This blog post has grown too long and is no longer being updated. For the latest information on this week's severe weather, please click here to go to part 2.
8:45 pm Tuesday
With the rain beginning to wind down across our area, I'm going to sign off for the night. This blog is starting to get very long (almost 100 posts), so I'll likely create a new blog entry to cover any additional severe weather we see later this week.
Speaking of which, here's the Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlook for Wednesday:
(image edited out)
As you can see, there's a slight risk for severe thunderstorms across the Central and Southern Plains. Although Central Texas is not included in the slight risk area, that doesn't mean we're completely immune from severe thunderstorms. Any time we have a chance for rain in the forecast this time of year, there's also a chance that individual storms could strengthen and produce severe weather (i.e. hail, damaging winds, or tornadoes) on an isolated basis.
The good news is that we're not expecting to see a repeat of the widespread, flooding rain that we saw Tuesday across Central Texas. However, any additional rainfall will aggravate the already serious flooding problems we're seeing in our eastern counties. And unfortunately, there's more rain in the forecast this weekend and early next week!
8:15 pm Tuesday
Most of the showers in our area appear to be weakening right now. There's still some heavy rain along and just west of Highway 6 in Robertson County, which is not good news considering parts of that highway are still shut down due to high water this evening.
The lone warning still in place across Central Texas is a Flash Flood Warning for northern Limestone County, which is set to expire at 8:45. However, that does not mean the flooding threat is over. Many creeks and rivers will continue to rise over the next few hours as water from earlier rains continues to drain into those bodies of water. Again, we can't say this enough: use extreme caution if you need to drive in any of these flooded areas tonight, and avoid travel if at all possible.
7:55 pm Tuesday
Thanks to Mark Roberson who called in a rainfall report from Mexia just about an hour ago. He's collected a whopping 11.4 inches of rain in his gauge just since 7 am today! Mark said about 5.9" of that rain fell this morning, while the other 5.5" fell this afternoon and early evening. That's the highest rainfall total we've seen in our area so far today. Remember, if you'd like to share your rainfall report, click on over to Brady's Blog and leave a comment!
7:45 pm Tuesday
We are keeping a very close eye on a number of showers moving across our southeastern counties. Several of these have shown signs of very brief, weak rotation on Doppler 10 Radar, but nothing as strong or persistent as the rotation that prompted the earlier tornado warning for western Robertson County.
News 10 reporter Eli Ross is checking on the flooding in Limestone County. Here's a picture he took recently on Highway 14, about five miles south of Mexia:
Eli says that the Navasota River is very high and moving very fast, and that the flooding is definitely getting worse. As darkness sets in across Central Texas, it will become nearly impossible to detect whether water is covering the roadway. Please slow down, and avoid travel in our eastern counties if at all possible.
7:32 pm Tuesday
The tornado warning for western Robertson County has been allowed to expire. The National Weather Service feels that the storm has weakened enough that warning is no longer necessary.
Our attention is now focused on a new storm that has developed west of Bryan. This storm moving along the Brazos River, and is about to slide into far southwestern Robertson County. It's showing a structure very similar to the storm that prompted the tornado warning 45 minutes ago, so we're watching it closely!
7:25 pm Tuesday
The good news is that there have been no reports of any tornadoes or damage out of the Robertson County Sheriff's Office. The bad news is that a Tornado Warning continues for this storm that still has a weak tornadic signature on radar. That warning is set to expire in five minutes... no word yet on whether it will be extended.
7:14 pm Tuesday
Radar-indicated tornado now very close to the Calvert area in western Robertson County, moving north at 5-10 mph. Hammond is now in the path of this storm. The rotation has weakened and its strength at least since the warning was issued, which basically means this storm could produce a tornado at any time (if it's not producing one already). We're checking with the Robertson County Sheriff's Office to see if they have any reports.
Additionally, we've received word that several roads and bridges are flooded in the Franklin area. Flooding is widespread across our eastern counties right now... if you live in these areas, please stay off the roads tonight if at all possible!
7:07 pm Tuesday
The Tornado Warning continues for western Robertson County until 7:30 pm, including the city of Calvert. The storm still appears to be very weak on radar, but we've seen persistent indications of rotation, indicating a tornado is possible.
6:53 pm Tuesday
The storm (and that's really not an appropriate term for it, since it's not producing lightning) appears very weak on radar, but there's enough radar-indicated rotation to give us concern that this storm may produce a tornado as it heads slowly north toward Calvert.
Also just in... the Flash Flood Warning for Freestone County has been cancelled. A Flash Flood Warning continues for northern Limestone County until 8:45.
6:45 pm Tuesday
New Tornado Warning for western Robertson County! The city of Calvert is in the path of this storm!
