At least one ‘small’ tornado spotted in Curry County

Freedom New Mexico

Roosevelt County had two tornado warnings during Tuesday’s storms, but no twisters or major damage was reported.

“Nothing really developed out of either warning … I think we’re OK right now,” said local Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger.

During the afternoon, Milnesand had lightning and a grassfire of less than an acre that was soon out, he said. Small hail fell in isolated cases, but Wattenbarger said he hadn’t heard of bigger hailstones or any significant damage.

Rain fell in the county as well.

For today, the National Weather Service forecasted a 20 percent chance of precipitation with isolated thunderstorms in the Portales area.

Funnel clouds were spotted Tuesday south of Clovis but apparently moved through the area without causing damage. Warning sirens sounded in Clovis.

Aside from weekly tests on Wednesday afternoons, it is only in the event of a tornado warning the sirens are used, according to Curry County Emergency Management Executive Director Ken De Los Santos.

“Today was a good reminder without having to suffer any major damage,” he said.

De Los Santos said a “small” tornado was spotted about 3:15 p.m. about 10 miles south of Clovis and was headed in a northeasterly direction. He said there was another spotted in Texico, but was not sure if that meant two separate tornadoes or two spottings of the same tornado.

At 2:51 p.m., the National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 11 miles south of Clovis, about 11 miles northeast of Portales, moving north at 15 mph. The tornado warning was lifted about 3:45 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm watch remained in effect until 9 p.m. for east central New Mexico.

De Los Santos said there were no reports of damage from Tuesday’s storm, though he said reports from rural areas, such as crop damage, could surface by today.

Families are encouraged to pre-plan what they will do in the event of a tornado, including establishing a rally point or safe locations where family members will go, De Los Santos said.

Residents who live in mobile homes are advised to seek shelter in a safe location elsewhere, he also said.