Thunderstorms and hail are forecast for the already deluged Southern Plains Tuesday, with Texas expected to be in the crosshairs.
Strong to severe thunderstorms were already pummeling North Texas early Tuesday, bringing with them the possibility of strong winds and large hail, plus isolated tornadoes, according to NBC meteorologist Bill Karins. Nearly 7 million people were at risk, he added, with the area between San Angelo, Austin and San Antonio most likely to get slammed by tornadoes and golf ball-sized hail.
The latest storms come as Texas and neighboring Oklahoma still try to dry out from severe weather that walloped parts of the Southern Plains, with more than 11 inches of rain falling in a 24-hour period in the Corpus Christi area. Violent winds whipped the Oklahoma City area Monday at 69 mph, while suspected tornadoes touched down in other parts of Oklahoma.
In Spearman, Texas, hail and winds up to 70 mph were strong enough to snap power poles.
No injuries were reported. But many Texans had to wade through knee-deep water to get around — and in some parts of waterlogged Corpus Christi, cars were totally inundated by water.
The region is bracing for another cluster of storms Tuesday that could extend as far as southwest Arkansas, with the strongest storms expected along the Texas-Oklahoma border. The greatest chance of severe storms will be from central to southeast Texas, according to Weather.com, and could include localized flash flooding.
As the day goes on, the risk for strong storms will increase, with hail up to 2 inches in diameter forecast for the late afternoon and evening, said TODAY's Al Roker.
The flood threat will also increase over the next several days, a gloomy prediction for areas such as Houston, which has received 74.55 inches of rain in the last 12 months — 24.6 inches above normal.
More thunderstorms are forecast through Thursday for the Southern Plains.
The region has gotten so battered this spring that insurance companies estimate they've paid out more than a billion dollars in claims from hail, mostly due to damage to roofs and cars, Roker said.