Great Plains Bracing for Tornadoes, Flooding Due to Severe Weather



Tornado warnings were issued in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas following severe thunderstorms and high winds in the Central U.S. Meanwhile, tornadoes had previously devastated parts of Nebraska and Iowa. A “particularly dangerous situation” tornado watch was issued for western Oklahoma and parts of northern Texas, with forecasters confident that intense tornadoes may form and travel long distances, while Oklahoma experienced at least three confirmed tornadoes.

Tornado Threat in Central U.S. Amid Severe Storms

Parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas face tornado warnings as severe thunderstorms and high winds prevail across the Great Plains. This follows a day where tornadoes extensively damaged parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

“Particularly Dangerous Situation” Tornado Watch Issued

A rare “particularly dangerous situation” tornado watch was declared for western Oklahoma and northern Texas. This watch means that forecasters firmly expect the formation of intense tornadoes which may track a significant distance.

Oklahoma Warned of Supercell Thunderstorms

The Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma issued a notice warning residents of potential “dangerous supercell thunderstorms” capable of producing strong tornadoes. They emphasized the importance of staying near shelters as the current environmental conditions resemble those of previous major tornadic outbreaks.

Damage Reports & Tornado Confirmations

By Saturday evening, at least three tornadoes were confirmed by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Damage to homes and downed trees were reported in several counties and two storm-related vehicle accidents occurred in Kay County.

Unstable Weather Outlook

As moisture surged northwestward, conditions became very unstable, enabling a complex and evolving storm system. This resulted in excessive rainfall in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and parts of Missouri, increasing the risk of damaging flash floods.

Over 7 Million Under Tornado Watch

By Saturday evening, over 7 million people were under a tornado watch. The weather phenomena expected ranged from hail over two inches in diameter to strong winds exceeding 70 mph.

Over 100 Reports of Tornadoes

Following a tornado outbreak on Friday in Nebraska and Iowa, the Weather Service received over 100 reports of tornadoes across five states in the Great Plains. These rare, strong tornadoes caused significant damage and were described as “extraordinary”.

Reports from the Ground

Nebraska’s Governor, Jim Pillen described visiting the hard-hit areas as “extraordinarily sobering”. In Minden, Iowa, Harvest Alliance Church elder Phil Enke, described the loss of their place of worship and the ongoing clean-up process as “a hassle and a mess”

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