RUNNELS COUNTY – The skies were dark and several funnel clouds dipped down in Runnels County on Friday afternoon, but no significant damage was reported, the National Weather Service in San Angelo reported.

RUNNELS COUNTY – The skies were dark and several funnel clouds dipped down in Runnels County on Friday afternoon, but no significant damage was reported, officials from the National Weather Service in San Angelo said Monday.

On Friday May 19, the emergency alert sirens in Ballinger and Winters sounded after tornadoes were spotted in the area.

Sheriff Carl Squyres was one of the official weather spotters who actually got a photo of a funnel cloud coming down about three miles west of Winters.

“Yes I saw it and the sirens sounded,” Squyres reported.

Michael Decker, a meteorologist with the NWS said the first tornado was confirmed at 3:23 p.m. three miles west of Winters. A second funnel cloud was reported a few minutes later two miles north of Winters.

“No significant damage was reported from either one,” Decker said.

At 4:03 p.m. a third funnel cloud was spotted on the Old Winters Highway near the office of the Texas Department of Transportation in Ballinger.

Chief Stan Maresch gave the order to sound the sirens.

City Manager Bryan Grimes said the sirens sounded, but they are not always loud enough. This has prompted city officials to look into purchasing a system that will alert citizens via their cell phones.

Grimes said no significant damage was reported in Ballinger either.

But the storm system continued to wreak havoc with large hail and high winds, Decker said. Half dollar size hail was reported in Winters and golf ball size hail was reported in San Angelo. Quarter size hail was reported near the community of Pumphrey and baseball size hail was reported in Paint Rock.

As the storm traveled, tornadoes were spotted in Coleman County three miles south of Santa Anna and then later near Bangs and finally in Brownwood.

Decker said the storm was the result of extreme instability in the atmosphere which created a line of severe storms that traveled east.

The weather is expected to ease up a bit this week, with a 30 percent chance of showers in the forecast for Memorial Day weekend.

After a cold front moves through Thursday, warmer weather returns for the weekend with highs expected to reach 95 degrees by Saturday.