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Strong Storms Leave Texas, Boom Across Louisiana

UPDATED 8 PM CDT, April 20, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Powerful thunderstorms are exiting South Texas tonight, but a potent line of storms is still percolating across western Louisiana. Large hail and damaging wind gusts will be the main weather attractions, but a tornado cannot be completely discounted across the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches continue from eastern Texas into western Louisiana, including Lake Charles, La.

Dangerous storms are departing South Texas in its wake tonight, while a line of strong thunderstorms is rolling along and toward the Interstate 10 and 49 corridors in western and central Louisiana. While the danger zone for severe weather is rapidly concluded for Texas, this particular line of thunderstorms has a pass of producing very large hail and destructive wind gusts earlier today.

The biggest severe weather concern remains very large hail up to baseball-size, though damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph will also be possible. Though the threat for tornadoes is diminishing, a few brief spin ups cannot be completely counted out in western and central Louisiana tonight.

In addition to the full contingent of severe weather, the thunderstorms will produce very heavy rain in a short time triggering an increasing threat for flash flooding. Even intense lightning as seen on Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is growing in western and central Louisiana tonight.

Cities in the dangerous bull`s eye for these strong storms include Lake Charles, Alexandria and Lafayette, La.

Feeding the thunderstorms is warm, moist air surging northward from the Gulf of Mexico in advance of an approaching strong cold front across far southern Texas and western Louisiana. All the while, cooler, drier air is diving into the western flank of the storm system. The clash between the two is providing the spark needed for dangerous thunderstorms close to the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast tonight.

Severe weather reports are climbing across Texas. There have been a total of 67 so far, including 54 hail reports, 12 high wind reports and 1 tornado report. A thunderstorm wind gust is being blamed for damaged car windshields and power outages in La Marque, Texas, while gusts clocked at 58 mph ripped through East Houston and Bellaire, Texas. Even more impressive, softball-to-grapefruit size hail pelted Mission, Texas.

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