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Weather service confirms weak tornado in northern Williamson County

1 p.m. update: The National Weather Service has confirmed that a photo first reported by Fox-7 Meteorologist Zack Shields shows “a weak tornado” in near Walburg this morning.

“Minor damage to businesses and home occured,” according to the weather service. The weather service credits the photo to Thomas Jones.

“We think the shower interacted with the quasi-stationary front, which enhanced rotation just enough to produce a brief tornado,” the weather service Tweeted in response to a follower’s question.

8:55 a.m. update: According to Doppler radar, a band of heavy showers stretching from Georgetown to Pflugerville is moving deeper into Williamson County, while a smaller batch of rain is making its way through West Austin.

The largest rainfall totals so far on Friday have been reported along the Interstate 35 corridor, in parts of central Travis County and near Buda in Hays County.

According to rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority:

• Nearly a half-inch of rain has fallen near Cedar Park

• About two-thirds of an inch near Hornsby Bend in eastern Travis County

• At least three-quarters of an inch has been reported at Onion Creek near Buda

• Almost an inch of rain has been measured at Barton Creek and Loop 360 in Southwest Austin

8:05 a.m. update: A band of heavy showers is moving north from Austin’s urban center toward southern Williamson County, according to Doppler radar images. A smaller band of heavy rain is moving close behind the system, soaking areas near Buda in Hays County and southern Travis County.

According to rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority, rainfall totals of nearly two-thirds of an inch have fallen across central Travis County in the past two hours.

About 0.62 inch of rain has fallen near Barton Creek at Loop 360 and at least a third of an inch of rain has fallen near Lake Austin. In Hays County, nearly a half-inch has fallen at Onion Creek near Buda.

Friday forecast for Austin: Forecasters are calling for cloudiness in Austin with a 40 percent chance for showers through most of the day.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to reach a high near 76 degrees on Friday afternoon.

Meteorologist Bob Fogarty said Austin should see light showers throughout the day, most of which should only drop between a tenth to a quarter of an inch.

Fogarty said some showers were already popping up in the area around 6 a.m.

Radar imaging shows a system of storms pushing northward along the Interstate 35 corridor through Comal and Hays counties headed straight for Austin.

Chances for rain will decrease slightly to 30 percent on Friday night and Saturday, but potentially heavy storms are expected to roll into the area on Sunday and Monday. 

Fogarty said the best chances for heavier rain will likely come on Sunday night, which will see a 70 percent chance for storms.

Showers will continue through at least Tuesday of next week, but forecasters say the area should clear up by Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the forecast through the weekend:

  • Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a low around 61 degrees and a 30 percent chance for showers.
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a high near 74 degrees and a 30 percent chance for showers.
  • Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a low around 61 degrees and a 30 percent chance for showers, mainly after midnight.
  • Sunday: Cloudy with a high near 73 degrees and a 50 percent chance for showers.
  • Sunday night: Mostly cloudy with a low around 61 degrees and a 70 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.

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