6:15 pm Tuesday
The National Weather Service has finally allowed the Tornado Warning for Madison County to expire. That storm first prompted a tornado warning for eastern Robertson County just before 3:00 this afternoon, and up until now had been holding together as it churned slowly east toward Madisonville.
6:10 pm Tuesday
We've received almost two dozen rainfall reports on Brady's Blog... please keep those reports coming!
5:35 pm Tuesday
Law enforcement officials in Freestone County are reporting that just about every road between Fairfield & Mexia and Fairfield & Wortham is under water. Several bridges have been washed out. There are a number of other roads across Limestone, Hill, and Robertson counties that are also flooded. Remember the old adage: if you encounter water covering any portion of the roadway, turn around, don't drown!
5:20 pm Tuesday
The storm that earlier produced a tornado along the Robertson/Brazos county line near the towns of Eaton and Edge still looks very impressive on radar as it churns slowly through Madison County. A new storm is developing near the town of Calvert in west-central Robertson County. We'll be watching this storm closely, as it's in a region that could be favorable for some isolated tornadoes over the next few hours.
The big story in our area continues to be the widespread flooding occurring east of IH-35. A number of roads remain closed due to high water, so use extreme caution if you plan on driving in the area this evening.
4:35 pm Tuesday
Apologies for the delay... we're having trouble with the posts on this blog extending too far to the right side of the page.
All Tornado Warnings for the KWTX viewing area have expired, but that storm near Normangee is still a monster. A Tornado Warning continues for Madison County until 4:45.
There are also some strong storms in Limestone and Freestone counties producing heavy rain, lightning, and some gusty winds. Several roads are closed due to high water, and we have received several reports of rainfall totals of up to 10 inches in some areas!
4:11 pm Tuesday
Our sister station KBTX just reported that one of their viewers has spotted a new funnel cloud developing with that storm in southwestern Leon County. A Tornado Warning continues for southwestern Leon and northwestern Madison counties until 4:15!
4:03 pm Tuesday
The rotation in the storm near Normangee still looks very impressive on radar. That storm is still moving slowly east at 5-10 mph. The city of Normangee is directly in the path of this storm!
The storm near Forest Glade in Limestone County is still showing very weak rotation... could still be producing some small hail and gusty winds as it moves SE at 10 mph.
3:55 pm Tuesday
The storm that has a history of producing at least one tornado in eastern Robertson County has now crossed the Navasota River and is moving slowly toward the city of Normangee along the Leon/Madison county line. A Tornado Warning continues for those areas until 4:15. This is a very dangerous storm... if you're in its path, take shelter immediately! Some penny to nickel size hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph may also be occurring with this storm.
We're also watching a storm in northern Limestone County west of Mexia that has persistently shown weak rotation on Doppler Radar. Again, the rotation is very weak... but if it strengthens, the National Weather Service might issue a Tornado Warning. Penny size hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph will also be possible with this storm as it moves slowly toward Mexia and Forest Glade!
3:45 pm Tuesday
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for northeastern Brazos and northwestern Madison counties until 4:15. This warning coincides with the warning for east-central Robertson and southwestern Leon counties. This storm is moving very slowly east; it's currently in extreme eastern Robertson County, but about to cross the Navasota River near the Leon/Madison county line).
We are also watching a strong thunderstorm moving slowly ESE along US-84 in northern Limestone County. Doppler radar continues to indicate a very weak, broad rotation with this storm... but nothing that has prompted a tornado warning yet. However, this storm could produce some pea size hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph as it moves slowly toward Mexia!
3:35 pm Tuesday
Just a few minutes ago, police reported a tornado on the ground near the intersection of OSR & the Edge cut-off. That's right along the Robertson/Brazos county line. The National Weather Service has issued a new Tornado Warning for extreme eastern Roberston and southwestern Leon counties until 4:15. This storm is moving very slowly, east at about 5 mph!
3:30 pm Tuesday
The National Weather Service is allowing the Tornado Warning for eastern Robertson County to expire, which is bit puzzling considering they received a report of a funnel cloud near FM-2446 and OSR just a few minutes ago. We're going to continue to watch that storm closely... it's nearly stationary right now, but may soon cross the Navasota River near the Leon/Madison County line.
We are starting to become very concerned about the storm in northern Limestone County, east of Prairie Hill along US-84. The cell appears to be splitting, with the "right" storm now moving ESE at 10 mph. We have observed some persistent, but weak, rotation in that storm.
3:26 pm Tuesday
Also watching a rapidly developing storm in northern Limestone County, east of Prairie Hill along US-84. It's showing some signs of weak, low-level rotation. Stay tuned...
