Mark Rowlett: Severe storms moved through the central section of the Big Country Thursday

ABILENE, Texas - We tracked a severe thunderstorm that developed near Stamford around 4 PM Thursday afternoon.  It initially moved southeastward.  The storm continued to strengthen to the point that golf ball size hail was reported near Hawley in Jones County. 

The storm turned more to the south and moved into Abilene just before 6 PM.  The storm was now dropping hail up to the size of baseballs and producing wind gusts to 60 mph at the Abilene Regional Airport.  A 58 mph wind gust was observed here at the KTXS Studio.

The eastern side of Abilene was especially hard hit by the large hail with numerous reports of car windows being broken out.  Even some homes had windows broken by the wind driven hail. We received reports of skylights broken out in southeast Abilene.

The storm merged with a couple of new thunderstorms and continued farther south into Taylor County.  Winds in the 60 to 70 mph range were reported from near Tuscola and near Lawn.

The storm complex continued into Coleman and Runnels Counties.  A funnel could was reported west of Novice and winds were estimated to be 70 mph between Novice and Winters.  Golf ball size hail again was observed southeast of Winters to just northeast of Ballinger.

Western and eastern portions of our region avoided the severe weather Thursday afternoon and evening.

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