April 21, 2014

Storms hit Johnson, Hill, Bosque, Ellis counties, but spare Tarrant

Significant hail was reported Monday evening in communities south and east of Tarrant County, but no major damage was reported immediately.

A new round of storms fired up Monday evening in North Texas, but although Tarrant County was spared much of the action, counties to the south and east reported significant hail.

Showers and storms started developing by late afternoon in Denton and Wise Counties, but it wasn’t until the early evening that severe thunderstorms were pounding Johnson, Hill, Bosque and Ellis counties.

No major damage was reported by 9 p.m. to the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth, but there was enough hail to get the attention of the meteorologists on duty.

“Ninety percent of the hail was between a quarter and golf ball-size,” Eric Martello said.

Communities reporting hail included Meridian in Bosque County, Itasca in Hill County and Ennis, Waxahachie and Midlothian, all in Ellis County, according to the weather service.

Martello said the storms developed from multiple factors: an outflow boundary from earlier storms in Oklahoma; a dry line of air; and afternoon heating from a high temperature of 83, which made the air unstable.

“And,” Martello said, “the storms blew up.”

More stable air over Tarrant County probably saved it from the severe weather that visited its neighbors.

A severe weather storm watch had been issued through 10 p.m. But, by 9:30 p.m., weather service radar showed that much of the storm activity had moved east and south of the Metroplex.

Most of the weekend’s precipitation stayed in Oklahoma Sunday and overnight, leaving Dallas/Fort Worth Airport with only a trace of rain, according to weather service data.

Skies were expected to clear overnight to make Tuesday a beautiful day, said Steve Fano, another weather service meteorologist.

“Winds will increase a little out of the north to make tomorrow a little breezy, but it will be dryer in the low 80s,” he said. “We’ll stay dry Tuesday and Tuesday night and even into the day Wednesday. Highs will be in the low- to mid-80s and lows in the low 60s.”

A slight chance of rain and thunderstorms returns Wednesday evening and into Thursday as an upper-level disturbance moves across the area, Fano said.

“Basically for the remainder of the week and into the weekend we’ll stay the same with highs in the low 80s and lows in the 60s,” he said.

The next best chance for rain is Sunday, Fano said.

“There’s still some uncertainty, but Sunday could be kind of wet if the computer models that show an upper-level low pressure system happen, especially this time of year,” he said. “That’s a good pattern for us to get thunderstorms. That’s still several days away and the computer model could change in the next two days.”

Staff writer Terry Evans contributed to this report.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684

Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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