EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - A First Alert Weather Day has been issued for Saturday, April 12. A severe weather outbreak is becoming more likely as we get closer to Saturday afternoon. Marion, Harrison, Panola, and Shelby counties have been upgraded to a MODERATE (45%) Risk. Drawing a line from Tyler to Lufkin, everywhere to the east is included in an ENHANCED (30%) Risk, with the remainder of East Texas within a SLIGHT (15%) Risk.
The Set Up:
Early on Saturday, a warm front will begin to track northward through East Texas. This front will act as a "road" essentially for a surface low that will develop and then track across East Texas during the day on Saturday. All while this is happening, a strong upper-level disturbance will set up across the area. As this occurs, Pacific moisture will be tapped and, adding a chance for showers and thunderstorms as early as Friday night/early Saturday. Scattered showers will persist into the later morning hours on Saturday before very strong to severe thunderstorms begin to fire off around noon once the surface low begins to work its way into the area.
The current window for severe weather begins just a little after 11:00 AM, where the surface low will begin to fire off strong to severe thunderstorms across our westernmost counties including areas like Canton/Athens/Palestine. Heading into the 1-2 PM timeframe, central portions of East Texas, including the Tyler/Jacksonville/Lufkin area will likely be dealing with these strong storms. Around 3-4 PM the line of strong to severe thunderstorms will be over our easternmost counties including the Carthage/Center/San Augustine areas, which is where we could see the strongest storms yet, as this volatile system interacts with our already unstable atmosphere and peak daytime heating. By 6 PM, the strongest of the storms should be just to our east in northern Lousiana/southern Arkansas and things should start to quiet down for our area. Cloud cover and a few showers/thundershowers could be possible up to midnight but the severe threat should diminish quickly once the system passes in the late afternoon/early evening.
All forms of severe threats exist tomorrow, with the primary threats being large hail up to the size of golf balls if not larger, damaging severe thunderstorm winds, and the increased possibility of strong tornadoes. We could see upwards of 1.50″-3.00″ of additional rainfall so flash flooding in low lying areas remains a possibility as well. Remember: it doesn’t have to be a tornado to cause damage to yourself or your property. These threats are rated as severe for a reason. Always stay away from windows during a severe threat.
Damaging gusty winds and falling debris have a chance of knocking out your power as the storms roll through. Make sure to keep those phones charged as much as possible just in case your power goes out and download the KLTV/KTRE First Alert Weather Apps. They are free and are a very important tool to stay updated on the weather and warnings near you. Stay safe and weather aware. We will continue to monitor this dangerous situation and update you if anything changes.