Elevated risk of strong tornadoes tonight centered on Oklahoma

May 19, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
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Play video Our expert meteorologists have the latest on the severe weather situation.

As has been the case for many times this month, Oklahoma and neighboring parts of states will be a the center of a severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak tonight.

Several tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma and Kansas Wednesday evening. Hail 3.25 in diameter was also reported near Eagle City, Okla.

A cone tornado touched down in Kingfisher County, Okla. just before 6 p.m. CDT.

Warm, moist air feeding northward from the Gulf of Mexico being met by a push of dry air from the west and jet stream energy aloft will give thunderstorms a boost over the southern Plains this evening.

In addition to the risk of large hail, flash flooding, frequent lightning strikes and straight-line wind gusts, there is the risk of multiple long-tracking, strong tornadoes. There is the risk of one or more tornadoes reaching EF-3 status or higher.

People in this area should keep their eyes and ears open this evening, while monitoring all possible media outlets for severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.

While the thunderstorms and the risk of tornadoes will diminish during the wee hours of the morning Thursday, there will still be an elevated risk of violent thunderstorms extending eastward to part of the lower Mississippi Valley into Thursday afternoon and evening.

Heating from the new day could ignite another batch of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes.

Story by AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Related to the Story:

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