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Storms move out of DFW, but buckle up for Wednesday

FORT WORTH -- If the storms that marched across Tarrant County Tuesday morning got your attention, buckle up for Wednesday, when an even more intense weather event is expected.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Tarrant County early Tuesday as a line of thunderstorms swept in from the west, but only penny-size hail and heavy rain without flooding was their signature.

The National Weather Service recorded .56 inches of rain at DFW Airport as the storms continued moving east at about 35 mph, said Steve Fano, a meteorologist for the agency.

And as often happens when bad weather arrives, accidents cropped up along area roadways when storms hit at 7:30 a.m. in Fort Worth.

As many as 33 wrecks were reported throughout the city, but there were no immediate reports of severe injuries and police dispatchers noted that it was too early to say all the wrecks were related to weather.

The Tuesday thunderstorms, Fano said, "formed on a weak upper level disturbance overnight."

"There was abundant moisture in place," he added, "so it didn't take much to spark them."

The severe thunderstorm warning for Tuesday expired at 8:30 a.m., Fano said.

The rest of Tuesday was expected to be quiet, Fano said, although there was a 30 percent chance for thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening.

Meanwhile, he said, weather service meteorologists were looking toward Wednesday, when a much stronger upper level disturbance and dry line boundary is expected to move across North Texas.

Fano said to expect trouble between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The dry line separates dry desert air and the moist gulf air, but it sparks storm activity as it pushes east, mingling the dry air with the moist.

"Straight-line winds and hail will probably occur in many locations," Fano said of the Wednesday forecast. "The dry line is an added feature that enhances the lift of the storms.

"It really acts to get storms to grow tall and when they do that, they're more likely to produce hail."

Fano said Wednesday's forecast did not include widespread tornadoes.

He added, however, that "you can never rule out a brief spin up along an eastern moving dry line."

Check back for more details.

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