11:30 pm Update
The gusty winds we've experienced in the Waco area for the last 90+ minutes have started to relax a bit. I'm going to have to go back and look at this event in detail to determine exactly what caused those strong winds!
This weather event appears to be winding down across Central Texas. The large storm we've been watching all evening is weakening as it moves south into Mason County, and should no longer have any impact on the KWTX viewing area. There is still a Flash Flood Warning for San Saba County, but that should expire at 11:45. The Tornado Watch for Bosque, Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills, and San Saba counties should also be allowed to expire at midnight, as there does not appear to be much of a threat for severe weather here later tonight. A new Tornado Watch may be issued for parts of north-central and northeast Texas, but it will likely not include any of the counties in our viewing area.
We'll have several more chances for thunderstorms in Central Texas over the next few days, and with that will come at least a slight risk for severe weather. As always, we'll be KWTX.com and News 10 throughout the weekend to keep you updated!
11:00 pm Update
We're continuing to experience very gusty winds in the Waco area. We recently recorded a wind gust of 43 mph both at our studio at the intersection of SH-6 & US-84 and at the Waco Regional Airport. This might be the result of what's known as a "heat burst" - which results when the air in a downburst (which I described earlier) gets warmed as it descends toward the ground. Normally that would result in a noticeable temperature increase, which we haven't seen yet, but I won't rule it out as a possibility.
10:50 pm Update
The National Weather Service has issued a new Severe T'Storm Warning for southwestern San Saba County until 11:30 pm. Really, the worst of this storm should stay in McCulloch and Mason counties, but it's possible there could be some gusty winds and small hail in rural areas south of Richland Springs and west of Cherokee. Wind gusts over 60 mph have been reported in Brady, along with half-dollar size hail!
10:35 pm Update
The strongest part of the storm to our west has moved out of San Saba County and into McCulloch County. The Severe T'Storm Warning for San Saba County will likely either be cancelled early or allowed to expire on-time at 11:00. Very large hail and damaging winds are on their way to the city of Brady. In addition, a Flash Flood Warning will continue for that area until 11:45.
In case you missed it earlier, Brownwood Emergency Management is reporting widespread flooding and wind damage in that city, resulting from the storm that is now in McCulloch County. The Adams Street Community Center has been opened for people in need of a shelter, as there are reports of homes being flooded in central Brown County. Everyone is being asked to stay off the roads in that area unless absolutely necessary.
10:25 pm Update
The Waco area is experiencing very gusty south winds right now. This will require a bit of explanation: there is a large anvil (high-altitude cloud shield) spreading east from that big storm in McCulloch and San Saba counties. That anvil sometimes contains precipitation, which is why we saw some lightning earlier this evening as far east as Valley Mills.
As that precipitation falls into dry air, it can sometimes create a downburst of strong winds. We've so far seen wind gusts up to 45 mph in Waco, but very little in the way of gusty winds in Temple or Killeen. Occasionally, these downbursts can create wind gusts over 70 mph! There's no reason to think winds here will get that strong right now, but we'll be keeping a close eye on this situation!
10:00 pm Update
Two new warnings have been issued for San Saba County: a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 11:00 pm, and a Flash Flood Warning until 11:45 pm. A National Weather Service employee just reported an estimated 80 mph wind gust in Richland Springs! Golf ball size hail is also possible with this storm.
9:52 pm Update
Just a quick update on the monster storm to our west:
Large hail core still evident on News 10 DopplerNet across northeastern McCulloch, northwestern San Saba counties. Hail up to baseball size indicated on radar! This storm is still moving very slowly to the south at about 5 mph. That could result in some additional flash flooding; not long ago, law enforcement reported major flash flooding problems in the city of Brownwood. They've opened shelters for people with flooded homes and are encouraging everyone to stay off the roads in central Brown County.
9:45 pm Update
There's still a very impressive light show going on across our westernmost counties:
Although rain is still falling across parts of Mills County, the strongest portion of this storm is in northwestern San Saba and northeastern McCulloch counties, where hail up to golf ball size remains possible.
