Thunderstorms batter south-central US

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In early May 2019 severe thunderstorms left a trail of destruction across parts of the south-central US.

Thunderstorms batter south-central US
Date & Time
5 May 18:00 UTC–6 May 00:59 UTC
Infrared, Visible

By Scott Bachmeier (CIMSS), Dan Lindsey (CIRA) and Sancha Lancaster (Pactum)

As a result of the severe storms parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Louisiana were hit by tornadoes, high winds (over 160 km/h in places), lightning, floods and damaging hail. At least one person was reported to have died.

The GOES-16 Visible image with infrared overlaid from 5 May 22:33 UTC (Figure 1, top right, click to expand) and the animation (Figure 2) show the large severe thunderstorm that developed over the Texas Panhandle near Lubbock.

Figure 2: GOES-16 (GOES-East) 'Red' Visible (0.64 µm) and 'Clean' Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images viewed using AWIPS, 5 May 18:00 UTC–6 May 00:59 UTC

A persistent quasi-stationary pulsing overshooting top was evident in both the visible and infrared imagery, and cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were as cold as -80ºC. The storm also exhibited very prominent Enhanced-V and Above-Anvil Cirrus Plume signatures.

Two days later further thunderstorms brought even more severe floods to part of Texas. See the full analysis of both events in Severe thunderstorms over the southern Plains on the CIMSS Blog.

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