Tornado watch expires in Dallas-Fort Worth; tennis ball-size hail reported

A tornado watch that was in effect for the Dallas-Fort Worth area until 8 p.m. Thursday expired after severe storms brought large hail, strong winds and heavy rain to the region.

A tornado warning that was announced until 5 p.m. Thursday for parts of Tarrant County, including downtown Fort Worth, expired early but not before weather spotters confirmed seeing cloud rotation form at least briefly.

Another tornado warning that was in effect for Dallas County also expired. At 4:56, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Irving, moving northeast at 40 mph. Storm damage was reported at Autos of Dallas car dealership in Irving, where part of the roof was torn off but no one was injured. Roof damage to seven units at a townhome complex in Irving also was reported to the National Weather Service.

The Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management said that no major reports of storm damage had been received as of about 6 p.m., when the worst of the storms were moving out of Tarrant County. On Twitter, the City of Fort Worth said that stormwater crews were responding to calls and alerts. The city reported road closures at 400 Long Ave. and NE 28th and Decatur. Crews were scouting the area of 121 and Riverside for potential storm damage.

Around gum ball sized hail fell in the Fairmount neighborhood area of Fort Worth on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

Large hail up to the size of tennis balls has been reported across the region, and flooding also was reported in some areas, with the Fort Worth Fire Department being called to help people stranded in high water in areas including Camp Bowie Boulevard, Trinity Boulevard, Hulen Street, Vickery Boulevard, and Las Vegas Court, according to a call log.

The fire department said that when personnel arrived to the scene of high water calls, it was mostly people who had driven into floodwaters and gotten themselves out before would-be rescuers arrived. No injuries have been reported.

Between Between 4 and 8:30 p.m., MedStar ambulance crews responded to 13 motor vehicle crashes, including two rollovers. Five people involved in the crashes were transported to area hospitals.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Tarrant and Dallas counties until 8:15 p.m. as heavy rain fell. The weather service noted social media reports of street flooding in downtown Fort Worth and reports of swift water rescues in North Richland Hills. Between 2 and 3 inches of rain had fallen as of about 5:30. Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches were possible.

Fort Worth resident Isaac Cheek drove through what he thought was a tornado Thursday evening on his way back home from Coppell.

Cheek said he was driving on southwest Texas 121 at I-35 when he saw a funnel form in the distance soon after receiving a tornado warning.

“I tried to hurry up and get on the other side of it, and the wind caught me and sideswiped my car, about threw me into the wall,” he said.

A tornado warning was issued for Tarrant County on Thursday around 4:15 p.m. with the main area of concern around just north of where I-30 and I-35 meet. The warning was canceled about 30 minutes later.

A tornado warning means to take shelter in a basement or the interior room of the lowest floor of a building. The National Weather Service said the storm capable of producing a tornado, which triggered the Tarrant County warning, was over River Oaks when the sirens began sounding. It was moving toward Fort Worth and Arlington.

A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible and people in the affected area should take extra precautions and watch the weather.

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An enhanced risk of severe weather reached North Texas on Thursday afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service. Storms were expected to include wind gusts up to 70 mph and hail up to 2.5 inches — about the size of a tennis ball.

Golf ball sized hail can be seen Thursday afternoon, March 16, 2023, in Mineral Wells.

A photo tweeted Thursday around 2:45 p.m. showed large hail near Possum Kingdom Lake.

More than 5,500 Oncor customers were without power in Dallas County and more than 2,800 in Tarrant as of about 7:30 p.m., according to Oncor.

Electric outages Dallas - Fort Worth vicinity

Here is Oncor's power outages map. Outage information is sent from Oncor to the outage map every 10 minutes. Source:


An overcast sky was forecast for the whole day, and National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Stalley said the first round of severe weather would reach the metroplex around 4 p.m., when the service correctly predicted some parts of Dallas-Fort Worth would start to see “very large hail” and other severe weather conditions.

Storm clouds roll into Fort Worth on Thursday, March 16, 2023. A tornado warning has been announced until 5 p.m. Thursday for parts of Tarrant County, including downtown Fort Worth.

Another line of storms was expected to follow the first sometime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with a chance of severe weather, but after that passes severe weather should be done for the night.

Stalley said forecasts predicted some rain and possible thunder after the second line of storms moved out of the region, but nothing severe.

A tornado watch expired early for some counties on the west and north sides of DFW but remained in effect until 8 p.m. for Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Rains and Rockwall counties.

A tornado watch continued until 1 a.m. for Central Texas counties including Navarro, Van Zandt, Anderson, Falls, Freestone, Henderson, Leon, Limestone, Milam and Robertson.

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The storms will usher in a cold front with nearly a week of highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, though no freezing temps are in the forecast for the Fort Worth area.

Freezing temperatures will be possible during the upcoming weekend in areas north of the I-20 corridor. A late-season frost is likely Saturday morning in sheltered locations and where light winds dominate, the NWS said in a hazardous weather outlook.

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