Wind, rain move across Valley

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Thunderstorms moved through deep South Texas early Sunday afternoon, causing wind gusts into the 60s, 1-3 inches of rain and scattered damage, the National Weather Service Rio Grande Valley office in Brownsville reported.

A possible tornado was reported in the Los Fresnos area about 1:10 p.m., while a wind gust estimated at 68 mph was reported in McAllen about the same time, Geoff Bognard, a forecaster at the NWS/Valley office said.

Bognard said a squall line caused by a cold front moved through the Valley between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday but exited quickly enough to avoid anything more than minor street flooding.

A man walks in the rain using his poncho Sunday, April 23, 2023, in Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

An earlier NWS advisory had warned of an upper level disturbance with the potential to impact the area Sunday morning and afternoon, possibly producing scattered severe thunderstorms, “damaging winds and large hail” ranging in size from pennies to quarters, and possibly golf balls.

The hail apparently didn’t materialize.

Meanwhile as many as 16,000 customers lost power because of the weather, as wind and rain moved through the area, Bognard said.

NWS reported peak wind gusts at Valley airports ranging from 68 mph at 1 p.m. at McAllen to 62 mph at Valley International Airport in Harlingen and the Cameron County Airport near Port Isabel, and 59 mph recorded at 1:50 p.m. at Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport. Weslaco reported 47 mph and Edinburg 45 mph.

A man walks with his umbrella along Elizabeth Street during heavy rain Sunday, April 23, 2023, in downtown Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)
A man stays dry from the rain as he eats his meal inside Church’s Chicken Sunday, April 23, 2023, in downtown Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Wind and light rain continued into the afternoon and were expected to taper off by about 5 p.m., Bognard said.

He said drier weather would prevail on Monday into Tuesday before another cold front was expected to move through late Tuesday, followed by another Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.

Bogner added that the conditions were fairly typical for this time of year in the Valley, where late April and May have the highest chance for severe weather.