3:23 pm Tuesday
The storm in eastern Robertson County is nearly stationary... but still showing some decent low-level rotation on Doppler radar. Still waiting for word about southwestern Leon/northwestern Madison counties. No additional warnings yet.
3:12 pm Tuesday
The storm in southeastern Robertson County appears to be weakening as it moves slowly east toward Leon and Madison counties. No word yet on if a warning will be issued for either of those counties.
3:05 pm Tuesday
Tornado Warning issued for eastern Robertson County until 3:30. Rotation has developed in a storm in Robertson County. Tornado indicated on radar south of Easterly. Storm is moving east at 10 mph, mainly over rural sections of southeastern Robertson County.
2:45 pm Tuesday
We've seen a lot of rainfall today across Central Texas, and that's caused a great deal of flash flooding. A lot of our viewers have been emailing and calling in their rainfall totals. Most recently, Donald Johnson of Personville (that's in southeastern Limestone County near the intersection of Highways 39 & 164) called in to report that he's received over 8 inches of rainfall - just since this morning! There are several highways shut down due to the high water, so please use caution as you drive around the area this afternoon and this evening! If you'd like to see some of the rainfall reports from other people in Central Texas, or to add your own rainfall report, click over to Brady's blog and check out the comments section!
The severe weather threat has been limited across our area today, mostly thanks to that heavy rain. However, we're still going to have to watch for the potential for severe weather throughout the rest of this week and early next week.
We're trying to sort through the latest severe weather outlook for Wednesday. That outlook is normally issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, but today it was issued by the Air Force's 15th Operational Weather Squadron based at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois (which sometimes serves as a backup for the SPC). There's some confusion what area is included in that severe weather outlook. We'll post another update once we figure it out!
Updated at 3:25pm:
Light to moderate rain and a few embedded thunderstorms continue over the News10 area east of a line from Stephenville to Hamilton to San Saba. West of that line, most rainfall has ended. No severe weather is indicated by Doppler10 Live radar. Runoff continues from morning rains of two to five inches in the western News10 counties, and there are probably some flooded low-water crossings. The really good news is that the Storm Prediction Center has removed all of our counties from the threat of overnight severe weather, primarily because today's storm system has stabilized the atmosphere to the point that severe storms are unlikely. That doesn't mean that we won't see showers and non-severe storms overnight. The severe weather threat on Tuesday is currently expected to be located west and northwest of our area. We'll monitor that potential closely on Tuesday.
Updated at 2:35pm:
Light to occasionally moderate rain and showers continue over the News10 area this afternoon. A few weak thunderstorms have developed, mainly over the western counties. No severe weather is indicated. A Flood Warning has been issued for the Cowhouse Creek at Pidcoke in Coryell County, where minor flooding is expected this afternoon and evening. The creek is forecast to crest at 28 feet this evening, 8 feet above flood stage. Flash Flood Warnings for McLennan, Coryell, Lampasas, Mills, Hamilton and Bosque counties have expired, but a Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Williamson County until 4 pm. The strong storm system that moved across our area this morning into the early afternoon is slowly weakening, and we may see a few glimpses of sunshine by late afternoon. The jury is still out on whether we see new strong storms this afternoon or tonight. Stay tuned on that!
Updated at 1:15pm:
Lon Curtis here, taking over the Forecast Center after a very busy morning. Brady and Keith have gone home for extended naps. Man, did they ever earn them! Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for portions of Lampasas, Mills, Hamilton, Bosque, Coryell and McLennan counties until 2:30pm because those areas receive two to five inches of rainfall this morning. A new Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Williamson County until 4pm. We continue to see light to moderate rain and scattered thunderstorms across the News10 counties. The thunderstorms are a little stronger and more numerous over the southwestern counties of our area. No severe weather is indicated at this time, and the Tornado Watch issued earlier for all of our area will expire at 1:00pm. The threat of additional severe weather is conditional, meaning that much of the instability in the atmosphere has been dissipated by the morning storms, and it isn't clear if the instability can recharge this afternoon. If it does, then additional strong to severe storms will be possible.
Several counties in Central Texas have been removed from the Tornado Watch. The watch is still in effect for our southeastern counties. A Severe Thunderstorm and a Flash Flood Watch are in effect for other parts of the state.
10:00 am Monday
A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for portions of Mills, Lampasas, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, and San Saba Counties. Here is a look at storm total radar rainfall estimates.
The radar may be under estimating the totals, as we have recieved several reports higher than this graphic is showing (including a 5" report from Evant).
9:35 am Monday
Good Morning everyone... It continues to be a stormy morning! This is Brady taking over the blog for Keith.
All of the Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been allowed to expire across Central Texas, although we do still have a good bit of thunderstorm activity scattered across our area.
All of Central Texas remains under a Tornado Watch until 1am.
