National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Three Days of Storms: 5-7 May 2008
Image of large hail that fell at Reese Center
Photo of quarter to half-dollar sized hail that fell at Reese Center of the 6th. Click on the image for a larger picture. Courtesy Wes Burgett

A strong upper-level storm system moved across West Texas in early May and sparked widespread thunderstorm activity. This activity occurred over the course of three days, from Monday evening the 5th to Wednesday afternoon the 7th. Many areas received one to four inches of much needed rainfall. Severe weather also accompanied many of the thunderstorms. Large hail fell in many locations. Baseball-sized hail was even reported on the south side of Lubbock Tuesday afternoon and there were numerous reports of golf ball-sized hail in places such as Olton and Spur. Only one tornado (of the landspout variety) was reported, and it was brief and over open country in Hockley County around noon on Wednesday. To view the preliminary local storm reports (LSRs) from the event please click on the links below:

Monday evening the 5th to early Tuesday morning the 6th

Tuesday evening the 6th to Wednesday afternoon the 7th

Below is an image of the rainfall which fell across the region, complied from automated and Co-op reports. Heavy rainfall caused localized flooding, especially Tuesday night.

Image of the three day total rainfall
Map of three-day total rainfall across the area May 5th through 7th. The data is courtesy of the West Texas Mesonet and the National Weather Service. Click on the image for a larger view.
Radar image of the squall line which moved through much of the area Monday night
  Radar image of the squall line around midnight on the 5th/6th. At this time golf ball sized hail was falling from the severe thunderstorm moving through Hockley County. Click on the image for a larger picture.  

On Wednesday, the lone reported tornado occurred north of the town of Smyer in Hockley County (Smyer is located about halfway between Lubbock and Levelland on highway 114). A photograph capturing the tornado is shown below.

Image of the landspout tornado north of Smyer on May 7th
Photo of the landspout-type tornado 6 miles north-northwest of Smyer around 11:50 am. Please click on the image to view a larger picture. Photo courtesy Jonathan Sparks and KCBD.
Radar image of thunderstorms on May 7th
  3-D radar image of the severe thunderstorm that spawned the tornado north of Smyer. This storm is just to the upper left of the center of the image. The other thunderstorm in southwest Lubbock County is also severe - producing large hail. For a larger view click on the image.  


Much of the data reported here was obtained from the West Texas Mesonet. Their summary of this event is located HERE.