENTIFIED A CONE TORNADO SOUTH AND
SLIGHTLY WEST OF SUNRAY. ALSO...THE MOORE COUNTY SHERIFF
WITNESSED THE BRIEF TORNADO IN THE SAME LOCATION.

0315 PM HAIL N DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX EMERGENCY MNGR

0317 PM HAIL 7 E DUMAS 35.86N 101.84W
06/12/2010 M2.00 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

0323 PM HAIL 4 S SUNRAY 35.97N 101.81W
06/12/2010 M4.00 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

MEASURED WITH A RULER.

0325 PM HAIL 2 E SUNRAY 36.02N 101.79W
06/12/2010 M3.25 INCH MOORE TX EMERGENCY MNGR

DELAYED REPORT

0327 PM HAIL 6 S SUNRAY 35.94N 101.81W
06/12/2010 M5.50 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

HAIL CAME THROUGH WINDOW OF VEHICLE AND CAUSED MINOR
CUTS TO DRIVER. THE DRIVER MEASURED THE HAIL STONE AS
5.5 INCHES ACROSS.

0328 PM HAIL 7 E SUNRAY 36.02N 101.70W
06/12/2010 M2.75 INCH MOORE TX EMERGENCY MNGR

DELAYED REPORT

0332 PM HAIL 3 SE SUNRAY 35.99N 101.79W
06/12/2010 E2.50 INCH MOORE TX TRAINED SPOTTER

0332 PM HAIL 6 S SUNRAY 35.94N 101.81W
06/12/2010 M6.00 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

0340 PM HAIL 6 E SUNRAY 36.01N 101.72W
06/12/2010 M4.00 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

0441 PM HAIL 4 SW GRUVER 36.22N 101.46W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX PUBLIC

0454 PM TSTM WND DMG HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 TEXAS OK TRAINED SPOTTER

SIX INCH DIAMETER TREE DOWN IN HARDESTY. PEA SIZED HAIL
FALLING AS WELL

0459 PM HAIL HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.75 INCH TEXAS OK TRAINED SPOTTER

0459 PM TSTM WND GST HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E70 MPH TEXAS OK TRAINED SPOTTER

0502 PM HAIL HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E0.88 INCH TEXAS OK TRAINED SPOTTER

0503 PM HAIL HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.25 INCH TEXAS OK TRAINED SPOTTER

HAIL UP TO HALF DOLLAR SIZE

0503 PM TSTM WND DMG HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 TEXAS OK LAW ENFORCEMENT

SIX INCH DIAMETER TREES WITH TWO INCH DIAMETER BRANCHES
BLOWN DOWN.

0503 PM FLASH FLOOD HARDESTY 36.61N 101.19W
06/12/2010 TEXAS OK LAW ENFORCEMENT

THREE TO FOUR INCHES OF RUNNING WATER ON THE ROADS.

0604 PM HAIL 6 NNW BOYD 36.78N 100.86W
06/12/2010 M1.00 INCH BEAVER OK EMERGENCY MNGR

0630 PM HAIL SE SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX BROADCAST MEDIA

0633 PM HAIL 5 E HARTLEY 35.89N 102.31W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HARTLEY TX PUBLIC

0638 PM TSTM WND GST SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E60 MPH HANSFORD TX BROADCAST MEDIA

PENNY SIZE HAIL IN ADDITION TO THE 60 MPH WINDS

0638 PM HAIL SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E0.75 INCH HANSFORD TX BROADCAST MEDIA

0639 PM HAIL 5 E HARTLEY 35.89N 102.31W
06/12/2010 E1.25 INCH HARTLEY TX PUBLIC

0645 PM HAIL 10 WSW DUMAS 35.81N 102.13W
06/12/2010 E1.25 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0655 PM FLASH FLOOD 4 W MORSE 36.06N 101.55W
06/12/2010 HANSFORD TX TRAINED SPOTTER

WATER WAS REPORTED ACROSS THE ROAD ALONG FM 281 AND 11
MILES WEST OF HIGHWAY 136 SOUTHWEST OF MORSE. ROAD IS
CURRENTLY IMPASSABLE.

0655 PM FLASH FLOOD SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 HANSFORD TX BROADCAST MEDIA

EIGHT INCH FLOOD WATERS REPORTED IN SPEARMAN.

