If you’re in the Austin or Dallas regions of Texas, then you’re likely finding yourself concerned about possible tornadoes in the area. And yes, both regions are under enhanced risks according to the most recent maps. Here’s a look at the maps of the weather forecasts for Friday, January 10, 2020, along with approximate times that the storms may arrive. The last section will include good sources for staying updated, since weather situations can change quickly.
Storms are currently expected to start firing up around Austin and Dallas as early as 4 p.m. on Friday, January 10. Meanwhile, Texas Storm Chasers notes that you should start preparing to see storms as early as 1 p.m. on Friday in the Texas area. Of course, times are subject to change with little warning.
According to Texas Storm Chasers, the risk of severe weather could begin shortly after lunchtime on Friday in parts of North Texas. Then, one map indicates thunderstorm development “by 3 PM in North Texas from Sherman to Fort Worth to Goldthwaite. Storms will move quickly to the northeast around 50 MPH. We may have to wait a few hours before a more eastward progression materializes, so it is possible some folks in North Texas could have multiple storms move over their location tomorrow afternoon.”
They add: “We should see a solid squall line underway by 8 PM from Bonham to Dallas south on Interstate 35 through Waco, Austin, to near San Antonio.”
Ellis County Weather notes that strong storms will start popping up in the Dallas area around 1 p.m. and then the rest of the day it will be important to keep watch, through the night.
Steve McCauley, a Dallas meteorologist, expects the worst weather in the Dallas region to last from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Things will be more widespread in general, affecting additional areas of Texas by 5 p.m. Texas Storm Chasers notes: “By 5 PM the HRRR has a broken line of strong to severe thunderstorms from near Sherman to Fort Worth all the way down through Burnet to Hondo. … That means the Interstate 35 urban corridor from the Red River south to San Antonio are in a severe thunderstorm risk late tomorrow afternoon through tomorrow night.”
And, Texas Storm Chasers notes: “The line of strong to severe thunderstorms will move east tomorrow evening and tomorrow night all the way into Arkansas and Lousiana. The 0Z HRRR has the line arriving in College Station around 9 PM, Tyler and Houston around 10 PM, Texarkana and Beaumont around midnight. These are rough timeframes and storms could try and arrive an hour or two earlier or later.”
Read their full forecast here.
So as you can see, the timing is a bit widespread, so be prepared for anything by 1 p.m. on Friday (although storms could certainly arrive earlier), and then keep a close eye on things through probably midnight.
Additional Details, Maps & Tornado Chances
Early on Thursday morning, the unpleasant news arrived that the weather danger had shifted west, putting San Antonio into a slight risk area and Austin on the far edge of the enhanced risk.
Remember, this is on a scale of up to 5, so a 3 (enhanced) is not the highest on the scale. But it does mean that you should be prepared and keep a close eye on the weather.
Here’s are some maps from the National Weather Service showing where Austin and Dallas fall in the risk areas. The map of the risk areas is the upper left map in the tweet below.
Texas Storm Chasers notes: “It all comes down to the simple fact that if you’re located in any risk level – you’re in a risk for severe storms tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night. A good chunk of tomorrow’s severe weather probabilities is based on the potential for damaging straight-line winds. A level four risk zone was added earlier today for parts of East Texas where confidence in widespread damaging straight-line winds continues to increase. Again, we expect a lot of damaging wind reports in the higher risk zones. That does not necessarily mean those higher-risk zones will be where the most tornadoes occur tomorrow (if we indeed see several tornadoes in the first place.)”
In preparation for the possible storm, the Austin-Travis County EMS has pre-rostered 12 people.
On Thursday, Avery Tomasco of CBS Austin wrote on Twitter: “You may hear/see the term ‘significant severe storms’ thrown around the next 24 hours. What’s the difference? A significant storm is a severe storm, just worse. Our significant threat Friday (black hashed area) is mainly for 75MPH+ wind gusts #atxwx #CBSAustinWX”
Sources for Updates & Radars
Texas Storm Chasers has a free, live interactive radar that you can watch here. This is a full map showing Austin, Dallas, and other areas across the state.
You can see radar specifically in Austin on CBS Austin’s map here.
In Austin, Avery Tomasco with CBS Austin is a good source to follow.
In Ellis County of the Dallas region, Ellis County Weather is a good resource to follow. They will broadcast on Facebook if severe weather becomes imminent. Steve McCauley is another great resource to follow on Facebook if you are in the Dallas region.