Dangerous weather continues to threaten Texas; forecast puts more states on alert

More than 190,000 Texas homes and businesses remained in the dark Thursday as residents cleaned up from weeks of wild storms and tornadoes amid concerns that more severe weather was on the way.

The National Weather Service in Dallas warned that some storms forecast for Thursday into Friday may be severe, producing large hail and damaging winds. A flood warning was in effect for the Trinity River through Friday morning.

"A tornado or two cannot be ruled out," the weather service said in its hazardous weather forecast.

Scott Homan, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said the parade of damaging weather through Texas and parts of the Midwest is similar to last year. Texas should get a reprieve next week, when the weather "disturbances" will move north into the central and upper Midwest.

"I wouldn't say it's out of the ordinary to see these type of storms," Homan told USA TODAY. "But it's one after another targeting Texas, and it has been for a couple weeks."

A cluster of storms moving through North Texas on Thursday was "sub-severe with pea size hail" and wind gusts of up to 30 mph, the weather service office in Dallas said, adding that there was potential for "severe-caliber" wind gusts and hail.

Strong thunderstorms will erupt along a 1,400-mile swath from Texas to North Dakota, AccuWeather warned. High wind gusts, hail, torrential downpours and localized flash flooding are all possible, but only a handful of the strongest storms may produce a brief tornado, the service said.

"The vast majority of the storms in this zone will tend to be spotty and occur from midafternoon through the evening hours," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said. "However, there will be some exceptions, especially where the storms organize into large complexes and may travel for hundreds of miles, last through the night and perhaps into the next morning."

Tornadoes and extreme weather left a trail of damage in Sanger, Texas, on May 29, 2024.
Tornadoes and extreme weather left a trail of damage in Sanger, Texas, on May 29, 2024.


∎ More than 14,000 Arkansas power customers remained dark Thursday, four days after a series of tornadoes and storms that killed nine people began slamming the state. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has requested a disaster declaration from President Joe Biden for federal aid, saying 217 structures were destroyed, 94 saw major damage and 125 had minor damage.

∎ Dangerous weather Friday will most likely extend from central and southeastern Texas to southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri, AccuWeather said.

∎ On Saturday, locally severe thunderstorms will extend from Kansas to North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. On Sunday, the region could see high wind gusts, large hail and localized flash flooding.

Cleanup effort begins: Storms bash Texas; nearly 400K remain without power

In Texas, living without power

Houston has been victimized by a string of storms since flooding killed eight people two weeks ago. Hundreds of thousands lost power again in storms Tuesday, but CenterPoint Energy said it was on track to restore the majority of customers Thursday. Some "isolated outages" are expected to extend into Friday.

In Dallas, Oncor Electric Delivery is the state's largest power company and one of the biggest in the nation. Oncor said power restoration should be substantially finished by Friday evening − if the weather cooperates.

"Harder hit areas are expected to be restored on Saturday," Oncor said in a statement.

"Being in Dallas now, it's just wake up and then start trying to make the most of a tough situation," resident Jarrett Stone said.

Texas storm included 'DVD size hail'

The storms that slammed West Texas on Tuesday included hailstones almost 5 inches in diameter, drawing the rare weather service description of "DVD" size. Matthew Cappucci, a meteorologist with the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, wrote that he "happened to be storm chasing" in Pettit, Texas, when the hailstones began falling. He preserved one with a diameter of up to 4.89 inches and phoned it in.

The weather service defines "large hail" as 1 inch to 1 3/4 inch in diameter − "quarters to golf balls" − causing minor damage. "Very large hail" is from 1 3/4 inch to 2 3/4 inches in diameter − "golf balls to baseballs" − causing moderate damage. "Giant hail" is defined as larger than 2 3/4 inches − "larger than baseballs, such as the size of grapefruit or softballs" − causing major damage. But when Cappucci phoned in his hailstone find, the weather service posted a "DVD size hail" warning.

Cappucci notes the stone he collected falls short of the Texas state record hailstone, a “gargantuan” 6.4-inch stone that fell on Hondo, near San Antonio, in 2021

Contributing: Reuters

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dangerous weather remains in forecast from Texas to North Dakota