National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

May 2, 2007 Severe Weather and Flooding



The following write-up presents details from two similar severe weather events that affected the WFO Midland County Warning Area recently.  In both cases, a line of severe thunderstorms developed and produced flash flooding, high winds, and severe hail.  In both cases, draws in close proximity of a community aided in the flash flooding – Monahans Draw located near the communities of West Odessa and Odessa in Ector County and Wardswell Draw located in the western sections of the city of Seminole in Gaines County.

On morning of May 2, a line of severe thunderstorms that produced nickel to golfball size hail moved eastward out of Winkler County into Ector county.  Thunderstorms continued to intensify in western portions of Ector County, producing baseball to softball size hail.  As severe thunderstorms moved into the communities of West Odessa and Odessa, torrential rains produced flash flooding across a large portion of the area.   Areas most affected by the flooding included locations in West Odessa east of Farm to Market Road 866.  In Odessa, locations along and near Monahans Draw in the southern portions of the city, as well as areas just south of Odessa-Schlemeyer Field and just east of Andrews Highway in northern and central portions of Odessa were most affected by the flood waters.  Preliminary numbers from the city of Odessa and the Red Cross indicate that 122 structures received damage.  Two structures were destroyed, 15 sustained major damage, and 23 experienced minor damage, with many others affected by the large hail, severe winds gusts, and flooding.




Flooding continued to affect the area throughout the day.  Rainfall totals from the Odessa area were in the 2-3 inch range with Odessa Schlemeyer Field reporting 2.95 inches of rainfall for the 24 hour period – much of that in just over one hour.





During the late morning of Tuesday, May 8, Gaines County and the city of Seminole experienced a similar weather event to that Ector County experienced 6 days prior.  A line of severe thunderstorms intensified as it moved east at 30 mph across the city of Seminole.  At 11:10 am CDT, a 62 mph wind gust was measured by the Texas Tech Mesonet weather station in Seminole.  As the squall line moved across the city, torrential rains with rates in the 2-2.5 inch per hour range also produced flash flooding.  The areas hardest hit were located over the western portions of the city of Seminole in the park area where Wardswell Draw flows and also over the north and northeast sections of town.  In these locations, heavy rains resulted in flooding of low lying areas.  Two businesses and a handful of residential structures experienced minor flooding.  Rainfall reports for the day were in the 3-5 inch range across much of the city of Seminole, with the Texas Tech Mesonet station reporting 3.38 inches of rainfall during the 24 hour period.  Over 5 inches of rain has fallen in the Seminole area since the beginning of May.