Funnel cloud spotted near Tucumcari

By Chelle Delaney, Freedom New Mexico

A funnel cloud was spotted over Tucumcari about 2 p.m. Wednesday as dark storm clouds moved across the region.

The funnel cloud was traveling west between the Frontage Road and Quay Road 62. It touched down briefly in fields, acting like a dust devil, on the easterly side of Quay Road AK, east of Tucumcari.

The National Weather Service said a line of thunderstorms extended 9 miles northeast of Tucumcari to 12 miles north of Yeso.

The moist and unstable air mass has allowed funnel clouds to develop over Quay, Guadalupe, eastern Harding and eastern San Miguel counties, according to an NWS advisory.

The short-lived funnel clouds tend to be brief, small and relatively weak. On rare occasions these clouds can briefly touch the ground with wind speeds that are generally under 60 mph, the NWS advisory said.

However, they can damage lightweight structures such as carports and awnings in their path.

Monday and Wednesday’s heavy rains have caused road closures because of swollen creeks in Quay County.

The Plaza Larga Creek spilled over Quay Road AF. Trucks and cars were turning back, while one farmer drove his tractor through the overflowing creek.

Further south in Quay County, heavy rains caused a section of State Road 252 about two miles north of House to be closed, according a resident in the House area.