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At the Reeve Farm home place, fifth generation farmers, brothers Hadley and Jarrett White, combine their skills to help bring grain to market!

Friona ISD is the proud owner of a new bus port. Jesus "Chuy" Rodriguez and his crew built the facility for the school district in order to protect the "new" school buses purchased this year. Looks great!!!


June 2nd, 1995 Tornado Chase

By Lead Forecaster Bill Gargan

While attending the University of Oklahoma's graduate program in meteorology I had the opportunity to participate in project VORTEX (Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment) during 1994 and 1995. I was assigned to drive Probe 1—a sedan that had meteorological instrumentation mounted to the roof of the car. There were 8 to 10 such vehicles that were part of the VORTEX armada. Each Probe was assigned to a specific point around a severe thunderstorm to sample the environment. The instrumentation on each Probe measured wind speed, wind direction, surface pressure, temperature and relative humidity. Probe 1 was assigned to follow the Forward Flank baroclinic zone (a boundary that often develops between a supercell's precipitation core and the warm moist inflow that feeds the storm) towards the center of the storm's updraft. I was teamed up with the famous severe storm and tornado researcher Dr. Bob Davies-Jones. I was responsible for driving the Probe1 vehicle and Bob was navigator and communicator.

On June 2, 1995 Project Vortex-95 targeted the dry line across the western Texas Panhandle. The forecast was for an upper level trough over the desert southwest to move east into West Texas. Gulf moisture was poised to move north ahead of the dry line across west Texas during the afternoon hours. The Vortex Armada left the Severe Storm Laboratory in Norman, OK around 11:00 AM with an initial target of the dry line about 50 miles southwest of Amarillo, TX. During our journey west on I-40, we entered the eastern Texas Panhandle and noticed that storms had already formed on the east side of the axis of deep gulf moisture. During the Vortex-95 intercept this day, the P-3 Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft with an onboard radar gave the field command live Doppler Radar from flying around the storms that day.

Initially these storms looked to have elevated bases but one storm right along the interstate about 40 miles east of Amarillo develop a rotating wall cloud that we sat and watched for about 5 minutes. The armada continued to push west knowing that storms that developed later during the afternoon along the dry line had a chance to become more intense supercell thunderstorms. We continued west to the dry line which was located west of Clovis, NM at 4:00 PM. The Vortex Armada instrumentation sampled the dry line for about half an hour before Towering Cumulus clouds started to develop along the dry line.

Eventually a cumulonimbus cloud developed south of Clovis. As the new storm moved northeast along Highway 60 into TX, it became severe and produced quarter size hail. The storm was high based and didn't develop a wall cloud. The VORTEX-95 field commander was Dr. Eric Rassmussen, who informed us that the storms that developed over the eastern Texas Panhandle earlier in the afternoon had produced an outflow boundary that was moving southwest into the western Texas Panhandle. North and east of the outflow boundary, the moisture was richer and temperatures were cooler, though the instability was greater. Both Bob and I hypothesized that once the storm crossed the boundary they would really intensify and the bases of the storms would lower and provide a better chance for the supercell to spawn tornadoes.

As we moved northeast towards the town of Bovina, TX the severe high based thunderstorm we were chasing began to intensify and a wall cloud started to form. We both knew the storm must have been crossing the outflow boundary and was tapping into the higher moisture east of the boundary.

As the storm continued to push northeast, the wall cloud began to rotate. We could also see convective clouds within the updraft become crisper—even the south side of the storm's anvil became very sharp and pronounced looking. Most of the other Vortex vehicles south and west of the storm were reporting near zero visibility due to blowing dust as the inflow into the storm increased.

Since our probe (Probe 1) was northeast of the updraft, we weren't bombarded with much blowing dust. As we approached the updraft, our east winds became a bit weaker. We were nearly under the wall cloud 5 miles southwest of Friona, TX and noticed that there was rapid rotation developing. We let our field commander know about the rapid rotation and he relayed this report to the National Weather Service in Amarillo, TX. We continued to stay just ahead of the rotating wall cloud as we drove northeast on US Highway 60. The storm was moving parallel to the highway toward the town of Friona. Suddenly, we saw a funnel dip down from the wall cloud. Then all of sudden, we saw dirt being kicked up in the air. We reported the tornado to our field commander who passed the first report of a tornado 3 miles southwest of Friona to the National Weather Service in Amarillo.

