EAST TEXAS, TX (KLTV) - A First Alert Weather Day has been issued for Friday Night and will last through Saturday morning.
The current set up is tricky and while the models haven’t been showing a likely chance of East Texas receiving severe weather Friday night/Saturday morning, the storm prediction center has included the northern half of East Texas in a SLIGHT (15%) risk of severe weather, along with upgrading our northeastern counties within the I-20/I-30 corridor to an ENHANCED (30%) risk of severe weather. There is a much more likely chance to see severe weather off to our northeast near Arkansas and Tennesee, but as these past few systems have shown, East Texas really has seemed to be the “trigger” for when the stronger to severe storms start to develop before pushing out of the state so I can understand why we are included in the risk as conditions are technically favorable for supercell development.
The Set Up:
As we have all noticed, strong southerly winds have been feeding gulf moisture into East Texas for the past couple of days which is why we are going to be in the mid-70s today despite the extra cloud cover. Our gusty south/southwesterly winds will continue well into tomorrow ahead of an approaching cold front and will feed strong low-level shear at the surface, destabilizing our atmosphere. This low-level shear along with expected difluence in the upper levels later tomorrow will aid in providing favorable conditions for supercell development along the frontal boundary.
Throughout the day today and tonight light scattered showers are expected but coverage is sparse. Keeping rain chances at 20% through tonight into tomorrow morning but increasing to a 30% chance of light to moderate scattered showers right around sunrise with a few thunderstorms possible around noon time.
Heading into the afternoon and early evening hours, we could see some heavier showers and thunderstorms develop ahead of the front as we will be in the warm sector and our atmosphere continues to destabilize. One good note is that our mostly cloudy skies could aid in hampering daytime heating at the surface, which could slow down daytime thunderstorm development. As the cold front arrives in East Texas late tomorrow, initialization of showers and thunderstorms will begin in our northwestern counties and push to the east and southeast.
Current model runs aren’t handling the intensity of the storms along the cold front very well, and are placing the stronger to severe storm development further off to the northeast in central Arkansas. Again, this is a 50/50 shot for East Texas as we seem to be where a lot of severe weather events really start to kick off. Either the storms will pick up in strength in our central and northeastern counties and become severe, or we will only see showers and thunderstorms until the line of storms reaches northern Lousiana and southwestern Arkansas.
Currently, the greatest severe threat will be the damaging winds with speeds of up to 60-70 mph possible within these storms. There is also the potential for hail to reach the size of golf balls depending on how strong some of these updrafts can get and we can not rule out the possibility for tornadoes. In terms of rain totals, we will likely only see around 1" to 1 1/2" but in some areas of locally heavy rainfall, there might some flooding in low lying areas.
This is a late night event and should be taken very seriously. Make sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather by prepping a windowless interior room in the event of a tornado. Please make sure your phones and tablets are charged and download the KLTV/KTRE First Alert Weather Apps if you haven’t already. They are free and will give you access to real-time radar and our live streams if your power or tv goes out. We will continue to monitor the situation as we get closer to tomorrow night and as always we will keep you updated and informed.