Storm photo

A thunderstorm blankets northwest Denton as it moves over I35 toward Denton bringing welcome torrential rain, pea-sized hail and strong winds, as seen from the Ganzer Road overpass Friday, June 19, 2020, in Denton, Texas.

Updated at 7:43 p.m.

Denton County and much of the North Texas region is under a tornado watch until 11 p.m. tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service issued the tornado watch around 4 p.m. Monday, warning that storms would begin in the late afternoon. The NWS also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of Denton County until 8:30 p.m.

Denton residents saw hail as early as 6:30 p.m., growing in size as time flew by with some reaching the size of a quarter.

A cold front moving slowly into North Texas this afternoon could bring baseball-sized hail and a few tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. There's also increased chances of hail from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Denton area. 

The NWS is advising North Texans to start preparing for the severe weather we could see this evening.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth is advising North Texans to start preparing early this afternoon for the severe weather we could see this evening.

David Bonnett, a meteorologist with the Fort Worth office, said there could be storm development west of Denton County around 5 p.m. that could last until 8 or 9 p.m. tonight.

“As early as 5, we could see large hail, damaging winds,” Bonnett said. “Hail up to the size of baseballs, 70-mph winds and a few tornadoes would also be possible.”

Around 1:30 p.m., Bonnett said a cold front was moving slowly through Montague County toward the North Texas region.

Before the 5 p.m. hour rolls around, Bonnett said residents should start preparing.

“The best thing you can do is start making plans and thinking what to do if you get tornado or severe thunderstorm warnings,” Bonnett said. “Know where you’ll be and [start] thinking of your safe place, so you know exactly where to go. The other thing we would advise is to tell your friends and family if you see severe weather.”

Temperatures for the rest of the day will reach a high of 90 right before storms could begin and drop down to the upper 50s overnight.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @zairalperez.

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