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Storms delay fireworks on 4th of July

Posted by: tdt -

Storms delay fireworks on 4th of July

By Bill Kelly


The weather in Dalhart for the past week or so has been somewhat different from what the area usually experiences during late June and early July. Instead of temperatures in the 90s or higher, Dalhart has had temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Along with those lower temperatures have been several evenings of rain, canceling or delaying local sports events including adult softball and youth soccer.

The weather switched from mere rain to heavy storms on Sunday July 4. It began raining before 6 p.m. and by midnight 1.85 inches of rain had fallen according to the official National Weather Service (NWS) measurements at the Dalhart Municipal Airport. Bruce Scott reported 1.90 inches of rain. Hail also began falling with the beginning of the rain, and Scott reported seeing dime, nickel and quarter-sized hail. Lisa Loftin Hanbury reported ping pong ball-size hail and almost three inches of rain, and others reported hail the size of ping pong balls as well.

The rain came down so quickly that several streets in Dalhart flooded from curb-tocurb and even overflowed some curbs. Keeler Avenue and 6th Street both flooded, and Scott Avenue had enough water that one person was seen using a kayak. At least one driveway on Tennessee Avenue overflowed as well with 2-3 inches of water.

The storms stopped for a while, and then picked up again right before the annual fireworks show over Rita Blanca Lake were set to begin. The fireworks ended up being delayed by about an hour, finally starting a little after 10:30 p.m. and competing with lightning to garner attention.

There wasn’t any rain on Monday July 5, but another decent amount of rain fell on Tuesday July 6, this time without the hail. The KVIITV SchoolNet site in Dalhart recorded 0.65 inches of rain on Tuesday, although not very much fell at the official NWS site at the airport. Amarillo received much heavier rainfall on Tuesday, with flooding on multiple streets and rain from 1 inch to 3 inches being reported in different parts of the city. The flooding was bad enough in some areas, including Bell Street, to stall cars that attempted to drive through it. The hail has been reported  to have damaged roofs and cars in town, and some gardens as well. It isn’t clear yet how much damage was done to crops in the area.

The weather forecast for this weekend is for highs in the 80s and 90s, with almost a 25% chance of more rain Sunday and Monday. High temperatures next week are currently expected to stay in the upper 80s or lower 90s.

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