The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a Tornado Watch until 9 pm for much of southeast Texas and portions of the Pineywoods.

Counties in the Tornado Watch include Polk, Tyler, Jasper, Newton, and all counties to the south. This includes the Houston/Galveston Metro as well as Beaumont/Port Arthur. Counties to the north, such as Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties are not included in the watch zone.

Throughout the afternoon, thunderstorms have been developing across much of the watch area in Texas and western Louisiana. Some of these storms have reached severe designation.

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The biggest threats from the storms so far have been hail, straight-line winds, and isolated flooding from heavy downpours. However, analysis of the latest atmospheric dynamics has caused meteorologists to warn that tornadoes could now be a factor. Some of these tornadoes could be EF2 or greater (110+ mph).

The tornado watch area is approximately along and 50 statute miles north and south of a line from 65 miles west-northwest of Houston to 15 miles east southeast of Lafayette.

REMEMBER...A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.

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Although Lufkin and Nacogdoches are not in the watch area, severe storms with hail and tornadoes are still possible in this zone.

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