A line of thunderstorms extends from Baytown to just north of Lumberton to Jasper to Hemphill to Mansfield, Louisiana. This line is capable of producing quarter size hail and wind gusts up to 70 MPH. The tornado threat is low, but not totally zero. It’ll continue to move east around 20 MPH. Discrete supercells are underway in Louisiana where tornadoes have been reported over the past hour. The good news for East Texas is the potential for severe weather is quickly lowering as the squall line continues to trek east. At this point, the remaining threat zones for a tornado or two are east of that squall line, so southeast of a Kirbyville to Lumberton to Anahuac line. This threat won’t last more than another hour or two. The threat of damaging winds and hail will continue with the strongest storms in that squall line. Severe weather isn’t particularly likely behind the squall line, but I can’t rule out an isolated storm or two firing up this afternoon. Should that occur, that storm might try to produce large hail and localized damaging winds. Low-level wind shear quickly diminishes behind the squall line, so the tornado threat is considerably lower.
The storms this morning and early this afternoon have left plenty of wind damage – some of which may have been caused by tornadoes. At this point I’m not aware of any injuries, which I’m happy to hear. The heightened tornado threat never got going in East Texas, which is also a good thing. As the storms in Louisiana have proven, the ingredients certainly were present for tornadoes. Some may be upset that the severe weather threat never fully materialized, but I’m just happy we’re not having to report on any major damage. Sometimes these events don’t play out like you expect. We always look back over each event to see where we can improve. Our spring tornado season is just beginning and this won’t be the last threat we have to deal with. Consider today a good practice of what to do during future severe weather days.