We will keep you updated on the latest information here on this blog, so check back regularly
8:35 am Monday:
Here's a look at Doppler 10 Radar. There are still Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for McLennan County until 8:45, and for northern Limestone and Navarro counties until 9:15. The warning for eastern Hill County has been cancelled.
As you can see, we still have quite a few thunderstorms yet to head our way this morning, and we're likely to see additional thunderstorms in our area later today.
8:20 am Monday:
Here's a look at News 10 DopplerNet:
It looks like the storms are organizing into a squall line across Navarro and Limestone counties, which means an increased likelihood of damaging winds along and north of Highway 84 in our northeastern counties. Elsewhere, it's turned into a heavy rain event across Central Texas. There have already been numerous reports of street flooding, especially in the Evant area.
Our area remains under a Tornado Watch through the early afternoon hours, and it looks like we could have stormy weather through much of the rest of the day. Stay with News 10 and KWTX.com for more updates!
8:05 am Monday:
Here's a rundown of the current warnings in our area:
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for:
- McLennan County until 8:45
- eastern Hill County until 8:45
- northern Limestone and Navarro counties until 9:15
Flash Flood Warnings for:
- southeastern Mills, northern Lampasas, southeastern Hamilton, and northwestern Coryell counties until 9:15
- San Saba County until 10:45
There's still a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for San Saba County until 10 am, and a Tornado Watch for the rest of Central Texas until 1 pm.
7:50 am Monday:
The National Weather Service has allowed the Tornado Warning for eastern Lampasas County to expire. However, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in effect for eastern Lampasas and Coryell counties until 8:00, as that storm could still produce some nickel size hail and gusty winds.
Additional Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are in effect for eastern Bosque and Hill counties until 8:00, and for McLennan County until 8:45. The entire area is still under a Tornado Watch, as it's possible one or more of these storms could produce tornadoes with little to no advanced warning!
Also keep in mind that Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for parts of our western counties. Significant flooding has been observed in the Evant area, which has forced the closure of both US-84 and US-281 in that area. Be careful if you're driving in low-lying or flood-prone areas this morning!
7:40 am Monday:
The rotation in the Lampasas County storm has weakened... not sure if the National Weather Service will continue the warning into Coryell County.
7:30 am Monday:
News 10 DopplerNet still showing rotation associated with a possible tornado northeast of Lampasas, moving east-northeast at 25 mph:
This storm will continue to move through mainly rural areas of eastern Lampasas County.
We have also received reports of water over the road on US-84 west of Evant... at least one foot of water accumulated under the overpass at US-84 and US-281 in Evant... and a large truck stalled in high water two miles north of Evant on US-281.
7:22 am Monday:
Storm Scan 3D is still showing intense rotation north of Lampasas near US-281:
A Tornado Warning continues until 7:45 for Lampasas County.
A lot of rain has been falling across the area. As a result, a Flash Flood Warning has been issued for northern Lampasas, southeastern Mills, southeastern Hamilton, and northwestern Coryell counties until 9:15.
7:10 am Monday:
Still seeing rotation on Doppler 10/Storm Scan 3D southeast of Lometa/northwest of Lampasas along US-190, near the community of Ogles:
No confirmation of a tornado on the ground yet, but if you live in Lampasas County, don't wait for one! Seek shelter now!
7:05 am Monday:
Tornado Warning now in effect for Lampasas County! Doppler-indicated tornado southeast of Lometa. Storm moving east at 25 mph!
6:52 am Monday:
Still have lots of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings out there. Here's the latest rundown:
Hill County until 7:00
Bosque County until 7:15
southeastern San Saba County until 7:15
northwestern San Saba County until 7:30
Coryell and Lampasas counties until 8:00
The storm in Lampasas County near Lometa could be producing some hail up to quarter size, and has shown some signs of rotation. The rotation is still fairly weak, but we're keeping a very close eye on this storm!
6:30 am Monday:
We continue to watch a line of strong to severe thunderstorms across Bosque, southeastern Hamilton, northwestern Coryell, northwestern Lampasas, and eastern San Saba counties. The strongest of these storms could produce some nickel size hail and wind gusts over 60 mph. We're still concerned about the possibility for tornadoes, as several of these storms are showing weak rotation signatures on radar.
What Doppler 10 isn't showing you are the additional thunderstorms that extend west to near San Angelo. It looks like it will continue to be a very active weather day here in Central Texas!
6:10 am Monday:
The Storm Prediction Center just issued a new Tornado Watch that covers the entire News 10 viewing area until 1 pm! The existing Severe Thunderstorm Watch is still in effect for west-central Texas until 10 am.