We have seen a few lightning strikes as far east as Valley Mills, but to answer Barbara's question (who left me a comment a few minutes ago)... although we could feel some gusty winds, light rain, and isolated lightning strikes from this storm to our west, we're expecting mostly just continued windy, warm, and humid weather across the remainder of Central Texas (including the Lorena area) this evening.
9:30 pm Update
As expected, the Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Mills County has been allowed to expire. There is still a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for northeastern McCulloch and northwestern San Saba counties until 10:00.
The National Weather Service has expanded the Tornado Watch further south to include parts of the Hill Country down to Junction. In our area, the watch still includes Bosque, Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills, and San Saba counties until midnight.
9:20 pm Update
The strongest part of this storm is still holding strong as it moves very slowly south into northeastern McCulloch and extreme northwestern San Saba counties:
The weaker part of the storm that did bring some nickel to quarter size hail to rural western Mills County is now pushing south of the Colorado River into San Saba County, and no longer appears to be producing severe weather.
There's very little on the radar right now other than that big storm out west, and some other thunderstorms that are well to our north.
9:15 pm Update
That big storm in our westernmost counties is producing lightning strikes as far east as Valley Mills!
9:05 pm Update
It's hard to tell by looking at the radar, but this massive storm has weakened ever so slightly in the last 10-15 minutes:
The worst part of the storm, indicated by the magenta-colored echoes, is still hanging out over extreme southwestern Brown County. While this storm earlier produced some hail up to grapefruit size (that's 4 inches in diameter!), it now appears that most of the hail is likely no larger than golf ball size. The biggest hail will continue to move slowly south along the McCulloch/San Saba county line.
The storm in Mills County is likely just producing some "pocket change"-size hail, and most of that is falling west of US-84 and the communities of Mullin and Goldthwaite. Still, with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings still in effect for Mills and northwestern San Saba counties, we'll continue to watch this storm very closely!
8:50 pm Update
The storm moving out of Brown County still looks very menacing:
But as you can see with Storm Scan 3D, the hail core moving into western Mills County is MUCH weaker than its companion to the west. Quarter size hail is about all we should expect in western Mills County, and little to no hail in Mullin or Goldthwaite. Hail up to golf ball size will be possible as the western side of this storm moves south along the McCulloch/San Saba county line:
We're still watching two areas of possible rotation in this storm: one in extreme southwestern Brown County which has prompted a Tornado Warning, and another weaker circulation that's recently developed near the Colorado/Mills County line:
We're watching this storm very carefully as it continues to move south. Still expecting it to have no impact on the Waco/Temple/Killeen area!
8:45 pm Update
New Severe T'Storm Warning for southwestern Brown, northwestern San Saba, and northeastern McCulloch counties until 10:00 pm.
8:40 pm Update
Here's some good news for the folks in Mills County: if the hail core stays on its present due-south track, the worst of the hail should stay west of the communities of Mullin and Goldthwaite, over mainly rural areas of western Mills County. Gusty winds, however, are still of concern along US-84. This is the same storm that earlier produced a wind gust close to 70 mph in Brownwood!
8:35 pm Update
New Severe T'Storm Warning in effect for Mills County until 9:30. If the storm maintains its present track, the worst of the hail should stay west of the communities along US-84, including Mullin and Goldthwaite.
8:30 pm Update
Here's the latest radar image:
Storm Scan 3D continues to indicate two very large hail cores: one east of Brownwood producing golf ball size or larger hail, and one between Bangs and Brookesmith that could be producing hail larger than baseball size!
The rotation that earlier produced one or more tornadoes in the Early area has weakened... but has been replaced by the threat of damaging winds of over 70 mph moving south of Brownwood. Newly-developed rotation on the western side of the storm near Brookesmith has prompted a new Tornado Warning for extreme southwestern Brown County until 9:00.
8:20 pm Update
The hail has for the most part exited Comanche County, but very large hail continues to fall across much of south-central Brown and eastern Coleman counties. Hail over baseball size is still being indicated, primarily in the areas NE of Brownwood along US Highway 67 and SSW of the town of Bangs. The storm is still moving almost due south (maybe just slightly east of due south) at 10-15 mph.
