Strong to Severe Thunderstorms & Huge Hail Hitting the Ark-La-Tex Area
Strong to severe thunderstorms started threatening the Southern Plains Sunday afternoon, where severe thunderstorm watches started being placed out during the mid-afternoon hours. While the threat for tornadoes was low, the severe weather concerns were higher for hail and damaging winds. Hail reports ranged from the size of a quarter to tennis ball size and wind gusts were as strong as a powerful tropical storm (winds 39-73 mph) and an even a weak hurricane (category 1 winds: 74 – 95 mph). That same area of low pressure that caused all those storms to fire, created at one point, roughly 12-18 severe thunderstorm warnings and even a small handful of tornado warnings, although no tornadoes were to have been confirmed to form. The hail was large and damaging enough to break out windows in cars, as well as liter the landscape with what looked like a field of snowballs.
Today’s Severe threat is a little higher than yesterday, especially with the hail threat as dynamics are more favorable for even larger hail than Sunday. We’ve already had reports of tennis ball size hail so far today in extreme eastern Texas and adjacent southeastern Oklahoma. The graphic below depicts where we could see the largest of hail for the remainder of the day.
The enhanced risk (depicted in orange) is an area particularly favorable to the production of tornadoes. The slight risk area (depicted in yellow) also yield a small chance for an isolated tornado or tow ;however, the primary concern for the slight risk area looks to be damaging winds and large hail.