6:05 am Monday:
Here's a look at the current radar and warnings:
The Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bosque County is set to expire at 6:15. The warning for Hamilton, Lampasas, and northwestern Coryell counties is in effect until 6:45. The warning for Hill County is in effect until 7:00. The strongest of these storms may produce some nickel size hail and wind gusts up to 60 mph.
5:57 am Monday:
Also, new Severe Thunderstorm Warning just issued for Hill and Johnson counties until 7:00!
5:50 am Monday:
A new Severe Thunderstorm Warning was just issued for Hamilton, Coryell, and Lampasas counties until 6:45. These storms could produce hail up to nickel size and wind gusts up to 60 mph as they move northeast at 25 mph!
5:40 am Monday:
The storm which prompted the tornado warnings for Williamson, Bell, and Milam counties has weakened, and the warnings have been allowed to expire. We're hearing reports of wind damage in parts of Williamson and southeastern Bell counties.
We still have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bosque County until 6:15, and there are more strong storms across Hamilton, Coryell, Mills, Lampasas, and San Saba counties. Brady and I are keeping a close eye on things... I'll be updating the blog as frequently as I can!
5:20 am Monday:
The storm in southeastern Bell County has weakened considerably over the last 10 minutes, but still bears watching as it moves toward Cyclone and Westphalia! Also a new Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bosque County until 6:15 am.
5:10 am Monday:
Continuing to see very strong rotation/hook echo signature in storm moving north past Holland along Highway 95. Folks in Temple, pay attention... if this storm keeps heading north, it may affect the east side of Temple by 5:30!
4:55 am Monday:
Tornado Warnings for NE Williamson, SE Bell, and western Milam counties. Doppler 10 Radar indicating a tornado near Bartlett, currently moving north along Highway 95!
4:15 am Monday:
Lesson of the day: time lapses aren't effective when the lightning flashes faster than the camera can record it!
Here's a recent radar image. Note the increase in thunderstorm actvitiy across our western counties:
The Severe Thunderstorm Warning for McCulloch and San Saba counties has been allowed to expire, as the storms have weakened somewhat. All of these thunderstorms will be capable of producing very heavy rain, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, and gusty winds this morning. There's a slight chance that one or more of these storms could become severe, in which case they could produce some larger hail (up to golf ball size) and damaging winds. There's still enough wind shear in the lower part of the atmosphere to make isolated tornadoes a possibliity, but the overall threat for tornadoes is low.
The storm moving out of Williamson County is once again sliding more to the east, which means locations west of IH-35 (including Killeen) will be spared the worst of the storm. However, that doesn't mean the Killeen area will stay dry all day!
3:55 am Monday:
We're recording a quick time-lapse from our Killeen Skycam... very nifty light show going on across Bell County!
3:45 am Monday:
Very impressive light show going on right now across western Williamson County:
This storm's motion has been erratic, but it still appears to be heading to the NNE. That will bring the storm into the heart of Bell County within the next hour. A few smaller thunderstorms are already moving north up IH-35 ahead of the main storm.
3:35 am Monday:
New Severe Thunderstorm Warning just issued for McCulloch and northwestern San Saba counties until 4:15...
These storms near Brady could produce quarter size hail as they move northeast at 30 mph!
3:15 am Monday:
The storm that had been moving east toward Austin has made a turn to the north:
This will likely bring heavy rain and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning to Bell County within the next hour!
3:00 am Monday:
We're still seeing scattered showers and a few thunderstorms here in Central Texas, with bigger storms to our south and west:
Those strong storms are fairly slow-moving, but they're gradually getting closer to our area.
The Storm Prediction Center cancelled the Tornado Watch a short time ago, and replaced it with a Severe Thunderstorm Watch that covers nearly the same area:
The watch is valid until 10:00 am, and includes San Saba county in the News 10 viewing area. The watch may be expanded further east if conditions warrant later this morning.
Brady Taylor just arrived here in the Doppler 10 Forecast Center. We'll both be here to keep you updated throughout the morning!
2:30 am Monday:
Here's a recent Doppler 10 radar image:
The lightning shows where the strongest storms are located right now. We're still watching the storm that developed nearly 12 hours ago in southwest Texas. It's still producing a lot of heavy rain, lightning, and small hail as it moves east... but it's no where near as intense as it was earlier. There's also a strong storm that's developed in the Lake Belton area. That storm is likely to produce some heavy rain and lightning as it moves north-northeast, but we're not expecting any severe weather at this time.
We'll likely to continue to see scattered showers and thunderstorms across Central Texas this morning. The good news is that this kind of activity is typically not conducive to severe weather (i.e. large hail, damaging winds, or tornadoes), but I don't want to completely rule that out just yet.
