WEATHER

Area school districts are watching the skies as expected thunderstorms sweep into this area this afternoon and threaten high school football kickoff times, according to district officials.

No area schools are reporting any delays or cancellations of games as of 10:30 a.m.

According to Terry Abbott, the Killeen school district's chief communications officer, the district will only delay or cancel games if there is lightning within 10 miles of any of the district's fields.

"We clear the field of players and coaches, clear the fans out of the bleachers," Abbott said in an email. "Every time there is a lightning strike within 10 miles, the 30 minute clock starts over. We have an automatic system that notifies us immediately of a lightning strike within 10 miles of the stadium."

Abbott said the district does not cancel games for rain.

Michael Novotny, superintendent of the Salado school district, said both rain and lightning could derail games this evening.

"We are going to wait until tonight to make decisions regarding the game," Novotny said in an email. "If there is lightning within 8 miles then we will have a 30 minute delay. We will cancel the game if we have multiple lighting delays or if the field gets so wet that it unplayable and/or would significantly damage the field to play on it."

Lampasas High, which is hosting Lago Vista High School for a 7:30 game tonight, won't stop the game for rain, but will do a 30-minute delay if lightening is nearby, athletic officials said.

After a humid and sunny morning, rain chances are expected to increase to around 60 percent at 4 p.m. this afternoon, according to meteorologist Matt Bishop.

But for those carefully watching the skies, there is some variability in when rain will arrive.

Bishop said the slow-moving storms could arrive as soon as this afternoon or hold off until early Saturday morning.

"If it still stays to your north, it should start up right before day break (Saturday)," Bishop said.

The highs for today will be in the low 90s before dropping as the storm front moves in.

Bishop said the system is not expected to bring unusually frequent lightning but warned residents to avoid being outdoors during the storm.

"It can be dangerous if you’re outdoors, so remember to stay indoors," he said.

Both Coryell and Lampasas counties will be under flash flood watch as the storm passes, and Bishop said that warning could be extended into Bell County throughout the weekend.

The rain chances for Saturday will start at 70 percent Saturday and dip slightly throughout the day into Sunday.

The highs for Saturday are in the mid-80s with a low of 70.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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