The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a Tornado Watch effective until 6 p.m. for a large portion of Central and East Texas, as well as much of the Ark-La-Tex.  A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the development of severe storms that may produce isolated tornadoes in or near the watch area.

The tornado watch area is approximately along and 90 statute miles east and west of a line from 45 miles northwest of El Dorado, Arkansas to 10 miles south-southwest of Austin, Texas.

This watch area may experience severe storms with straight-line wind gusts of up to 70 mph.  Large hail in excess of 2 inches in diameter may occur in some of the storms.  Heavy rainfall may also lead to isolated cases of localized flooding.

The following Deep East Texas counties are included in this Tornado Watch:

  • Anderson
  • Angelina
  • Cherokee
  • Houston
  • Nacogdoches
  • Panola
  • Rusk
  • Sabine
  • San Augustine
  • Shelby
  • Trinity
  • Walker

At this time, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Jasper and Newton Counties are not included is this tornado watch.  However, strong to severe storms are still a possibility in all of the Pineywoods, so stay aware of rapidly changing weather in your area.

As of 10:15 a.m., a long line of strong to severe storms was occurring and rapidly developing from near Tyler to Waco to the Texas Hill Country.  The line was generally moving eastward while the individual cells were rapidly moving to the northeast.  Forecasters have indicated that the best chance of strong to severe storms in East Texas will occur between 1-5 p.m.

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