Tornado watches, warnings in effect for East Texas counties

Published: Jan. 21, 2018 at 9:26 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 at 12:16 AM CST
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Highway 271 damage (Sarah Jo Nichols)
Highway 271 damage (Sarah Jo Nichols)

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a series of tornado watches and warnings Sunday night as storms traveled north through East Texas.

A Tornado Warning in effect through midnight for Rusk County. Tornado Warning through 12:30 for Gregg; Harrison; Panola; Rusk counties.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a * Tornado Warning for... Southwestern Harrison County in northeastern Texas... Northwestern Panola County in northeastern Texas... Northeastern Rusk County in northeastern Texas... Southeastern Gregg County in northeastern Texas... * Until 1230 AM CST

At 1153 PM CST, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Tatum, or 17 miles northwest of Carthage, moving northeast at 45 mph. HAZARD...Tornado. SOURCE...Radar indicated rotation.

The NWS confirmed a tornado was sighted on the ground near Purley, Texas in Franklin County at about 8:25 p.m. The weather service says trees and power lines are reportedly down in the Winnsboro area and there are power outages in the area.

A confirmed tornado was also reported near Winfield moving about 50 mph, according to the organization. The tornado was expected to reach the Mount Pleasant area at 8:55 p.m.

Tornado warnings were issued earlier in the evening for Cherokee, Franklin, Henderson; Hopkins; Kaufman; Morris, Navarro; Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Van Zandt and Wood counties. Those warnings have all expired.

Tornado Watches are in effect for Camp; Franklin; Morris; Red River; Smith; Titus; Upshur; Wood counties through 11 p.m. Tornado Watches are also in effect for Angelina; Bowie; Cass; Cherokee; Gregg; Harrison; Marion; Nacogdoches; Panola; Rusk; Sabine; San Augustine; Shelby counties through 4 a.m.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado.

A First Alert Weather Day has been declared for East Texas until early Monday morning. Showers and storms will continue to develop as the cold front comes close to East Texas, and as it moves through the area.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of East Texas under a Slight Risk. A few areas in Deep East Texas are under a Marginal Risk. The highest risk with the showers and storms is the chance for high damaging winds. Winds within these storms could be very gusty. There is a medium risk for tornado development. Other risks include a low risk for hail and flash flooding.

Heavier showers will impact East Texas tonight. Some thunderstorms could be strong to severe. The heaviest downpours will be along and in front of the cold front. Forecast models indicated that stronger storms and heavier downpours will be concentrated in the northern half of East Texas.

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