2:10 am Monday:
Here's a closer look at some of the showers and thunderstorms in Bell County:
Just some brief heavy rain, flashes of lightning, and rumbles of thunder... but nothing in the way of severe weather.
2:00 am Monday:
Scattered showers have developed across Central Texas, with a few embedded rumbles of thunder:
Aside from the noise and heavy rain, these storms are for the most part benign. They don't carry much (if any) threat for severe weather.
Here's the latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center:
It remains consistent with the outlooks issued yesterday; there is a slight risk for severe weather throughout the day across much of the state of Texas, to include the chance for hail, damaging winds, and an isolated tornado or two.
The Tornado Watch continues for west-central Texas (including San Saba County) until 3 am. There's no word yet on whether this watch will be re-issued, replaced, or allowed to expire. For now, the severe weather threat appears to be very limited here in Central Texas. We'll let you know if that changes!
1:30 am Monday:
There is an incredible light show going on right now over the Hill Country near Fredericksburg:
Each bolt represents a lightning strike that has occurred in the last five minutes. The number you see in the lower-left hand corner of the image is the total number of lightning strikes shown on the map. This storm has been producing around 3,000 lightning strikes every five minutes. That's about 600 lightning strikes per minute, or 10 every second on average! Incredible!
Here's a look at the latest radar picture:
That strong storm over the Hill Country is heading east-southeast toward Austin, and could still produce some penny to nickel size hail. Other strong storms near San Angelo are moving slowly northeast and producing some penny size hail and wind gusts up to 60 mph. Some showers with a few embedded rumbles of thunder are streaming north-northeastward across Central Texas right now. I'm still reading the latest severe weather outlook, issued a little while ago by the Storm Prediction Center. I'll give you a full update around the top of the hour!
12:00 am Monday:
We continue to watch several thunderstorms to our west and southwest:
The strongest storms right now are the ones near/east of Junction and west of San Angelo. The good news is that given their current motion, these storms should have a minimal impact on us in Central Texas. The eastward motion of the storms near Junction puts them on a path toward Austin, while the northeast movement of the storms near San Angelo should carry them north of Central Texas. That doesn't mean we're out of the woods, however. Additional thunderstorms are likely to develop to our west and head our way by sunrise this morning.
Thanks for keeping up with the weather this early Monday morning. If you have any questions you'd like answered, please feel free to leave a comment. I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability!
11:40 pm Sunday:
Here's what that storm near Junction looks like from Doppler 10 Radar, which is right at the edge of its 150-mile range:
At this range, our radar is seeing the storm at about 20,000 feet... which means we're not even sampling the strongest part of the storm! Take a look at all the lightning that storm is generating:
That storm's likely still producing a lot of hail, perhaps up to golf ball size.
11:30 pm Sunday:
Here's the latest view from News 10 DopplerNet:
We're still watching that big storm near Junction, which has produced a several reports of large hail and a few tornadoes as it's moved east along IH-10 over the past 8 1/2 hours. Some additional thunderstorms have developed closer to San Angelo, but there's nothing too signifcant out that way right now. A few showers keep trying to develop northeast of that big storm near Junction, but nothing's been able to hold together so far. The bottom line? It's still very much a wait-and-see game here in the Doppler 10 Live Forecast Center!
11:00 pm Sunday:
So, if you were watching the 10 o'clock newscast, you probably heard some of us talking about a "three body scatter spike", or TBSS for short. It all started when I (being the weather nerd that I am) looked at a thunderstorm near Junction and noticed this very unique radar signature:
A Three Body Scatter Spike is an indication that a storm is producing very large hail, perhaps up to softball size. As the radar beam travels away from the radar, it gets reflected and redirected by various meteorological targets (i.e. raindrops and hailstones). When the beam is reflected back toward the radar site, the round-trip travel time and intensity of the return are computed to generate radar images like the one seen above.
If the beam encounters large hailstones, a part of that beam may get re-directed (or scattered) down toward the ground. The beam will then hit the ground and "bounce" back up toward the hail. Finally, upon hitting the hail again, some of that beam may get scattered back toward the radar site. The beam gets "scattered" a total of three times, thus the name "Three Body Scatter Spike".
The radar calculates the round-trip time for the whole journey: from radar site to the hail, down to the ground, back up to the hail, then back to the radar site. Since this journey takes much longer than the simple round-trip of a beam that simply hits the hail and bounces straight back to the radar, the radar thinks the returns generated by this process are farther away from the site... thus creating the spike seen beyond the intense purple and white returns SW of Junction.
It's a complicated concept, but the bottom line is this: when we see a big spike extending out the back side of a storm, it's usually an indication that the storm is producing some very large hail.
Here are some websites that might explain the concept better (along with pretty illustrations):
8:50 pm Sunday:
Here's a look at the latest severe weather outlooks issued by the Storm Prediction Center.
