A Tornado Watch has been issued for extreme East-Central and Far Southeast Texas. This watch is in effect until 7 PM although I expect it’ll be cancelled by mid-afternoon for the Texas counties. The watch runs along and east of a Nacogdoches-Livingston-Liberty line. Center, hemphill, Lumberton, and Port Arthur are included in this watch. I expect storms will exit Texas to the east by 3-4 PM. The primary threat will be quarter size hail and localized damaging wind gusts over 60 MPH. A tornado is not out of the question but the risk increases as storms move into Louisiana.
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 5 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 1150 AM CST THU JAN 21 2016
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF PARTS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL LOUISIANA PARTS OF EAST CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS COASTAL WATERS
* EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY MORNING AND EVENING FROM 1150 AM UNTIL 700 PM CST.
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE… A FEW TORNADOES LIKELY SCATTERED LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE
SUMMARY…SCATTERED-NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE TO FORM AND INTENSIFY FROM EAST TEXAS INTO LOUISIANA THROUGH THE AFTERNOON. THE STRONGEST STORMS WILL POSE A RISK FOR A FEW TORNADOES…IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS.
The Storm Prediction Center has indicated that they will likely be issuing a tornado watch for parts of Southeast Texas within the next few hours. Conditions are becoming more favorable for the development of a few severe thunderstorms. The primary threat in Southeast Texas would be quarter size hail and localized damaging wind gusts over 60 MPH. The tornado threat will increase as storms approach the Louisiana border with the highest tornado threat in Louisiana and Mississippi. Severe storms should exit Texas to the east by 4 PM but we could continue to see sub-severe storms in Northeast and East Texas through early this evening.
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0033
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1059 AM CST THU JAN 21 2016
AREAS AFFECTED...SE TX...LA
CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY
VALID 211659Z - 211900Z
PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT
SUMMARY...THE SEVERE THREAT ACROSS SE TX AND WRN TO CNTRL LA WILL
INCREASE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. TORNADOES...ISOLATED LARGE HAIL
AND WIND DAMAGE WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH THE STRONGER STORMS. A TORNADO
WATCH WILL LIKELY BE NEEDED ACROSS THE REGION LATE THIS MORNING.
A Couple Severe Storms Possible in Southeast Texas through Mid-Afternoon; Much Cooler Tonight & Friday
Our primary focus this morning will be on the severe weather threat in Far Southeast Texas through early this afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a Level 2 risk of severe weather along and east of a San Augustine-Lufkin-Livingston-Galveston line. A Level 1 risk runs along and east of Interstate 45 from Madisonville south to Houston. The main risk timeframe will be from about 10 AM through 3 PM. Sub-severe storms will be possible from now through mid-afternoon across Northeast Texas and East Texas. These storms will be elevated above a stable surface layer. A few stronger cores may produce small hail but otherwise the severe weather threat will be low.
12Z HRRR – Simulated radar at 11 AM This Morning
12Z HRRR – Simulated radar at 12 PM This Afternoon
12Z HRRR – Simulated radar at 3 PM This Afternoon
Surface-based thunderstorms are expected to develop in far Southeast Texas later this morning. These storms may take a while to get their act together as they move east/northeast. For that reason I’m expecting the primary threat to be quarter size hail and localized damaging wind gusts. Most folks won’t be dealing with severe weather today – but we’ll have to watch out for a few discrete storms. We’ll have to watch any established supercell as it approaches the TX/LA border in case it tries to develop low-level rotation. As the storms move east into Louisiana and Mississippi by this afternoon they could become more intense with a tornado risk. Fortunately for our state the timing of the system will preclude a more significant severe weather risk.
12Z HRRR – Simulated Radar at 6 PM This Evening
Showers and a few storms will remain possible through late this afternoon across Northeast Texas and East Texas. Some storms may produce small hail and localized heavy rain. A few spots in East Texas may pick up a quick half inch of rain before activity exists to the east by late afternoon. Tonight will be mostly dry across Texas.
Some of these high temperatures will likely occur during the morning hours as a cold front pushes south today.
In the wake of the storm system a cold front will continue to push south across all of Texas. By tonight it should be into the Gulf of Mexico with north/northwest winds across all of Texas. Temperatures will be much cooler tonight and on Friday with low temperatures ranging from the mid 20s in the western third of Texas up to the mid 40s in the Rio Grande Valley. Cities along I-35 and I-45 will drop into the 30s tonight. Friday will be chilly unless you’re south of Interstate 10 where temperatures will at least make it into the 60s.
Marginal Severe Weather Risk in Far Southeast Texas early Thursday Afternoon
The afternoon update from the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk of severe weather in Southeast Texas on Thursday. A marginal risk is the lowest of five risk levels and means there is the potential for an isolated severe weather threat. We do note that the elevated risk of severe weather does run up to the Southeast Texas/Louisiana border on Thursday. I think that’s a good call based off the data I’m seeing. It appears that a few strong storms will fire up around lunchtime in Southeast Texas. Those storms would quickly move to the east/northeast and could become severe near the TX/LA border by mid-afternoon. Our neighbors in southern Louisiana should keep up with their local weather updates for tomorrow.
4KM NAM – Simulated radar at 12 PM Thursday
The 18Z run of the 4KM NAM seems to have a good grasp on the potential storm timeline for Thursday. At 12 PM it has a couple isolated storms in Southeast Texas – east of the Houston metro and east of Interstate 45. Those storms may be strong with some hail and strong wind gusts. Showers and perhaps a thunderstorm will be possible back in North Texas. The cold front will have already passed through that region so the storms would be very elevated and not severe. Small hail could occur with a few of those elevated storms tomorrow afternoon though.
4KM NAM – Simulated radar at 3 PM Thursday
By 3 PM the NAM has the strongest storms east of Texas with showers continuing across Northeast Texas and East Texas. Strong northwest winds will be underway across most of Texas by this point as a cold front brings cooler temperatures. We’ll have to watch the storms early tomorrow afternoon as they could be ramping up in Far Southeast Texas before they exit the state. Damaging wind gusts and the potential for hail would be the greatest hazard. A very low risk for a tornado is possible near the southeast TX/LA border before storms exit our state. The threat for a couple tornadoes will increase as storms move into LA/MS. The threat for severe weather should end for Far Southeast Texas by 4-5 PM CT.
4KM NAM – Simulated radar at 6 PM Thursday
Finally the NAM continues to show showers in East Texas at 6PM Thursday as cooler temperatures continue to filer in. This activity is not expected to pose a threat for severe weather. We note that this model run has a fairly impressive storm near Jackson, Mississippi near dinnertime tomorrow evening. Folks out in southern Louisiana into the southern half of Mississippi will have to be on guard tomorrow afternoon and evening. I wouldn’t be surprised if they deal with a couple of tornadoes.
Severe Thunderstorm WATCH – Southeast TX until 11pm CST
A Severe Thunderstorm WATCH has been issued for this afternoon and evening across a large portion of southeast Texas. This includes the Houston/Galveston metro area and the cities of College Station, Lufkin, Beaumont and Port Arthur and surrounding communities. Scattered thunderstorms have developed across the region late this afternoon with a risk of large hail, damaging winds and a couple of tornadoes. The current batch of storms which have developed are tracking generally northeast at approximately 40mph. Additional strong to severe storm development is likely across the area into the early overnight hours. Residents in the area need to keep an eye on the sky this evening and keep on top of the latest developments.