Panola County issued a tornado watch at 8:56 p.m. which will expire at 3:00 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Other areas affected include Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby.
A previous tornado watch which included much of East Texas expired at 9 p.m.
Harrison, Panola, and Shelby are also under a flash flood warning until 12:15 a.m.
Governor Greg Abbott activated state emergency response resources in anticipation of severe weather including flash flooding.
In a tweet, Gov. Abbott has activated the Urban Search and Rescue Team ahead of potential dangerous weather.
“The State of Texas is proactively working to ensure Texans and their property remain safe from severe weather threats that could impact eastern regions of our state today and early tomorrow,” Abbott wrote.
“As we monitor conditions and potential threats, I urge Texans in affected areas to heed the guidance of local officials and remain weather-aware as severe weather systems develop. We will swiftly provide all necessary resources to address severe weather and protect our communities.”
According to the National Weather Service, flash flood warnings have been issued for parts of East Texas including Angelina, Sabine, and Shelby.
In addition, a tornado watch was issued for much of Northeastern Texas including Texarkana.
The NWS in Fort Worth reported that the radar around the metroplex was quiet, but storms were expected to begin developing in the next 1-2 hours. The service warned that all severe hazards are possible in the coming storms.
Severe weather is returning to Texas for its first round in the new year.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported that an increased amount of thunderstorms and severe weather are expected to sweep across Texas in the afternoon hours of January 2. This system is expected to arrive in the DFW area around noon Monday, with storms expected to increase throughout the day.
The late afternoon hours will bring the most serious threat of severe weather. These later storms will contain all severe weather hazards, including damaging winds in excess of 65 miles per hour, ping-pong ball-sized hail, and the possibility of tornadoes.
The NWS expects these severe weather threats to remain mainly east of I-35 into east Texas and Louisiana.
However, Sarah Varnes with the NWS in Fort Worth told The Dallas Express that the metroplex can expect to experience damaging winds and hail, and the possibility of tornados occurring in the region has not been ruled out.
This weather system arrives just weeks after another system generated an outbreak of 14 twisters across Texas, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The NWS attributes the current threat of severe weather to spring-like temperatures and increased moisture across the region combined with the incoming cold front.
“We are much more in a spring-like setup as we speak,” said Varnes. “And so we’re going to basically see a cold front move east this afternoon and that’s really what’s going to develop these stronger thunderstorms.”
Warmer weather returned to North Texas on New Year’s Eve after a historic winter storm swept across the United States, bringing arctic weather and blizzards across the nation, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The NWS expects pleasant temperatures and weather to remain throughout the week. The chances of rain will return again on Saturday and persist into the following weekend.