Our forward speed slowed down as we passed through the town of Friona. I didn't notice that Highway 60 took an eastward jag through the town. The tornado was about 1 mile south-southwest of us as we went through the west side of town. As we approached the east side of Friona, the tornado was much closer to us. We could actually see the tornado clearly pick up debris in the form of pieces of buildings as it began to close in on us. Since I thought we were traveling to the northeast I was concerned that the tornado had picked up forward speed and started to turn a bit farther north. I was worried that the tornado would over take us shortly. Then, I noticed that the road took a turn to the left, and finally realized that we had been heading due east and now we were headed northeast.

Now, the tornado was just behind us, and a Purina [Hi-Pro] feed mill in the path of the tornado toppled to the ground just a few thousand feet back. I knew I couldn't stop driving the car, or else we would get hit by the tornado. I tried to pick up speed. The inflow winds into the tornado were so strong from the northeast that the car was barely able to accelerate at all. I started to worry as I pushed the accelerator to the floor and we were not picking up much speed. In fact, my foot started shaking on the accelerator when I realized how strong the inflow winds must have been to have kept the car from picking up much forward speed. The realization that the tornado may overtake us became even more clear. Finally, the car slowly began to pick up speed as the tornado crossed US Highway 60 directly behind us.

We got out ahead of the tornado by about one half of a mile and pulled over along the side of the road. We watched the tornado turn from a stout barrel shaped funnel into a half mile wide wedge in a matter of minutes. We watched the tornado for about 10 minutes as it moved about 2 miles to our north. We then got into our vehicle and continued to stay with the large tornado as it tracked to the northeast. We were looking for some paved north/south road options in order to get closer to the tornado—but almost every road we passed was a wet and muddy dirt road. Finally, the tornado became rain wrapped north of Summerfield, TX.

Reprinted with permission. National Weather Service, Topeka News, May 2008, Volume 2, Issue 2, 1116 NE Strait Avenue, Topeka, KS 66616

Dairy farmers and workers are always essential workers

By Darren Turley

As non-essential businesses closed their doors and millions of workers across the country shifted to working online from home during this COVID-19 pandemic, dairy farmers and workers have stayed on the job, on the farm. You can't turn off a cow to put milking on hold, and you can't feed livestock over Zoom.

Just as Texans haven't stopped eating, Texas dairy farms haven't stopped producing healthy, wholesome milk and dairy products to feed them.

June is National Dairy Month, and it's a great opportunity not only to enjoy milk, ice cream, cheese and other dairy products, but to recognize that dairy farmers and employees are essential workers - not just during this coronavirus crisis, but always.

Dairy farms, milk processors, milk transporters and others in the food supply chain have continued to operate over the recent months, unlike many businesses. But, like these other businesses, dairies also have been financially hurt during this coronavirus crisis even as they've continued to operate.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, demand for milk, cheese and other dairy products plummeted as exports were disrupted and as restaurants and other food service businesses - which purchase large quantities of milk, cheese and other dairy products - were ordered shuttered.

Dairy farmers found themselves with more milk on hand than they could sell, with the national milk supply exceeding demand by 10%. That's a bigger gap than consumer purchasing at the grocery store could fill. And, as mentioned earlier, you can't just turn off a cow; they must be milked at least twice a day. Unfortunately, that caused a short-term dumping of milk by some dairy farmers. Thankfully, this was more widespread in other parts of the country than in Texas.

It's gut wrenching - not to mention a hit to finances - for a dairy farmer to watch his or her milk flowing down a drain, especially at a time when milk was disappearing from grocery stores and a growing number of people were losing their jobs and needed help to buy food. Dairy farmers and employees work long hours and take a great deal of pride in feeding consumers.

Thankfully, the picture has stabilized some in recent weeks. Farmers are eligible for some federal financial relief, restaurants and other food service businesses are reopening and starting to restock their milk and dairy, and the dairy industry has formed partnerships to supply its products to food banks and other organizations to feed those in need.

Still, these remain difficult times for dairy farmers, who are being forced to make tough decisions in addition to worrying about keeping their families and their workforce safe and healthy. Yet today, tomorrow and every day after, dedicated dairy farmers and workers across Texas and the nation will get up before the sun rises and start another day of feeding and milking their herds.

The Texas Association of Dairymen hopes you'll join us in thanking them for keeping us all fed, in good and bad times. And during National Dairy Month, you can show some extra support and beat the summer heat by enjoying an extra glass or two of cold milk or your favorite ice cream, cheese or other dairy product.

