For the fourth straight day in a row, vicious storms producing destructive tornadoes, very large hail and damaging winds are on the weather menu from the southern Plains to the Great Lakes. This is part of the same storm system that produced a deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday and widespread severe storm reports since Saturday.
Thunderstorms rolling across central Oklahoma and Arkansas this morning are weakening after producing wind gusts up to 77 mph in Caddo, Okla., that knocked down trees and power lines. Once again later today, the severe threat is sufficiently high that the Storm Prediction Center has an elevated Moderate Risk for destructive storms in northeastern Texas, northern Louisiana, far southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas. This heightened threat area includes the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Waco and Texarkana, Texas, and Shreveport, La. Here, large and powerful tornadoes are likely, along with destructive winds of 70 to 80 mph and hail to the size of baseballs and softballs.
Why the extreme weather? The trigger for this week’s dangerous outbreak is a cold front extending from western Minnesota to central Oklahoma. As the front slowly meanders to the east, much cooler 50s behind the front are colliding with much warmer 80s from northern Texas into the Great Lakes. This is setting the stage for storms to quickly build across north Texas, central Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas and western Missouri.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those enduring this storm. Stay strong, seek shelter and stay tuned.