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Severe storms spawn damaging tornadoes and hail in northern Mexico


Parts of northern Mexico were struck by hail and tornadoes as storms hit over the past few days– one twister ripped through Apodaca in Nuevo Leon on Saturday afternoon, May 9, 2020, and another in Juarez, Chihuahua, on Monday afternoon, May 11. Two fatalities, at least five injuries, and extensive damage were reported, as well as landslides and flooding that led to road closures.

The tornado on Saturday came as a cold front swept through the state, leading to a drastic drop in temperatures from 37 to 21 °C (98.6 to 69.8 °F), according to Miguel Angel Gallegos of the National Meteorological Service.

The storm began around 22:00 UTC (17:00 LT), dumping up to 60 mm (2.3 inches) of rain before it moved away. The Monterrey-Saltillo highway had to be closed in both directions due to a landslide.

The Civil Protection attended to 205 calls for emergency and reports of damage within just two hours. Damages included downed trees, lamp posts, and power lines.

The agency classified the tornado as EF-2, with winds between 180 to 220 km/h (112 to 137 mph). At least four municipalities were affected, including Monterrey.

A 32-year old woman lost her life when the twister caught her and slammed her against a billboard. A 40-year old man also died after being hit by a tree.

Hail lashed more than 100 cars and about 12 tractor-trailers. Several roads were also closed due to flooding.

Another round of severe weather hit the region on Monday, particularly Juarez. A tornado struck the area at 21:23 UTC (16:23 LT), as well as heavy rain with strong winds and hail.

The twister headed towards the mountains, according to a witness who was able to capture the phenomenon.

The Civil Protection has issued a preventive notice for this week as the cold front is expected to bring more heavy rain, strong winds, and even tornadoes and hail.

Gusts in excess of 50 km/h (31 mph) are forecast for much of the country on Wednesday afternoon, May 13, with the highest incidence in Palomas, Ascension, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Madera, Buenaventura, Bachiniva, Cuauhtemoc, and Parral.

Meanwhile, winds up to 45 km/h (28 mph) are forecast for Juarez, Guadalupe, Ahumada, Chihuahua, Delicias, and Camargo.

The agency urged residents to avoid leaving home unless necessary.

At least four landspouts formed simultaneously on May 2 and hit the town of San Nicolas Buenos Aires near Puebla. Authorities said nobody was hurt.

Featured image credit: chave weather/YouTube


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