Severe Storms Thursday for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
February 21, 2013; 8:49 PM ET
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Ogletree House lies in ruins on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, after a tornado struck the area Sunday afternoon. The building, built in 1912, housed the university alumni association offices. (AP Photo/Chuck Cook)

Damaging Winds and Hail

As low pressure intensifies across the southern High Plains, a cold front will slice through central Texas, igniting powerful thunderstorms from San Angelo to Abilene.

These thunderstorms will race through the eastern part of the state, plowing though Dallas and even Tyler.

The primary threats from this first round of severe thunderstorms will come in the form of large hail and damaging gusts of wind, which could bring down trees and power poles.

Hail could reach the size of quarters or even tennis balls across this region, which is big enough to cause damage to vehicles, windshields and windows.

Be sure to heed any watches or warnings that may be issued. Remember: If a warning is issued, this means a dangerous thunderstorm is imminent, and you should take shelter immediately.

Storms Become Tornadic

As Thursday progresses, the thunderstorms will enter an area of very unstable, warm and moist air across far eastern Texas and Louisiana. Powerful westerly winds behind the thunderstorms will be met with strong southerly winds ahead of them, resulting in a twisting motion of the lower atmosphere.

The second round of thunderstorms will take on rotating supercell characteristics in the late morning into the early evening hours from near Lufkin, Texas eastward to near Hattiesburg, Miss and New Orleans. This is the window of opportunity for the worst of the thunderstorm outbreak to take place.

Tornados will be likely in the most violent thunderstorms, and one or two of these tornados will have the potential to become long-lived, life-threatening and destructive. Large hail and damaging wind gusts will also be likely.

If you have travel plans across the area, blinding downpours and locally flooding rains will cause plenty of delays on I-10, I-20, I-55 and I-35, to name a few.

Airport Delays are also a potential problem, especially if you'll be flying to or from Dallas, Houston or New Orleans.

The threat for severe thunderstorms will end late Thursday night, and dry and much more tranquil weather will follow for Friday.

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