A big outbreak of severe storms may unfold across Texas Tuesday night into Wednesday.
A powerful storm system moving from northern Mexico into Texas will be the trigger for the severe weather.
Locally drenching thunderstorms with hail were the early indications of what is likely to be a severe weather outbreak.
During Tuesday morning, there were just shy of a dozen reports of hail from Galveston and Port Arthur to Lufkin. Additional hail reports were coming in around San Antonio and the lower Rio Grande Valley. The severe weather is forecast to ramp up later Tuesday into Wednesday.
"For early January, this storm system is very unusual," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said. "It is something you would normally see in March."
Enough humid and warm air will be pulled northward ahead of the system to fuel very violent storms.
"The potential [exists] for damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes with an area of very heavy rain that could cause flooding problems," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said.
The severe weather threat zone will include the Hill Country of Texas northeastward to Dallas and northeastern Texas and southward to Houston.
The worst thunderstorms are expected to develop Tuesday night into the day Wednesday, especially across southeastern and eastern Texas.
Be prepared to take shelter if a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued for your area. Have a weather radio and extra batteries on hand.
Flooding will also be a big concern with the thunderstorms across southeastern and eastern Texas, since 1-3 inches of rain can fall over a very short time. There may be isolated rain amounts of 4-5 inches, according to Kottlowski.
A squall line of severe storms will progress across eastern Texas and Louisiana by Wednesday afternoon and evening.
On Thursday, the storm system will move northeastward, spreading locally heavy rain and thunderstorms into the Tennessee and western Ohio valleys. The main threat for severe weather will be across Mississippi and Alabama, mostly near the Gulf Coast.
Another storm system will move eastward across the U.S. late in the week into the weekend. Even more rain will be unleashed over southeastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley, potentially leading to more flooding issues.
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