0655 PM HAIL 7 W DUMAS 35.86N 102.09W
06/12/2010 E1.25 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

STRONG OUTFLOW WINDS AND QUARTER TO HALF DOLLAR SIZE
HAIL ALONG HWY 87

0703 PM HAIL 6 W DUMAS 35.86N 102.07W
06/12/2010 E1.25 INCH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

0717 PM TSTM WND GST 1 S DUMAS 35.85N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E60 MPH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0718 PM TSTM WND DMG DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 MOORE TX EMERGENCY MNGR

3 MOBILE HOMES BLOWN OFF FOUNDATION INTO ROAD AT 1600
BLOCK OF BINKLEY

0720 PM HAIL DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E1.75 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0720 PM TSTM WND GST DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E65 MPH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0721 PM HAIL DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

0726 PM HAIL DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

0726 PM TSTM WND GST DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 M66 MPH MOORE TX STORM CHASER

0729 PM TSTM WND GST 1 W PERRYTON 36.39N 100.82W
06/12/2010 E70 MPH OCHILTREE TX TRAINED SPOTTER

0730 PM TSTM WND GST PERRYTON 36.39N 100.80W
06/12/2010 M60 MPH OCHILTREE TX BROADCAST MEDIA

MEDIA SCHOOLNET SITE

0730 PM HAIL DUMAS 35.86N 101.97W
06/12/2010 E1.75 INCH MOORE TX PUBLIC

ONE MINOR INJURY REPORTED DUE TO FALLING GOLF BALL
SIZED HAIL IN DUMAS.

0806 PM HAIL PERRYTON 36.39N 100.80W
06/12/2010 M1.00 INCH OCHILTREE TX STORM CHASER

0819 PM FLASH FLOOD PERRYTON 36.39N 100.80W
06/12/2010 OCHILTREE TX TRAINED SPOTTER

RAPIDLY RUNNING WATER 6 TO 12 INCHES WITH STRONG
VELOCITY COMPLETLY COVERING HIGHWAY 83 AT RT. 377 IN
PERRYTON. MANY STREETS IN PERRYTON ARE COVERED WITH
WATER AT LEAST 5 INCHES DEEP IMPEDING TRAVEL.

0850 PM HAIL 9 ESE MORSE 36.04N 101.32W
06/12/2010 E2.50 INCH HUTCHINSON TX PUBLIC

HAIL ESTIMATED TO BE THE SIZE OF LEMONS.

0900 PM HAIL STRATFORD 36.34N 102.07W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH SHERMAN TX EMERGENCY MNGR

PENNY TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL

0907 PM HAIL 9 SSE SPEARMAN 36.08N 101.13W
06/12/2010 M2.50 INCH HANSFORD TX BROADCAST MEDIA

0910 PM HAIL 4 S SPEARMAN 36.14N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX PUBLIC

0927 PM HAIL BOOKER 36.46N 100.54W
06/12/2010 E0.88 INCH LIPSCOMB TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

0940 PM HAIL DARROUZETT 36.45N 100.33W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH LIPSCOMB TX TRAINED SPOTTER

0940 PM TSTM WND GST DARROUZETT 36.45N 100.33W
06/12/2010 E65 MPH LIPSCOMB TX TRAINED SPOTTER

0952 PM HAIL MORSE 36.06N 101.47W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX AMATEUR RADIO

1025 PM HAIL 9 SE ROMERO 35.64N 102.82W
06/12/2010 E1.50 INCH HARTLEY TX TRAINED SPOTTER

1030 PM HAIL SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

1030 PM TSTM WND DMG CACTUS 36.04N 102.01W
06/12/2010 MOORE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

MULTIPLE POWER LINES DOWN...DUMPSTERS WERE TURNED
OVER...TREE LIMBS DOWN...WATER TANK BLOWN
OVER...SHINGLES BLOWN OFF ROOFS...AND ROOF BLOWN OFF
LOCAL BUSINESS.

1055 PM HAIL 1 W MORSE 36.06N 101.49W
06/12/2010 E1.00 INCH HANSFORD TX TRAINED SPOTTER

1100 PM HAIL SPEARMAN 36.20N 101.19W
06/12/2010 E1.75 INCH HANSFORD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

1250 AM TSTM WND DMG BRYANS CORNER 36.62N 100.82W
06/13/2010 BEAVER OK TRAINED SPOTTER

NWS DAMAGE SURVEY. WINDS ESTIMATED AROUND 90 MPH. PART
OF A ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF A CHURCH AND THE WEST WALL
COLLAPSED. A GRAIN ELEVATOR WAS DESTROYED. STEEL
WINDMILL AND STEEL RECPTION TOWER WERE KNOCKED OVER.
IRRIGATION PIVOT KNOCKED OVER. SWATH OF DAMAGE EXTENDED
FROM 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BRYANS CORNER TO 7 MILES
NORTHEAST OF BRYANS CORNER.

0101 AM TSTM WND GST 3 ENE PERRYTON 36.41N 100.75W
06/13/2010 M59 MPH OCHILTREE TX AWOS

0254 AM FLASH FLOOD 4 NW SPEARMAN 36.24N 101.24W
06/13/2010 HANSFORD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

WATER 5 TO 6 FEET DEEP WITH SEVERAL ROADS CLOSED.

0444 AM FLASH FLOOD GRUVER 36.26N 101.41W
06/13/2010 HANSFORD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

NUMEROUS MOTORISTS STRANDED ON HIGHWAYS AROUND GRUVER

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