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Big Thunderstorms Zap Lone Star State

UPDATED 7:00 PM CDT, April 21, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, James West and Matt Mehallow

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Powerful thunderstorms packing large hail and destructive wind gusts are rumbling through northern Texas into Texas Hill Country this evening.

Triggering the late-day outburst of powerful thunderstorms is a cold front slowly sinking southward across northern Texas and Texas Hill Country. Ahead of the front is warm and humid air streaming off the Gulf of Mexico, while cooler and drier air will follow on the heels of the front into far western Texas.

This set-up is fostering scattered thunderstorm activity across northern and central Texas, including Waco, Abilene, and Austin, Texas. These potentially damaging thunderstorms will continue rolling through Texas Hill Country this evening, but will eventually lose their punch after the sun sets.

Due to this threat for severe weather, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect from northern Texas to southern Oklahoma, including the cities of Austin, Texas, Waco, Texas, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The single biggest concern will be large hail peaking near golf ball size hail, with a secondary risk of high winds topping 60 mph. In addition, the thunderstorms across the Texas Hill Country will squeeze out up to a quick one-inch of rain in a short time. Ultimately, the excess runoff may overwhelm storm drains, especially if blocked by debris, leading to localized flooding in low-lying areas of poor drainage.

The same cold front won`t have similar impacts from the remainder of the southern Plains into much of the Mississippi Valley today. While there will be thunderstorms along it extending from Oklahoma into Illinois, they will fall short of severe levels. The fortunate news is the work week`s fresh start will not linger into Tuesday as large Canadian high pressure provides cooler and drier weather for the Lone Star State.

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