TEXAS (KXAN) — Texas had just about everything along the weather spectrum on Monday.
Through the middle of Texas, severe early-spring storms relieved torrential rain, large hail and destructive tornadoes that ravaged cities near the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Austin and Houston.
Fires continued to burn in West Texas near Abilene as the Eastland Complex grew, and crews from the Texas A&M Forest Service were called into action to help clear snow from roadways in the Texas Panhandle around Amarillo.
Texas is famous, or infamous depending on you ask, for rapidly changing weather patterns, and while storms brought all kinds of weather to the largest state by area in the lower 48, Monday was quite a historic day.
On the second day of spring, Amarillo was under a Blizzard Warning after thunderstorms were followed by snowfall that lasted into Tuesday morning. According to NWS data, more than three inches of snow fell in Amarillo on Monday into Tuesday.
The Forest Service tweeted a picture of some heavy equipment helping peel snow off of a highway, and according to the National Weather Service, Amarillo set an all-time record for precipitation Monday. Between rain and melted snow, 1.18 inches of precipitation fell, shattering the previous record of 0.39 inches set in 1979. The NWS noted the total didn’t include the snow that fell after midnight Tuesday.
Snowy weather has since moved out of the area, and it’s expected to warm up over the next few days and get back into the 80s, forecasts say — because that’s how Texas weather works.
To the south in Eastland County, officials said three smaller wildfires joined the group of fires Sunday that make up the Eastland Complex fires. At least check Monday, the fires have burned more than 54,000 acres between Fort Worth and Abilene, but crews have made progress and have them 60% contained, according to the Forest Service. Crews had it just 30% contained when the Forest Service sent out an update Monday.
Crews continue to battle the blazes, but weather conditions won’t help much as winds are expected to gust up to 30 mph around Eastland with breezy and dry conditions continuing through Thursday.
When snow and fire would be headliners any other day in Texas, a tornado outbreak stretching from Jacksboro — northwest of Fort Worth — all the way down to the outside of Seguin was the big story.
Twisters pummeled Round Rock and Elgin and were observed to touch down in Wimberley, Jarrell, Giddings, Luling, Hutto and Taylor. One of KXAN’s weather cameras caught perhaps the most destructive tornado streak across the area Interstate 35 and State Highway 45, and Williamson County officials believe that storm traveled more than 20 miles northeast and left a path of destruction all the way to Granger.
While not a continuous damage path, crews from the NWS will follow the assumed path of the storm to figure out its intensity and see how much damage it actually caused. They’ll do the same in the Elgin, Giddings, Luling and Jarrell areas.
So far, three people were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered serious after the tornado hit Elgin on Monday. Bastrop County officials said 75% of the town was without power earlier in the day Tuesday, but Bluebonnet Electric Co-op was in the process of restoring power.
Statewide, one death has been reported due to the tornado outbreak. A 73-year-old woman in Grayson County died after a tornado went through her home in the town of Sherwood Shores, located near the Red River east of Interstate 35.