Elevated risk of severe weather including tornadoes this PM - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Elevated risk of severe weather including tornadoes this afternoon

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EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

***Tornado Watch for Delta, Hopkins, Hunt, Rains, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Henderson, and Anderson Counties until 7PM***

The same storm system that brought devastation to our north Sunday and Monday to Oklahoma and Kansas will affect East Texas later today with a threat of severe storms including tornadoes.

Thunderstorms that develop will be capable of producing hail up to the size of baseballs, gusty winds over 70 miles per hour, and isolated tornadoes. Right now it appears the storms will form into a squall line later this afternoon as they cross the Trinity River and move into East Texas. This would decrease the overall tornado threat but make the hail and high wind threat much greater.

This is a very complicated weather situation today. Many boundaries exist across East Texas thanks to the previous day's thunderstorms activity to our north. Any one of these boundaries could act as a fire mechanism for thunderstorm development at anytime once the temperatures reach the lower 80s. These boundaries will also add extra spin in the atmosphere increasing the threat for isolated tornadoes. The winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere today are fairly strong meaning there is a chance tornadoes that form today could be stronger than what we usually see across East Texas.

As for the timing on the thunderstorm development, it looks as though isolated to scattered storms will begin to develop around midday out to our west. These storms will move into tour western counties during the early afternoon. This is when they will pose the greatest tornado threat. As the cold front begins to move into the area these storms will more than likely for into a line increasing the highs wind and hail threat across most of East Texas during the late afternoon and evening hours.

The atmosphere is still plenty cold in the mid levels so hail up to the size of baseballs is possible with the stronger storms. The front should push this line of storms out of East Texas by the late evening hours. There will still be a chance of storms overnight into tomorrow morning but the severe threat should diminish after 10 p.m.

Now, there is still a lot of uncertainty with this developing situation. The wind shear in the atmosphere is very strong across East Texas. This could allow for storms to remain discrete, meaning they will not form into a line. If the storms do remain discrete then they will likely produce giant hail up to softball size and large damaging tornadoes. This scenario is not the most likely one but it could happen. With the disaster in Oklahoma fresh on our mind, everyone please take this seriously.

Right now is a good time to start planning on what you would do in the event of a tornado. If you live in a mobile home plan on being near a sturdy structure like church or a friend's home. Remember in the event of a tornado to find a small interior room on the lowest floor with as many walls between you and the outside.

If you have not done so, please visit you smart phone's app store and download our latest KLTV weather app. It will show radar and alerts throughout the day to help keep you safe. Stay with KLTV and KLTV.com as this is a developing situation and details in the forecast will likely chance once storms begin to fire.

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