National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Widespread showers and a few severe thunderstorms impacted the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles on April 16th, 2009 lingering into the morning hours on April 17th, 2009.  The storms formed in response to an approaching low pressure system in the upper atmosphere that combined with moist air streaming up from the Gulf of Mexico.  The most intense storms began to form around 2 PM across the Southern High Plains, and then moved north into the Texas Panhandle after 4 PM.  A few of these storms produced large hail mainly across the southern Texas Panhandle, but heavy rain also occurred across much of the area.  Severe storms with isolated tornadoes impacted locations across the southern High Plains which you can read more about by visiting WFO Lubbock's web page here.
The following loop displays Water Vapor satellite imagery starting early in the day on April 16th, and concluding on the morning of April 17th.  Notice how the red images, indicating building thunderstorm clouds, rapidly develop over the High Plains and eventually dissipate by the morning hours as the low pressure system moves closer to the region.  Also notice how the general storm motion is from south to north.  Some of these storms remained fairly stationary, while others formed along a line and moved from west to east.  The largest hail was reported near Wayside in Armstrong County where Golf Ball size hail fell.


These showers and thunderstorms produced some beneficial rainfall for nearly every location in the Panhandles.  The highest rainfall totals fell across the Texas Panhandle.  Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches occurred in Hutchinson County down south through Armstrong County.  Much heavier rain fell in Swisher county where 8 to 10 inches of rain was estimated by the radar.  The image below shows the radar estimated rainfall from the 16th. 


Rainfall image from April 16 2009 

Click Here to view a larger image of the rainfall map.


Finally, the heavy rain caused flash flooding in the Amarillo area.  Swift water rescues were required for a few individuals.  If you have any photographs from the severe weather or flooding, please send them to .  Thank you.