Scattered storms moving across South Plains

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 3:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 8:12 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - update 8:12 p.m. - A new severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the Rolling Plains, east of the first watch, in effect until 2 a.m. Wednesday. As storms continue moving east, damaging wind will become the primary threat late tonight off of the Caprock.

Scattered severe storms are slowly spreading from west to east across the area. The most intense thunderstorm produced some windshield damage with around baseball-sized hail reported five miles southeast of Anton, which is northwest of Shallowater. Fortunately, a storm that produced large hail just outside of Ropesville nearly stalled then weakened before it moved into Lubbock.

There have been several reports of flooding, including north of Levelland, north of Plainview, near Kress and near Bovina. In the most intense storms, 1.5″ to 2″ of rain has fallen in a short amount of time.

We expect storms to continue slowly spreading eastward through this evening into late tonight.

UPDATE: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for southwestern Lubbock County, northwestern Lynn County, northeastern Terry County, and southeastern Hockley County. At 5:23 p.m. this storm was located 10 miles southeast of Levelland, moving southeast at 15 mph. Hazards with this storm are 60 mph wind gusts and golfball, or two-inch size hail.


The next round of thunderstorms is developing over the western South Plains and Eastern New Mexico at mid-afternoon. These storms will spread east.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Lubbock and the South Plains until 9 p.m. Central Tuesday, May 23. A watch means there is the potential for severe weather in the coming hours.

Severe thunderstorm watch in green until 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Severe thunderstorm watch in green until 9 p.m. Tuesday.(KCBD)

The most intense storms today could produce hail to 2.5″ in diameter and gusts to 75mph. A tornado is possible in the watch area.

There is more humidity in place than yesterday, with dew points in the 60s, meaning greater instability. Also, a surface low pressure area is over the western/southwestern South Plains, with a boundary connected to it showing up in the wind observations. The wind is out of the SE in locations from Plains to Brownfield to Lubbock; it’s out of the NE from Levelland to Morton to Muleshoe. That said, the wind isn’t particularly strong. But surface boundaries can help enhance storms, we’ll keep an eye on storms in this area.

The NWS also mentioned earlier today another surface feature, a remnant gravity wave, was positioned somewhere around Floyd, Briscoe, Motley and Hall counties. This is another area to watch for localized enhancement.

Those are some specific things we’re watching. But overall, storms will spread eastward through late this afternoon into the evening, bringing the threat for severe weather.

Looking ahead

There is another chance for thunderstorms late tomorrow, again some storms could become severe. And we’ll keep at least a low chance for severe weather each day rest of the week into the weekend. One day’s storms can influence the next, so specifics may change as each day gets closer.

Stay informed

Have multiple ways to get warnings. One strong option is the KCBD First Alert Weather app. Be sure notifications are turned on, so you’ll receive alerts specific to your location. A NOAA Weather Radio is also a reliable warning source. Even though we have tornado sirens in Lubbock now, remember those are designed to alert people outside, not indoors.