The Storm Prediction Center has just upgraded portions of North and Central Texas to a Level 4 Risk of Severe Weather. On a five level system with five being the highest we’re definitely up there in terms of risks today. An enhanced risk (level 3) surrounds the moderate risk from Northwest Texas into Southwest Texas. A level 2 risk runs from Northeast Texas into South Texas.

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There is an increasing liklihood for an outbreak of intense severe thunderstorms this afternoon. A strong upper level storm system combined with very rich moisture from the Gulf of Mexico has set the stage for a potent severe weather threat. We already have a few strong elevated thunderstorms forming west of Interstate 35. For the time being these storms are elevated about the highest instablity which means they’ll pose a threat for hail. Later this afternoon we’ll see surface-based supercells fire up. These storms will be in an environment favorable for significant severe weather including the possibility of tornadoes. With strong low level wind shear an isolated large/significant tornado is possible. Destructive hail up to the size of softballs will be possible with the strongest storms. Another round of severe storms will likely fire up this evening with the same hazards so this will be a multi-round event. Flooding wil become a more significant concern tonight as well.

So to review – we have a significant risk of severe weather today and its the highest we’ve seen all year. I don’t say that to scare anyone but to simply encourage you to keep up with the weather today. We’ll be out chasing and so we won’t be posting too many updates this afternoon. One good way to keep up with the latest is by following your local National Weather Service offce at www.weather.gov and by using our free interactive weather radar at texasstormchasers.com/radar