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‘High risk’ severe weather outbreak could threaten millions in central US today

OKLAHOMA CITY – NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has raised the severe weather menace in elements of Oklahoma and Kansas to ranges these states haven’t seen in years, inserting millions of individuals in the central U.S. at a life-threatening threat of intense thunderstorms able to producing long-track tornadoes, large hail and hurricane-force wind gusts beginning Monday afternoon and lasting effectively into the night and in a single day hours.

The SPC has now positioned 1.6 million individuals in Oklahoma and Kansas in a uncommon “High Risk” of severe weather on Monday – the best menace degree on the SPC’s 5-point severe thunderstorm threat scale.

This contains the cities of Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Midwest City and Moore in Oklahoma.

In Kansas, cities south of Wichita alongside the Interstate 35 hall are additionally in the High Risk menace, together with Wellington and South Haven.

Monday’s High Risk of severe weather is the primary issued by the SPC since March 31, 2023, when an EF-4 twister struck the neighborhood of Keota, Iowa, throughout a dayslong twister outbreak that killed 31 individuals throughout six states. That was the final EF-4 twister in the U.S. till the late-April twister outbreak that produced a lethal EF-4 twister in Marietta, Oklahoma.

This is now the primary High Risk in Oklahoma since May 20, 2019, and the primary High Risk in Kansas since May 18, 2017.

Channelview Fire Department and sheriffs preparing for evacuation due to severe flooding in Channelview, Texas on May 4, 2024 featuring Andreas Hestler.
The SPC has now positioned 1.6 million individuals in Oklahoma and Kansas in a uncommon “High Risk” of severe weather. AP

Oklahoma, Kansas included in Level 5, or ‘High Risk,’ of severe weather Monday

The SPC mentioned quite a few severe thunderstorms are anticipated to develop and transfer eastward from Monday afternoon by Monday night time throughout elements of the southern and central Plains. Multiple intense, long-track tornadoes – particularly in southern Kansas and Oklahoma – very massive to large hail between 2 and 4 inches and damaging wind gusts as excessive as 80 mph are all anticipated.

“We could see some large storms developing,” FOX Weather Meteorologist Craig Herrera mentioned. “We’ve got lots of moist air in place, daytime heating and plenty of instability. And, of course, the wind shear could be favorable for some of these major storms to develop.”

Man in overalls and hat wading through floodwaters in his backyard, preparing his chicken coop amidst severe weather in Liberty, Texas.
This is now the primary High Risk in Oklahoma since May 20, 2019, and the primary High Risk in Kansas since May 18, 2017. AP

Strong tornadoes seem probably Monday

The SPC has additionally highlighted those self same areas as being vulnerable to tornadoes Monday, with a few of these anticipated to grow to be sturdy (EF-2 or increased).

There can also be the chance of doubtless long-track tornadoes, too.

There is not any laborious definition of a long-track twister, however many forecasters consider it’s a twister that’s on the bottom for 15-20 miles or extra.

“So, Oklahoma City up to Wichita, these communities, even across the state, need to be on high alert, knowing where that safe place is, where the shelter is and getting there quickly,” FOX Weather Meteorologist Jane Minar mentioned. “Having those conversations with your family this afternoon is very important.”

The SPC mentioned “very large to giant hail” can also be probably on Monday. According to the National Weather Service, large hail is bigger than 2.75 inches in diameter, which is baseball-sized or bigger.

Damaging wind gusts of 60 mph or increased are additionally probably throughout the area, however areas below the best threat of severe weather on Monday could see winds gust into the vary of a Category 1 hurricane.

People residing in areas the place severe weather is probably going Monday and into the center of the week ought to put together now to remain secure, together with downloading the free FOX Weather app.

Bridge over Lake Houston closed due to high water levels, with surrounding trees and roadway visible
Damaging wind gusts of 60 mph or increased are additionally probably throughout the area. AP

Severe weather menace expands east on Tuesday, Wednesday

The multiday severe weather menace will shift east on Tuesday and Wednesday, placing tens of millions of individuals vulnerable to seeing sturdy to severe thunderstorms.

The SPC positioned greater than 20 million individuals from the mid-South to the Ohio Valley in a Level 2 out of 5 threat on Tuesday, together with main cities akin to Indianapolis in Indiana, in addition to Nashville in Tennessee.

According to the SPC, a line of thunderstorms is anticipated Tuesday morning over parts of the Midwest and mid-Mississippi Valley in affiliation with the storms anticipated to slam the Plains on Monday.

A map of the United States highlighting a high risk severe weather threat in Oklahoma and Kansas
Kansas and Oklahoma have been rated 4 and 5 on the intense weather scale. FOX Weather

That line of storms early Tuesday is anticipated to weaken some throughout the morning hours however could nonetheless deliver excessive wind gusts to these areas.

As the day continues, scattered sturdy to severe thunderstorms will push off into the Ohio Valley throughout the afternoon hours.

The primary threats from these storms can be hail and damaging wind gusts, based on the SPC.

The severe weather menace will ramp up once more on Wednesday, with the SPC inserting greater than 21 million individuals from Texas to Ohio in a Level 3 out of 5 threat of severe weather.

This contains the cities of Indianapolis, Memphis in Tennessee, St. Louis in Missouri and Cincinnati in Ohio.

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