As we get closer to the severe weather outbreak this afternoon and evening, we are starting to see where the worst of these storms will be located. The 7:25 am Storm Prediction Center update has now moved the seldom used moderate risk for severe storms west to include Swisher County. This moderate risk now includes Swisher, Briscoe, Hall, Floyd, Motley and Cottle Counties. These locations have the highest risk for damaging tornadoes, baseball-to-grapefruit size hail and 80 mph wind gusts. Wind will easily reach over 100 mph near any tornado that forms. Significant damage is also expected.
Now, the orange areas have the category three, enhanced risk. Anywhere from Dimmitt, to Littlefield, Smyer, Lubbock, Tahoka, Lamesa and locations east can still see baseball size hail, 80 mph wind and tornadoes. Yes, Lubbock does have a tornado risk today. Travel is discouraged after 5:00 pm today along and east of Highway 87/Interstate 27. Staying off the roads when these storms move in will help save lives.
You need to have a plan in place now! Wind driven hail will smash windows, sky lights, damage siding, vehicles and animals. Live stock will also be affected, so please take your live stock and pets to a place of safety this afternoon. Have a bag with clothes, water, food, flashlights and important documents ready to go. Make sure your devices are charged in case there are power outages lasting for a few days.
The safest place to be in a tornado is a basement, or storm shelter. If you do not have one, move to the lowest level of your home in the center of your home. You need to stay away from windows and place as many walls between you and the outside walls. Also, have blankets and pillows in case there is flying debris. You should enact this plan now! Keep you and your family safe tonight.
The timing for these storms will be by 5:00 pm for Lubbock, Littlefield, Levelland, Brownfield, Plainview and Tulia. The storms will quickly become severe and spread east. It looks like severe storms will be east of Lubbock by 9:00 pm and out of the area by 11:00 pm. A few storms could linger to midnight in the northeastern counties. Once it gets dark, please remain extra cautious. Tornadoes during the night are extremely dangerous because you can't see them.
I will be live on KLBK, EverythingLubbock.com and Facebook.com/klbknews during the severe weather event this afternoon and evening giving you the latest details of these dangerous storms. Please pass this information along to friends and family. This is a very dangerous situation.