Fort Worth

Mayfest shuts down as severe storm hits Fort Worth area

Fast-moving storm brought rain and some small hail to Johnson, Tarrant counties

One of a series of storms across north Texas Friday afternoon, this one produced mostly gusty winds, brief heavy rain and some lightning for downtown workers trying to get home
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One of a series of storms across north Texas Friday afternoon, this one produced mostly gusty winds, brief heavy rain and some lightning for downtown workers trying to get home

Severe thunderstorms hit Fort Worth Friday afternoon, shutting down Mayfest in Trinity Park and making a mess for commuters trying to get home.

The storms that began firing up earlier this afternoon will be sticking around for several more hours.

“They’re going to be here until 6, 7 or 8 o’clock,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Martello.

At least one tornado was confirmed near Sherman.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Tarrant County until 5:15 p.m. and Bedford, North Richland and Euless for 5:45 p.m. A severe storm with an increasing wind threat in Johnson County was moving toward Tarrant County. The storm, which has had quarter-sized hail, is expected to hit Fort Worth, Hurst and Arlington.

A tornado watch , which includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area and stretches as far west as Hood, Parker and Wise counties, is in effect until 10 p.m. remains in effect for almost all of North Texas until 10 p.m.

All threats remain in play for the next few hours.

Eric Martello, National Weather Service meteorologist

“All threats remain in play for the next few hours,” Martello said.

The severe weather on Tuesday night produced three tornadoes in Grayson County but that line of storms wasn’t as intense as it moved through the Metroplex.

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For today, the Storm Prediction Center had expanded the enhanced risk for severe storms across North and East Texas with hail listed as the greatest threat and the tornado threat stretching from the Red River into the Metroplex. An enhanced risk is the third-most serious category.

Baseball-sized hail is a possibility with some of the stronger thunderstorms and some places could also see flash flooding with 1-3 inches possible this afternoon.

Mayfest, the annual festival in Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, opened on schedule at 3:30 p.m. Friday but as the storm hit announced it was closing for the rest of the day. Officials are updating weather-related news on its social media pages — @MafestFW on Twitter and on Facebook.

Mayfest will reopen as scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

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The Tarrant Regional Water District will be monitoring rainfall to measure any impact on North Texas lakes.

Lake levels have been dropping at Lake Bridgeport and Eagle Mountain Lake, where the reservoir was reopened to boaters at 9 a.m. Friday. Eagle Mountain is expected to keep falling throughout the day — unless the rainfall is heavier than expected.

With the heaviest rainfall predicted to fall east of the DFW area, the flooding concern appeared to be lessening for Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain and Lake Worth, said David Marshall, TRWD’s director of engineering and operations support.

“I think we dodged the bullet on this one,” Marshall said.

After the storms move out this evening, it should a nice weekend with sunny skies and highs near 80 on Saturday and in the upper 70s on Sunday. Another chance of storms will return on Monday.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

A line of thunder storms moved into Tarrant county after 9 PM Tuesday night, bringing lightning and rain but not the expected large hail or tornadoes.

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