Darren Turley is executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen, www.milk4texas.org and @TXDairymen on Twitter.


Town Talk

The chamber office will open on the 15th with some restrictions. Transactions will be by Check or Money Order only. NO Cash Accepted. Also, only one person in the office at a time and you must wear a mask in order to come into the office.


Tom & Barbara Mason are moving to Granbury, Texas. Barbara said that her and Tom had lived in their home for the past 60 years. They will now be in the same neck of the woods as Larry & Linda Knowles.


The Friona Community Blood Drive is Thursday, June 11th from Noon until 7:00 p.m. Please try to schedule an appointment by calling 806-331-8833, or visiting yourbloodinstitute.org. Coffee Memorial is bringing extra personnel for this drive. Walk-ins are still welcome.


Just a reminder that you can purchase water at the receptacle on the east side of the City Park. However, it is not self-service anymore. Replacement parts for the old equipment are not available. Call the city at 250-2761 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and they will send someone over to assist you. The cost is $4.00 per 1000 gallons.


Mayor Ricky White and Aldermen Greg Lewellen and Brent Loflin were sworn in during last week's online city council meeting. All three are incumbents and will serve 2-year terms. Greg is also the Mayor Pro Tem.


The Friona High School Class of 1970 is planning their 50th Reunion. The date is set for September 25-27 and will be held at the Hyatt Place in Lubbock, Texas. Classmates are asked to text their name, address, phone number, and e-mail to Roxanne Hurst @ 806-265-7106. Please indicate if you are planning to attend the reunion. Your contact information is needed whether you plan to attend or not. You can also contact Kay Rogers at 806-786-7758 or at LNKR@SWBELL.NET. More information to follow.


Check out the rainfall data and the Water Weekly map on the back page. Friona and Parmer County are definitely in a drought again. We were off to a good start moisture-wise during the first three months of the year, but since the April snowstorm it has been all downhill. The rainfall of 0.14 was the lowest for the month of May since 2011 when we received only 0.07 of rain. Our average May rainfall is 2.46 inches. We are dry!!!


School Board members were given an update on the progress of the construction project at their regular meeting last Monday night. New windows are being installed at the Junior High and High School as well as interior work at both campuses. The Elementary building will receive new windows next summer. Concrete footings are being installed at the High School and new Primary School locations. The trustees were reminded that the two new storm shelters would be able to withstand a hit from an F5 tornado.


National Days

June 11 — German Chocolate Cake Day

June 12 — Red Rose Day

June 13 — Weed Your Garden Day

June 14 — Flag Day

June 15 — Smile Power Day

June 16 — National Fudge Day

June 17 — Eat Your Vegetables Day


COVID-19 News

as of June 10, 2020

Texas Panhandle:

5,062 cases, 78 deaths

2,359 recoveries

Armstrong County: 3

Briscoe County: 1

Carson County: 6

Castro County: 35

Childress County: 2

Collingsworth County: 5

Cottle County: 4

Dallam County: 34

Deaf Smith County: 176

Donley County: 27

Gray County: 105

Hall County: 2

Hansford County: 20

Hartley County: 13

Hemphill County: 1

Hutchinson County: 44

Lipscomb: 5

Moore County: 852

Motley: 1

Ochiltree County: 52

Oldham County: 4

Parmer County: 99

Potter County: 2,766

Randall County: 740

Roberts County: 2

Sherman County: 30

Swisher County: 18

Wheeler County: 15

Eastern New Mexico:

119 cases, 1 death

Curry County:64

Quay County: 5

Roosevelt County: 45

Union: 5

Oklahoma Panhandle:

982 cases, 6 deaths, 933 recoveries

Beaver County: 27

Cimarron: 1

Texas County:954


77,253 cases

1,853 deaths

51,140 recoveries

United States:

2,040,000 cases

114,267 deaths

788,916 recoveries


7,040,000 cases

404,895 deaths

COVID-19 Resources:

Health Protocols for Voters and Elections (English)

County Disaster Declaration (English)

March 16 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

March 31 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

Letter from City Manager (English) (Spanish)

Friona Community Helpline (English)

2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline (English)

Share The Facts about COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)

What You Need To Know (English) (Spanish)

What To Do If You Are Sick (English) (Spanish)

County Clerk PSA (English)

Chamber of Commerce Letter to Businesses (English)

FISD Emergency Resolution (English)