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Tornado watch issued for North Texas area

FORT WORTH -- A tornado watch has been issued until 9 p.m. for North Texas, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Conditions were developing Tuesday for possible severe weather in the region, although thunderstorms skirted Tarrant County early Tuesday afternoon.

Nevertheless, strong low pressure remained at the surface across the area, and southerly winds from overnight provided a rich supply of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.

Adding to the mix Tuesday afternoon was a dry line in West Texas that was slowly pushing east, said Nick Hampshire, a weather service meteorologist.

Storms typically develop along dry line boundaries, which separate desert air in the west from the moist air in North Texas.

Some of the storms could be severe and capable of producing isolated tornadoes, although a major outbreak of funnel clouds was not expected, Hampshire said.

Also, a frontal boundary was pushing south out of the Great Plains into Texas and it was expected to stall along the Red River overnight, said Jason Dunn, another weather service meteorologist.

That could result in more severe thunderstorms, Dunn said.

"But when those things get stationary, they provide support for thunderstorm development," Dunn said.

Hampshire added that there may be a few sprinkles during the early-evening commute, but the heavier weather was expected later in the evening.