Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Parts of East Texas [UPDATED 7:12 p.m.]
7:14 P.M. UPDATE: The National Weather Service has extended its severe thunderstorm warning for Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Rusk and Smith Counties until 8:15 p.m. tonight.
6:23 P.M. UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Smith and Cherokee Counties until 7 p.m. A severe thunderstorm warning has also been issued for Gregg, Harrison, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Shelby and Upshur Counties until 7:15 p.m.
This storm is producing heavy rain, pea-sized hail and parts of the area in Smith and Cherokee Counties are reporting power outages.
The following counties are still under a tornado watch until 10 p.m.: Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Uphsur and Wood.
According to the weather statement, isolated showers and thunderstorms will develop through the afternoon hours in deep East Texas, North Louisiana and South Arkansas. Movement is to the northeast. Stronger storms could produce gusty winds and brief heavy rainfall.
A tornado could form at any time within these storms. Stay tuned to your local radio station and listen for outdoor warning systems to sound in the event of a tornado.
East Texas faces the same storm system that spawned the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, OK yesterday afternoon. Although things are pretty calm this morning, according to KLTV Meterologist Grant Dade, thunderstorms could be developing this afternoon as the cool front moves into East Texas.
With the threat of thunderstorms, comes the chance of these storms producing hail the size of baseballs and winds in excess of 70 miles per hour and of course the threat of a tornado. A sever weather outbreak could happen later this afternoon for many meteorological reasons and if the atmosphere comes together there is a strong potential for a tornado to form.
Grant points out that these storms will be approaching East Texas by this afternoon with the threat lingering through early evening. Grant gives some great advice, especially after seeing what happened yesterday, now is the time to prepare. Be thinking about your safe shelter and how you'd quickly get to it and once there make sure you're in the smallest most interior room, placing as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
If severe weather does break out here in East Texas, we will definitely keep you up to date with Mark Scirto, Grant Dade and the rest of the StormTracker 7 Weather team. For more in depth details on today's potentially strong storms, check out KLTV.com.