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    Afternoon Severe Storms Near Austin

    By By Steve Travis, meteorologist
    November 06, 2012, 12:17:04 AM EST

    Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible today near the Gulf Coast as instability increases out ahead of an approaching cold front.

    Thunderstorms will fire up this afternoon with the support of an upper-level disturbance, daytime surface heating, and high humidity with dewpoints near 60. Short-range computer models show the first thunderstorms firing up just west of Austin between 1-2 PM with the threat clearing the area by 7-8 PM this evening.

    The main threat with any strong thunderstorm will be wind gusts to 50 mph and small hail. Any heavy thunderstorm could also contain torrential rainfall, which may lead to ponding on roadways, decreased visibility, and possible flash flooding of poor drainage areas.

    Instability will be highest closer to the Gulf of Mexico, east of I-35. This places cities such as Elgin, Cedar Creek, and Bastrop at greater risk of severe weather.

    Afternoon temperatures today will climb above normal into the mid-80s ahead of the front. Cooler, drier air will filter into the region behind the system starting tonight. For the general election on Tuesday, expect more seasonable temperatures with afternoon highs in the upper 70s and more comfortable dewpoints in the lower 40s with plenty of sunshine.

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