Appendix E

Chronology of Releases on West Texas Weather Wire

(All times are central daylight time [CDT].)

Friday, May 22, 1987

3:11 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm watch no. 114 valid from 3:45 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for a large portion of eastern New Mexico and parts of west Texas.

Aerial outline for severe thunderstorm watch no. 114 with listing of counties in northwest and southwest Texas. Aerial outline included Reeves County (Saragosa).

3:24 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm warning (LBBSVRMAF) valid until 4:30 p.m. for southwest Reeves County. Warning based on radar indication of severe thunderstorm with hail at 3:20 p.m., 20 miles northwest of Balmorhea.

3:45 p.m.

Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined Reeves County warning and severe thunderstorm watch with general description of shower and thunderstorm activity in southwest Texas and southeast New Mexico.

4:10 p.m.

Special weather statement (LBBSPSMAF) included report at 3:55 p.m. of 1.75-inch hail in southwest Reeves County.

4:50 p.m.

Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) included headline for severe thunderstorm watch. Mentioned very heavy thunderstorm near Toyah (Reeves County) and report of golfball-size hall in Reeves County.



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OCR for page 51
NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES: SARAGOSA, TEXAS, TORNADO Appendix E Chronology of Releases on West Texas Weather Wire (All times are central daylight time [CDT].) Friday, May 22, 1987 3:11 p.m. Severe thunderstorm watch no. 114 valid from 3:45 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for a large portion of eastern New Mexico and parts of west Texas. Aerial outline for severe thunderstorm watch no. 114 with listing of counties in northwest and southwest Texas. Aerial outline included Reeves County (Saragosa). 3:24 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning (LBBSVRMAF) valid until 4:30 p.m. for southwest Reeves County. Warning based on radar indication of severe thunderstorm with hail at 3:20 p.m., 20 miles northwest of Balmorhea. 3:45 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined Reeves County warning and severe thunderstorm watch with general description of shower and thunderstorm activity in southwest Texas and southeast New Mexico. 4:10 p.m. Special weather statement (LBBSPSMAF) included report at 3:55 p.m. of 1.75-inch hail in southwest Reeves County. 4:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) included headline for severe thunderstorm watch. Mentioned very heavy thunderstorm near Toyah (Reeves County) and report of golfball-size hall in Reeves County.

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NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES: SARAGOSA, TEXAS, TORNADO 5:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) highlighted severe thunderstorm watch and described several very heavy thunderstorms across west Texas and southeast New Mexico. Mentioned that very heavy thunderstorms should continue to develop throughout the evening with the likelihood of large hail, strong gusty winds, heavy rains, and frequent lightning. 5:51 p.m. Tornado watch no. 118 valid from 6:30 p.m. to midnight for portions of west Texas did not include Reeves County; watch area to the northeast of Reeves County. 6:34 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning (LBBSVRMAF) valid until 8:30 p.m. for northern Lea County, New Mexico, based on report of 0.75-inch hail at Tatum, New Mexico, and radar indication of severe thunderstorm across northern Lea County. Actual warning issued in mountain daylight time (MDT). 6:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined severe thunderstorm watch, severe thunderstorm warning for north Lea County, New Mexico, and tornado warning for Cochran and Hockley counties (last warning issued by NWS Forecast Office in Lubbock). Mentioned very heavy thunderstorm in west Texas, south and west of the city of Pecos (Reeves County). Issue time of statement transmitted incorrectly as 5:50 p.m. 6:59 p.m. Flash flood warning (LBBFFWMAF) valid until 8:00 p.m. MDT for northern Lea County, New Mexico. Thunderstorms in northern Lea County produced some highway flooding along Highway 380 near Cochran and 1.5-inch hail in the vicinity of Tatum. 7:37 p.m. Severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning (LBBFFWMAF) valid until 9:45 p.m. for southern Reeves County. Radar indicated a severe thunderstorm 15 miles southwest of Pecos moving slowly northeast. 7:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined severe thunderstorm watch and severe thunderstorm warning for Reeves County. Mentioned a very heavy thunderstorm in Reeves County southwest of Pecos. 7:54 p.m. Tornado warning (LBBTORMAF) valid until 9:00 p.m. for southcentral Reeves County. Warning basis was given as radar indication of tornado activity 10 miles southwest of Pecos. Warning included excellent call-to-action statement describing a “dangerous storm situation” and specifying proper tornado safety actions. (The NWS Survey Team later found that the radar operator used the leading edge of the storm for location reference.)

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NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES: SARAGOSA, TEXAS, TORNADO 8:20 p.m. Severe weather statement (LBBSVSMAF) headlined tornado warning for southcentral Reeves County and detailed report of tornado 4 miles west of Balmorhea on Interstate 10 (south-southwest of Saragosa) at 210-mile marker with movement east at 30 mph. 8:30 p.m. Severe weather statement (LBBSVSMAF) headlined tornado warning for southcentral Reeves County and relayed report of tornado over Saragosa moving northeast at 30 mph. Damage and injuries reported at a local school and emergency personnel ordered to the area. 8:40 p.m. Severe weather statement (LBBSVSMAF) again headlined tornado warning until 9:00 p.m. for southcentral Reeves County. Tornado reported moving through Saragosa at 8:37 p.m. with substantial damage reported. 8:55 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined severe thunderstorm watch and reported a tornado northwest of Balmorhea at 8:35 p.m. moving northeast at 10 mph. 8:58 p.m. Severe weather statement (LBBSVSMAF) headlined tornadoes and funnel clouds. At 8:57 p.m. a funnel cloud was reported 28 miles west of Fort Stockton. Repeated the 8:37 p.m. report that a tornado had moved through Saragosa. Report added that fatalities and substantial damage had been reported by Reeves County sheriff's department. 9:04 p.m. Tornado warning (LBBTORMAF) valid until 10:00 p.m. for western Pecos and southern Reeves County. A funnel cloud was sighted by the Reeves County sheriff's office 28 miles west of Fort Stockton. This is the same storm that produced fatalities in Saragosa. Included call-to-action statement on proper tornado safety precautions. 9:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) headlined tornado watch for the Permian Basin and South Plains. Described very heavy thunderstorm activity across southwest Texas, including Reeves County south of Pecos.

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NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES: SARAGOSA, TEXAS, TORNADO 10:25 p.m. Special weather statement (LBBSPSMAF) discussed very heavy thunderstorms in the Midland and Odessa areas. 10:50 p.m. Severe weather statement and radar summary (LBBSVSMAF) again headlined the tornado watch (no. 118) and described very heavy thunderstorms in southwest Texas. 11:15 p.m. Flash flood warning (LBBFFWMAF) valid until 1:15 a.m., Saturday, for northern Ector County. Radar indicated slowmoving thunderstorms in northern Ector County that produced some street and highway flooding. Note: Statements and warnings were continued into the early morning hours of Saturday, May 23; however, the severe weather was east of Reeves County and the Saragosa area by then.