With their 8 pm update, the Storm Prediction Center extended the Moderate Risk are much further south to include much of the Hill Country. There are already some very strong storms south of San Angelo that have a history of producing tornadoes and baseball size hail. The Slight Risk area remains unchanged across Central Texas... however, it now appears thunderstorms will be possible several hours before sunrise in our western counties.
The Day 2 Outlook remains unchanged from earlier today:
There's still a Slight Risk for severe weather across much of Central and East Texas, which will include the potential for large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes.
We're keeping a very close eye on the storms out to our west this evening, and we'll be here to keep you updated throughout the late night and early morning hours!
8:10 pm Sunday:
The new Tornado Watch replaces the watch that was in effect for parts of west-central and southwest Texas until 10 pm. The new watch is valid until 3 am, and includes the cities of Abilene, San Angelo, Brownwood, San Saba, and Junction.
The Storm Prediction Center has also updated its severe weather outlook for the overnight hours, but it hasn't changed much from the outlooks issued earlier today. There's still a slight risk for severe thunderstorms in our area, with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes all possible. Here's the latest radar image:
The thunderstorms that are currently prompting severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings to our southwest near Sonora are expected to continue to move along IH-10 and stay south of our area. However, additional thunderstorms are likely to develop in west-central Texas overnight, and will likely arrive in our area before sunrise tomorrow morning.
8:05 pm Sunday:
New Tornado Watch issued that includes San Saba County until 3:00 am. Details to follow shortly!
6:45 pm Sunday:
There are still some very impressive thunderstorms along IH-10 southwest of San Angelo, between the towns of Sheffield and Ozona. The radar signatures from these storms are absolutely incredible. Take a look at the "Base Reflectivity" shown by Storm Scan 3D:
This shows the intensity of the storms, with the dark purple areas indicating the highest returns. Based on this image and some other information obtained from the radar, we can be fairly certain that these storms are producing some very large hail (and indeed, storm spotters have confirmed that the storm west-southwest of Ozona has a history of producing baseball to softball size hail). There are also three areas that I've circled in which I suspect there may be some rotation within the storm. Note that at this distance from the radar in San Angelo (about 60-70 miles), it is not possible for the radar to "see" a tornado. However, it is possible for the radar to see the parent rotation from which a tornado may form.
In order to confirm my suspicions, we need to look at a velocity image. Doppler Radar uses the Doppler effect to estimate the motion of rain, hail, and other objects toward and away from the radar. In this image, the radar site is located off the top-right corner of the screen. The red and magenta colors indicate wind blowing away from the radar (i.e. to the southwest), while the green and cyan colors indicate wind blowing toward the radar (i.e. to the northeast).
Where the red and green colors meet, there is tremendous wind shear - winds blowing in opposite directions less than a mile apart. That creates a lot of "spin" in the atmosphere. For a better analogy, try this: take an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube, place it between your hands, and move your hands in opposite directions. The tube will spin. Now imagine this happening in the atmosphere - except with wind speeds over 50 mph! That's the parent rotation from which a tornado can develop.
Of the three areas I've circled, the strongest area of rotation is in the one southwest of Ozona. And in fact, storm spotters have reported at least one tornado with this storm. There is a weaker, but somewhat significant, area of rotation north of Ozona that I would want to watch very careful if I were in this area. The area on the left side of the map is affected by what we call "purple haze". That's a region where the storm is too far away from the radar for it to accurately determine the wind velocity. So instead of making a bad guess, the radar paints the area purple to let us know it doesn't know what the wind is doing in that area.
Fortunately for us, it appears these storms are going to continue to move along the IH-10 corridor, which should keep them south of Central Texas. We should soon get some more updates on our chance for severe weather tonight and tomorrow; keep checking back here for the latest!
4:15 pm Sunday:
Still watching a very impressive thunderstorm along IH-10 between Ft. Stockton and Ozona, which has prompted several tornado warnings for eastern Pecos, northern Terrell, and central Crockett counties:
Recently, we've seen the development of a "V-Notch", which is a radar signature that is sometimes observed with very strong to severe storms. I've circled and labeled the area where the tornado is most likely occurring, if there is one. The storm is moving east at about 20 miles per hour, placing the town of Sheffield in the direct path of this storm. Hail up to tennis ball size is also likely.
I've just looked at the latest forecast from our in-house computer model. It's still bringing storms into Central Texas around sunrise tomorrow, followed by another round of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. Looks like it'll be a busy day tomorrow in the Doppler 10 Live Forecast Center!
