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Powerful Storms Roam Texas Plains, Eye Gulf Coast

UPDATED 7:45 PM CDT, April 2, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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An early-spring storm is delivering yet another day of severe weather for residents across the Lone Star State. This time though, it will extend all the way to the Texas Gulf Coast, where destructive winds, large hail and flooding downpours will pack quite a punch through tonight.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches stretch from southern and central into the middle and upper Texas Coastal Plain, including Houston, College Station, Austin, San Antonio, and San Angelo.

Clusters of severe thunderstorms are lumbering along a cold front dividing warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico with cooler, drier air penetrating its northwestern fringes across northern Texas.

Other powerful thunderstorms are also spreading eastward from the Mexico border into southwestern Texas tonight. The storms are being triggered by a dry line, where Gulf of Mexico moisture is teaming up with much drier air sweeping off the southern Rockies.

The chief severe weather concerns will be very large hail exceeding baseball size and destructive wind gusts above 70 mph. There could also be an isolated tornado threat along the Rio Grande Valley this evening. The storms will converge into several clusters while trekking steadily toward the Gulf Coast of Texas overnight.

Cities that could be affected include Houston, Austin, San Antonio, San Angelo, College Station, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville, Texas.

Baseball-size hail pelted Cottonwood, Texas, this afternoon, while a 77 mph wind gust was clocked near Sunset Valley, Texas. A thunderstorm wind gust damaged some structures and awnings in Cedar Creek, Texas, while golf ball sized hail fell near Kingsland and Lockhart, Texas.

As if the severe weather wasn't enough, the lumbering storms will squeeze out incredible rainfall across southeastern Texas. As much as 4 inches of rain has already fallen, with another 1 to 2 inches expected tonight. Excessive runoff flowing over river banks will lead to additional flash flooding. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"

More storms will rumble across Texas on Wednesday as the main upper disturbance crosses along the cold front that will slowly edge south towards the Texas Gulf Coast. Fortunately, the severe threat will be held at bay due to clouds and cooler temperatures. Additional storms will fire along the Gulf Coast farther east into Louisiana, southern Mississippi and Alabama.

Make sure that you take the WeatherBug app with you on your smart phone, tablet and computer. The iPhone app now includes Spark Lightning Alerts, a GPS-based lightning detection feature providing you the location of the closest lightning strike, so you can Know Before the storm hits. Click here for the link to download.

Also, be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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