Snow blanketing north Texas while tornadoes hit south Texas (video)


A strong storm system that moved across Texas on Christmas Day spawned at least three tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, brisk winds around Houston; and blizzard-like conditions in the northern part of Texas that left roads icy and traffic at a standstill.

More than 60,000 customers in the Houston area were without power — down from a previous estimate of more than 70,000 — as the National Weather Service’s tornado and thunderstorm warnings continued through Tuesday the storms moved west to east, gaining strength as they approached Louisiana.

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland said a 25-year-old man died after winds knocked a tree onto his Ford F-150 pickup truck around 9:40 a.m. The incident occurred in northwest Harris County, he said.

At least two tornadoes touched down in East Texas in Trinity and Houston counties, said Greg Carbin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. Initial reports said no one had been injured, but at least one building in Crockett had been damaged.

The National Weather Service received reports of downed trees and small hail in Tyler and Hardin counties and quarter-sized hail north of Lufkin, according to meteorologists.

Snow was falling in parts of North Texas, including Dallas and Fort Worth, as temperatures drop below freezing. In Grayson County, snow was accumulating more than one inch by mid-afternoon. Blowing snow in the area was hampering visibility. Driving can best be described as treacherous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report