Severe storms struck much of the Permian Basin Monday and many residents said they were away from their home when the high-impact event took place.
The National Weather Service in Midland reported multiple supercell thunderstorms stretching from Stanton to Crane that hit areas of Midland-Odessa with strong wind gusts, heavy rainfall and large hail.
The storms produced isolated tornados that touched down in southern Midland County and northwest of Pleasant Farms.
NWS meteorologist Abbi Garcia said a damage survey is underway to determine what level of severity the storms were locally.
The survey team will gather information to reconstruct the tornado’s life cycle and look for damage indicators such as downed power lines before assigning a rating.
“The worst damage seems to be from some wind damage and maybe some people’s cars getting dented up from hail, especially over by Big Spring and Colorado City, but nothing too egregious, thankfully Midland and Odessa were spared for the most part,” NWS meteorologist Scott Kleebauer said.
Odessa resident Melissa Guerrero Lopez said she was at work on JBS Parkway during the storm that hit Monday around 5 p.m. She said her vehicle had minor damage from the hail, which included dents and a chipped windshield.
A video shared by another Odessa resident on Facebook showed a trampoline lifted in the air near 17th Street and Texas Avenue.
“We had numerous severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings throughout the area,” Kleebauer said, adding, “some of the stronger thunderstorms passed just south of Interstate 20 and ended up hitting areas further east like Big Spring, Colorado City and Snyder.”
The largest hail stones fell over the eastern Permian Basin and were close to the size of a baseball.
Melanie Jones lives in the northeastern part of Snyder and said her husband was commuting home from work before the second storm hit.
“He was down south of Midland working and he was in front of the second storm the whole way to Snyder,” Jones said. “He said he was a few miles out of Snyder when a big gust of wind pushed his truck in the ditch. He said he thought he was hit by another vehicle, but it was just wind.”
Kleebauer said the strongest wind gusts were around 60 to 70 mph.
The NWS will continue to monitor the weather for the rest of the week but are not forecasting conditions similar to Monday’s weather. He said sunny skies are expected for the middle of this week followed by a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday.