UPDATE 7:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10:
CHEROKEE COUNTY – The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a tornado watch until 2 a.m. Saturday for a number of East Texas counties, including Cherokee County.
Defined, a “tornado watch” means tornadoes are possible in and around a watch area, which typically is large and covers numerous counties or even states, according to www.weather.gov.
Portions of northeast Texas, including locally, remain under a lake wind advisory until 6 a.m. Saturday morning. South winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with higher gusts, are expected, veering west southwest through the evening and overnight hours.
“Strong winds and rough waves on area lakes will create hazardous conditions for small craft. Boaters on area lakes should use extra caution since strong winds and rough waves can overturn small craft,” according to NWS.
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Severe thunderstorms have already flared up over parts of Dallas and are moving towards East Texas rapidly, according to weather forecasters.
The large swath of storms includes winds up to possibly 80 miles per hour, heavy rain with some flooding likely and a good possibility of tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.
"As severe weather approaches the state of Texas, resources have been placed on standby to assist local officials in the event they are needed," said Gov. Greg Abbott. "All residents should heed warnings from local officials and pay attention to weather alerts. I ask that all Texans keep those in the storm's path and all of Texas' first responders in their prayers as they deal with the effects of this storm."
Severe storms developed near the Interstate 35 corridor from San Antonio to Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and north into Oklahoma on Friday afternoon.
The most severe portion of the storms for East Texas is set to arrive between 8 and 10 p.m.
The thunderstorms may be discrete supercells, capable of large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. The most concentrated supercell threat on Friday will be in northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma.
The center of that region – in an area that includes major cities such as Little Rock, Arkansas, and Shreveport, Louisiana – is expected to be at the highest risk for tornadoes.
Make sure to tune in to weather alerts from your local media agency, as well as turn the emergency alerts on your cell phone. A weather radio is advisable, as well.
Stay clear of windows during the storm, taking shelter in an interior room with no windows is the best plan. Of course, storm shelters and basements are better. Do not plan to be on the roadways Friday evening unless absolutely necessary.