Tornado Watch CANCELED for the Brazos Valley

The severe threat is over for the Brazos Valley
Estimated rainfall totals from Thursday's storms. The severe threat has ended for the Brazos...
Estimated rainfall totals from Thursday's storms. The severe threat has ended for the Brazos Valley.(KBTX)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:03 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:18 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Running updates from active weather Thursday night can be found below. The severe weather threat is over for the Brazos Valley. This thread will no longer be updated.

FRIDAY 12AM UPDATE: The Tornado Watch has been canceled for the entire Brazos Valley. Colder air behind the cold front is undercutting the line of storms, cutting off any further development. The severe threat is over for the area as we head into the early morning hours of Friday. Gusty winds will remain through the overnight hours, a Wind Advisory remains in effect until 10am Friday morning with the highest wind gusts expected through the overnight hours.

THURSDAY 10:30PM UPDATE: The Tornado Watch has been canceled for Leon, Milam, and Robertson counties. The rest of the counties will continue with the watch until 1am.

THURSDAY 8PM UPDATE: Storms are beginning to fire up along the cold front boundary west of I-35. One severe storm has made its way into the Brazos Valley, specifically in Milam county. The cell has a history of producing 60mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail, but has weakened and that warning will be allowed to expire. The larger severe threat continues to loom along the cold front boundary that will make its way into our northernmost counties around 9-10pm.

THURSDAY 6:15PM UPDATE: The Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service have extended the Tornado Watch into the Brazos Valley. This includes Brazos, Burleson, Leon, Lee, Milam, Robertson, Houston, Madison, and Trinity counties until 1am Friday morning. Impacts could include a few tornadoes, hail up to tennis ball sized, and gusts up to 70 mph.

THURSDAY 5:45PM UPDATE: The Storm Prediction Center continues to keep an eye on severe weather development into this evening. The Tornado Watch in place for areas north of the Brazos Valley is likely to be extended in both area and time before 7pm. This means we will more than likely see a watch stretch to include portions of the Brazos Valley ahead of our next line of storms. Just because this is a Tornado Watch does not mean that everybody will see a tornado, but the possibility exists for some of us to see one spin up, especially along the leading edge of the line.

THURSDAY 5PM UPDATE: The Tornado Watch issued for areas north of the Brazos Valley has been extended in area. This watch now bumps up to but does not include Milam county and is still in effect until 8pm. There have been multiple severe warned and tornado warned storms in the area covered by this watch, showing that the atmosphere is capable of supporting stronger storms. The lid in the atmosphere here locally has done its job so far, limiting us to a few storms with pea-sized hail and gusty winds.

THURSDAY 2:20PM UPDATE: The Storm Prediction Center has the Brazos Valley centered in on an area for potential storm development through the afternoon. The CAP that could limit severe growth is currently in place, but very thin. This could warrant a watch later in the afternoon. Main concerns if storms develop are hail and possible tornado threats.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Rain and rumbles have begun to materialize across the Brazos Valley heading towards the 2 o’clock hour. All storms are holding sub-severe criteria but are a bit noisy with heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. A Tornado Watch has been issued north of the Brazos Valley including areas like Dallas and Fort Worth, stretching up to the Red River.

Tornado Watch issued for areas north of the Brazos Valley until 8pm.
Tornado Watch issued for areas north of the Brazos Valley until 8pm.(KBTX)

The severe potential through this afternoon for the Brazos Valley is still possible but highly dependent on the cap. Hourly model data shows a very thin cap in place over portions of the area through the afternoon. If it can hold, this will help inhibit storm formation and development. However, with a lid that thin storms can easily break through and tap into more unstable air. If storms can form they will be capable of all types of severe weather, including hail and the potential for a tornado as well. This afternoon is one to stay weather aware.

The more likely potential for widespread storms comes this evening through the early overnight hours. This line comes just ahead of the cold front and is more of a wind concern with gusts 40-60mph. The line will need to be monitored for some areas of embedded rotation, so a brief tornado concern still holds through tonight as well.

The severe concern for today drops significantly once the initial line moves past. Shower and thunderstorms that fill in behind will be elevated, but could still make for gusty winds, heavy rain, and hail as well.


This round is a conditional chance and a “watch and wait” scenario. Data Wednesday afternoon suggests that the “lid” of stable air in the atmosphere should hold through midday. If this comes to fruition, then storms will have a hard time developing and strengthening with limited fuel to work with. However, should clouds break early, and we get a little warmer than expected, some storms may fire well ahead of the dryline around our area. Any storm that can break past the cap will be capable of large hail and a tornado, but this is the more isolated and less likely chance for severe weather before the main line arrives Thursday night. Thursday morning model data suggest a couple storms could fire, mainly along and east of I-45. This will need to be monitored through the late afternoon.

It is important to remember while the severe concern is lower in the afternoon, there will likely still be rain around through the midday hours. While one or two would have the potential to be significant or severe, not every storm is expected to reach that potential. Still, lightning, gusty wind, and heavy rain may stall outdoor plans if this round manages to develop and move east across the Brazos Valley.


Higher coverage and therefore a higher chance for strong storms arrives as we get past sunset. A cluster of strong storms looks to form along the dryline (and the cold front that will catch up with the line over the course of the evening) and move eastward into the area as early as about 8-9 pm, exiting the area by 12am-1am Friday. Heavy rain and strong wind will be the main threat with this line, but we will need to monitor the line for embedded rotation and possible brief tornados. Rain and a few elevated thunderstorms look to fill in behind the initial line of storms. The severe concern with these is low to none, as colder air undercuts the line and will highly limit storm development.

Strong storms are expected to roll through the area Thursday night along with a cold front that...
Strong storms are expected to roll through the area Thursday night along with a cold front that will bring a blustery and chilly St. Patrick's Day.(KBTX)

Scattered thunderstorms are still possible as the low moves out of the area through early morning Friday, but severe weather is not expected at this time. Behind the front it gets COLD and windy, so we may be dry, but don’t get caught without several extra layers if you’re planning on some St. Patrick’s Day festivities outside. A reinforcing front is expected this weekend, keeping lows in the 30s/40s and highs likely not exceeding 60 until early next week. A couple different disturbances rolling overhead should keep things mostly cloudy; at the moment, we are not expecting any additional precipitation until late Sunday, but we will keep you updated.