3:15 pm Sunday:
The Storm Prediction Center just issued a new Tornado Watch for southwest and west-central Texas until 10:00 pm:
Tornado Watches now extend from the Big Bend Region all the way north to Iowa. One storm just south of IH-10 between Ft. Stockton and Ozona is currently prompting a Tornado Warning for eastern Pecos, northern Terrell, and western Crockett counties:
There is very impressive rotation evident in the part of this storm right along the Pecos-Terrell county line. The storm is currently moving almost due east.
Doppler 10 Radar is showing a few light sprinkles across parts of our area. We can't rule out an isolated shower or thunderstorms through this evening, but again, it appears the real stormy weather will hold off until closer to sunrise tomorrow.
2:00 pm Sunday:
The Storm Prediction Center has already been very busy issuing Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Watches this afternoon:
The watches in northwest Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are classified as "Particularly Dangerous Situation" (PDS) Tornado Watches because of the extremely high likelihood for tornadoes, including some that could be rated EF2 or greater on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. So far today, the Storm Prediction Center has received nearly four dozen hail reports, including a couple reports of golf ball size hail in southwest Kansas. Fortunately, there have not not been any reports of tornadoes so far today, but that's likely to change as we head through the afternoon.
1:30 pm Sunday:
We've been getting a lot of new information here in the Doppler 10 Live Forecast Center over the past hour. Just after 12:30, the Storm Prediction Center released its new day 2 severe weather outlook, valid from 7 am Monday through 7 am Tuesday:
As expected, Central Texas is still included in the slight risk area, which means we will have the potential to see some strong to severe thunderstorms across our area on Monday.
We've also received updates from two of our computer models. Both models show strong thunderstorms developing out to our west overnight, which move into our western counties around sunrise tomorrow. We may see another round of strong thunderstorms develop in Central Texas tomorrow afternoon. Although large hail and damaging winds will be the biggest severe weather threats in our area, we'll have enough wind shear to make isolated tornadoes a possibility.
12:00 pm Sunday:
The news is not good for folks in western Oklahoma and south-central Kansas. In an updated severe weather outlook issued about 30 minutes ago, the Storm Prediction Center upgraded those locations to a "High Risk", which essentially means they're expecting a significant severe weather outbreak, including some large/long-track tornadoes.
A significant severe weather threat, as shown by the orange-shaded moderate risk area, covers an area from northwest Texas all the way north to near Kansas City. Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are also possible in the moderate risk area.
The risk for severe weather is somewhat lower south and east of Abilene, but could still include some hail, high winds, and even an isolated tornado or two. Part of the slight risk area includes the western and northern counties of the News 10 viewing area...
...however, we think that the best chance for strong to severe thunderstorms in our area will hold off until closer to sunrise Monday, when storms are forecast to begin moving in from the west. There is the possibility for some isolated showers and thunderstorms in our area this afternoon, but chances are anything that develops in our area will be non-severe.
The Storm Prediction Center will release its updated "Day 2" outlook for Monday by 12:30. As always, we'll be here to give you an update!
10:00 am Sunday:
The ingredients are coming together for a major severe weather outbreak today across the Central Plains. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a large area from northeast Kansas through northwest Texas under a moderate risk for severe weather, which includes a high probability for tornadoes. The threat for severe weather is much lower here in Central Texas; however, parts of our area are still included in the SPC's slight risk category.
Although isolated thunderstorms may develop in our area this afternoon, we expect the better chance for rain to come late tonight/early tomorrow morning as the thunderstorms that develop to our west this afternoon head our way. One particular part of the Storm Prediction Center's discussion caught my eye:
THE TORNADO THREAT MAY ONCE AGAIN INCREASE TOWARD SUNSET AND LATER AS SLY LLJ STRENGTHENS TO AOA 50 KTS. glossary: SLY LLJ = southerly low-level jet AOA = at or about 50 KTS = 50 knots = 57.5 mph
What they're saying is that as the low-level jet stream (which is the strong current of air bringing warm, humid air out of the Gulf of Mexico) strengthens overnight, it could enhance the wind shear enough to make tornadoes a possibility in our area. We'll be watching this one very closely!
The Storm Prediction Center will release updates to its severe weather outlooks for today and tomorrow around 11:30 this morning... check back here for an update shortly thereafter!
12:00 am Sunday:
It looks like we're about to enter what could be a very rainy weather pattern across the south-central United States. With this being the peak of our severe weather season, it's likely that we could see some fairly stormy weather in the days to come. Keep checking this blog for the latest updates on the threat for severe weather in Central Texas!
Our first opportunity for severe storms could come later today and tonight. Although it appears the strongest storms will stay mainly to our west and north, there's at least a slight chance we could see some hail-producing storms in our area. The Storm Prediction Center will be releasing updates to its severe weather outlook throughout the day; we'll be posting those updates as they become available to us!