Damaging straight-line winds are becoming a threat as well. The Brownwood airport recently reported a wind gust of 60 knots - that's almost 70 mph!
8:10 pm Update
We just received a second report of a tornado touchdown in the town of Early in central Brown County. The tornado is moving south-southeast at 10-15 mph. If this storm continues to move south, it will soon move into Mills and San Saba counties!
8:05 pm Update
Tornado touchdown was just reported by a trained storm spotter in the town of Early.
8:00 pm Update
The storm in Brown and Comanche counties is still moving almost due south at 5-10 mph.
There are now several hail cores between May and Brownwood. The purple areas indicate hail up to the size of baseballs:
Storm Scan 3D is still showing a possible tornado between the towns of Owens and Early, moving south at 10 mph. A Tornado Warning is in effect for central Brown County until 8:30.
7:55 pm Update
Very strong rotation being observed on radar near Owens in Brown County. Tornado Warning continues for that area for at least the next five minutes!
7:45 pm Update
Here's a look at that storm in Brown and Comanche counties. The purple box is a Tornado Warning in effect for parts of Brown County until 8:00 (does NOT include the city of Brownwood):
Here's a look at where the largest hail is falling - that's a maximum radar-estimated size of over 3-inch diameter hail near the town of May (which is confirmed with reports of baseball and larger size hail). There's also a new hail core that's developed NW of Owens, with hail over golf ball size possible in that location:
The radar-indicated tornado is southwest of the hail cores, right where I've placed the mouse cursor. There is very strong rotation approaching the town of Owens, indicative of a possible tornado!
7:40 pm Update
The hail core appears to be moving slowly almost due south, nearly parallel to US Highway 183. Storm Scan 3D is still showing hail up to baseball size (2.75" diameter) north of the town of May, and we just received confirmation that baseball to softball size hail is stripping trees in that area:
We just got word of a new Tornado Warning for Brown County, which does NOT include the city of Brownwood, until 8:00 pm. Doppler Radar indicating possible rotation near or just north of Lake Brownwood, moving south.
7:30 pm Update
Here's another look at that storm with News 10 DopplerNet:
As you can see, the strongest part of the storm (the "hail core") is starting to move out of Eastland County into northwestern Comanche County, very close to the Brown County line. The storm is creeping along to the SSE at 5-10 mph, but the hail core itself is barely moving at all - and it's still intensifying. Fortunately, most of that area is fairly rural (i.e. not much for the hail to hit!).
7:25 pm Update
We just received a report of baseball to GRAPEFRUIT size hail near Rising Star! Take a look at the massive hail core in that storm:
Fortunately, there is not currently a threat for tornadoes with this storm, however a Tornado Watch remains in effect for that area until midnight tonight. The storm is still moving slowly SSE along the Brown/Comanche county line, where Severe T'Storm Warnings remain in effect. Stay tuned...
7:15 pm Update
The storm southern Eastland/northwestern Comanche/northeastern Brown counties is still a monster. News 10 DopplerNet is still indicating that the storm could produce hail over golf ball size! The Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Comanche County has been extended until 8:15 pm. The storm is still moving SSE at 5-10 mph. The rain could start falling in the city of Comanche within the next ten minutes, but the worst of the storm is still probably about half an hour away.
7:00 pm Update
We continue to watch some HUGE storms to our northwest, which have at times produced hail up to baseball size! The biggest storm is currently nearing the Eastland/Comanche county border, moving slowly SSE at about 5 mph.
That storm has prompted a Severe T'Storm Warning for Eastland and northern Comanche counties until 7:45. There is a Tornado Watch in effect for parts of northwest and north-central Texas until midnight:
In the KWTX viewing area, the watch includes Bosque, Hamilton, Lampasas, Mills, and San Saba counties. These storms are likely to continuing moving almost due south, which means we do NOT expect them to have any impact on the Waco/Temple/Killeen area at this time. Keep watching KWTX.com and News 10 for updates!