By Sally Beauvais
A strong spring storm system is expected to bring unusually severe weather to parts of West Texas beginning on Monday afternoon. Supercell thunderstorms moving throughout the area could bring high winds, giant hail, and strong tornadoes.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has issued a High Risk prediction for severe weather from the northeastern tip of the Permian Basin up into the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma.
According to meteorologist Scott Kleebaur with the National Weather Service in Midland, that designation indicates a high likelihood of tornadoes and potential for widespread damage.
“This is pretty much going to be one of the bigger severe outbreaks that the Texas Panhandle region has had in quite some time,” Kleebaur told Marfa Public Radio Monday afternoon.
Kleebauer’s office has not seen a High Risk prediction issued locally in over a decade. According to the National Weather Service, the last time the Storm Prediction Center Issued a High Risk prediction in the US was in May of 2017.
Storms are expected to start Monday afternoon and continue overnight.
The NWS is urging residents who may be impacted by the storms to stay informed about tonight’s potential outbreak and have a shelter plan in place.
Midland’s NWS office will post up-to-date information about severe weather warnings across West Texas on Twitter throughout the evening.
We know about the Severe Weather potential today, but let’s talk timing!— NWS Midland (@NWSMidland) May 20, 2019
Expect thunderstorms to develop across the Permian Basin and Lower Trans Pecos after 1pm. THESE STORMS CAN BECOME SEVERE RAPIDLY! Severe threat will linger into the night for the Permian Basin. #txwx #nmwx pic.twitter.com/DE36ksE2Xi