Fox News Weather Center

Severe Weather Threat: Amarillo, Dallas, Austin

A storm system emerging from California on Friday will ignite powerful thunderstorms from the Texas Panhandle to the Gulf Coast Friday night through Saturday.

The thunderstorms will come in two rounds. The first round will fire Friday night, in the hours just after sundown.

Locations most at risk from this opening act of storms will be across the Texas Panhandle, from Midland northward to Lubbock, Amarillo and Pampa. These are the same places that were blasted by a blizzard just two weeks ago.

Hail the size of quarters, ping pong balls or even tennis balls will be capable of breaking windows, smashing windshields and injuring unsheltered livestock.

There is also the potential for wind gusts up to 60 mph, which can easily kick up dust, damage siding on houses, and bring down tree branches or power poles.

There is also the threat for a tornado or two with the most potent storms.

The second act of storms will open across central Texas on Saturday, and this will be the main event.

A strong jet of dry westerly winds behind a cold front will be met by moist southerly winds ahead of it from Dallas to Austin and San Antonio eastward to Tyler. A twisting motion of the lower few thousand feet of the atmosphere will be the result, with a few isolated tornadoes possible.

There will also be the threat for destructive hail and damaging winds, in addition to blinding rain and vivid lighting.

Further to the north, across Oklahoma and Kansas, a few thunderstorms will also turn severe. Places such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Wichita could each see hail to the size of quarters and gusty winds of 50-60 mph.

It should be stressed, however, that the worst of the weather will be further south across Texas.

If you will be taking advantage of the warm weather and heading outdoors, or you will be heading to Texas for spring break, you will want to keep an eye to the sky and the forecasts. Be sure to heed any watches or warnings that might be issued.

Keep in mind, a "watch" means there is potential for threatening weather, and you should be prepared to take action. A warning means threatening weather has been observed, and you should take shelter immediately.