Damaging storms spawn tornadoes in New Mexico, leave thousands without power in Texas – AccuWeather.com

Damaging storms spawn tornadoes in New Mexico, leave thousands without power in Texas - AccuWeather.com
Early morning storms produce powerful, damaging wind gusts up to 109 mph in Dallas-Fort Worth
Updated at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday: Revised to include flight delays and cancellations at DFW and Love Field airports.

No tornado warnings were issued in Dallas-Fort Worth, but many North Texans were awakened by storm sirens as a strong line of thunderstorms moved through Dallas-Fort Worth early Wednesday.

Thursday will be warm and mostly cloudy ahead of a weakening line of storms that looks to move through the area during the afternoon and evening. The line of storms will break apart as they push through but will have just enough umph left to give the area the threat for heavy rain and wind gusts up to 60 mph. A lot like last time, it is a counter-intuitive setup, where as the storms break apart, that may actually help the storms get better organized, increasing the threat for stronger wind gusts.

Grand Prairie, among several cities that activated sirens, set off the warnings to alert residents about high winds. The city also can activate the sirens in other weather emergencies, including when large hail is falling, but no hail was reported Wednesday morning. 

There may be isolated storms that develop ahead of the line of storms as early as 2 p.m. But the line of storms wont arrive until after 7 p.m. and will move through the area from Northwest to Southeast overnight. The severe threat will end around 10 p.m. Storms may continue, though through the overnight and into Friday morning. These storms should remain elevated, limiting the severe potential.

As the storm moved through the area, it produced gusts of up to 109 mph in Grand Prairie, 78 mph at DFW International Airport, 71 mph in Addison and 58 in McKinney, according to the National Weather Service.

The wind gusts recorded at DFW Airport were the highest measured by the weather services observation system since it was installed at the airport in 1995, according to meteorologist Monique Sellers.  

Plan your day with an hour-by-hour forecast tailored for home, work or anywhere on-the-go. Our WDAM First Alert Weather app can tell you if a storm near you has hail, strong winds or rotation.

Tree removal professional Greg Dobbs, 49, said North Oak Cliff was among the most heavily affected areas in Dallas. His company, Oak Cliff-based J.D.s Tree Service, received about 40 calls related to the storm between 6 a.m. and early afternoon Wednesday.

There arent as many with this system as other recent systems. But one of the unknowns is just how organized storms will be able to become as the line falls apart.

I think a straight-line wind came through and tore down a lot of signs and massive trees, he said. We lost a lot of old-growth trees today, which is really sad.

The main concerns will be for heavy rain, frequent lightning, wind gusts up to 60 mph and small hail. The tornado threat is low, but it isnt zero.

John Gimber, 31, was one of Dobbs clients. A neighbors gargantuan 80-year-old oak fell onto Gimbers home before dawn Wednesday, leaving him with holes in his roof and a destroyed fence.

Dobbs men took the tree down Wednesday afternoon. The tree had fallen on the back corner of Gimbers home, just above his bed. Gimber said he and his wife thought the house had been struck by lightning when the tree fell about 4:30 a.m.

The whole house shook, then water started dripping into the bedroom from the roof, Gimber said. I went into the attic and saw the tree poking through the roof. It saved our lives that it didnt fall through.

Grand Prairies 109-mph wind speed was recorded at the city airports air traffic control tower, city spokeswoman Cami McKillop said.

Oncor reported at least 125,000 outages during the storm, and the weather service also received reports of downed power lines and poles. 

A powerful storm in the central Plains could set off a severe weather outbreak from the Gulf Coast north to Michigan. The early-morning severe weather forecast from the experts at the Storm Prediction Center has put more of Michigan in that severe weather threat. The forecast has also increased the chance of severe weather.

About 67 planes were damaged along with 13 buildings at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, McKillop said. No injuries were reported.

Also in Grand Prairie, southbound lanes of the Bush Turnpike near Mayfield Road were closed after high winds knocked over an 18-wheeler.

Watch for updates, especially Thursday morning when we get a feel for how many rain showers are around.

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At DFW Airport, where gusts were recorded up to 78 mph, jet bridges at terminals B and D were damaged, spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said. Flight delays and cancellations were possible as a result. 

Thunderstorms swept Grand Prairie, Texas, early Wednesday morning, with wind gusts over 80 mph ravaging the landscape, knocking out power for thousands and even flipping over small planes at a local airport.

“Were urging everyone — regardless of the terminal — to check flight statuses before coming out to the airport,” Vega said.  

Though no tornado warning had been issued for Dallas-Fort Worth, the winds were powerful enough to flip and damage many planes at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, Dallas News reported.

Damage also had been reported at some of the airports parking lots, but she said garages had not been damaged. 

Wind gusts around 82 mph rocked the Grand Prairie area, according to The Weather Channel, with winds of 78 mph being measured at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as well.

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Between DFW and Love Field airports, more than 100 flights had been delayed throughout the day and at least 12 were canceled, according to FlightAware.

We are assessing the damage from this morning's severe weather and working quickly to make repairs. Please check with your airline for information on flight delays or cancellations.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever witnessed," Panther told the outlet. "Horrible noises. Horrible. It felt like everything was caving in on me."

Video captured by Marcus Hawthorne showed sheets of metal and debris slamming into vehicles parked outside the building. 

Local resident Elsa Panther, who lives near the Grand Prairie air hub, told NBC DFW that she was terrified as the winds ripped off the chimney of her home.

“I was sitting in my truck trying to record the heavy rain in the wind, when all of a sudden came a loud crashing noise of the roofing hitting the ground,” Hawthorne told KXAS-TV (NBC5). 

Local reporters have taken to Twitter to share updates, with some posting that as many as 40 planes were damaged in the storm.

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In Carrollton, police announced two storm-related road problems. The 1600 block of Valwood Parkway was down to one lane because a tree fell in the roadway, and eastbound Keller Springs Road between Josey Lane and Carmel Drive also was reduced to one lane because of fallen power lines.

There were no reports of tornadoes early Wednesday, but storms produced wind speeds equivalent to an EF-0 tornado, which the weather service identifies by wind gusts between 65 and 85 mph, and an EF-1 tornado, characterized by winds up to 110 mph.

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The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth decided not to survey areas impacted by Wednesdays storms for tornado damage. The office determined damage from the storms was caused by straight-line winds, not tornadoes, according to Sellers. 

By 5:30 a.m., the front line of the storm, which produced the strongest winds, had moved through most of Dallas-Fort Worth.

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Posted in Grand Prairie