Posted: Dec 25, 2012 11:39 AM by Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) - At least two tornados touched down in East Texas on Christmas Day as a strong storm squall moved across the state, sparking warnings of tornados, thunderstorms and a smattering of snow.
The tornados were reported in Trinity and Houston counties, said Greg Carbin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. The initial reports indicated no one had been injured but at least one building in Crockett had been damaged.
"They don't look like they were all that significant, but there's already some reports of tornado activity," Carbin said.
Carbin said 21 counties, including the city of Houston, were under a tornado watch until 4 p.m. CST as the storms moved east into Louisiana, where they could get stronger.
"Right now, it looks like most of the storms are occurring to the north of Houston," Carbin said. "I imagine that activity will begin to pick up through the Houston area."
The National Weather Service received reports of downed trees and small hail in Tyler and Hardin counties and quarter-sized hail north of Lufkin, according to meteorologists in offices covering those areas.
The storms were developing as a cold front met warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico.
"That's what it takes is that contrast between the cold very dry air and the warm moist air that is readily available or at least never far away from the Texas Gulf Coast," Carbin said.
Snow was possible later Tuesday in parts of North Texas, including Dallas and Fort Worth, as temperatures drop to below freezing.
Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey contributed to this report from New Orleans.
Plushnick-Masti can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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