Reports: Tornado Threat in Texas, Southwest Oklahoma

By Andy Mussoline, Meteorologist
May 23, 2013; 8:12 PM
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Play video Expert analysis on the latest severe threat is discussed in the above video.

Update at 2:30 a.m. EDT Friday:
Severe storms have diminished early Friday morning in Texas/Oklahoma.

The thunderstorms that produced a few brief tornadoes and wind gusts over 100 mph have fallen apart over the past few hours, but still continue to bring rain to parts of the Hill Country of Texas. These storms are not expected to produce any more severe weather.

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Update at 12:28 a.m. CDT Friday:

High water rescue taking place in San Angelo, Texas due to flooding rain from thunderstorms.

Update at 10:24 p.m. CDT Thursday:

Strong winds have blown down several large freeway road signs along with parts of roofs from houses near Abilene, Texas.

Update at 8:20 p.m. CDT Thursday:

A gas station sign was damaged in high winds in Baird, Texas.

Update at 7:58 p.m. CDT Thursday:

Wind gusted to 105 mph 9 miles west of Albany, Texas.

Update at 7:40 p.m. CDT Thursday:

A 90 mph wind gust was reported in Albany, Texas.

Update at 7:00 p.m. CDT Thursday:

A flash flood forced two high water rescues by the Scurry County Fire Department in Snyder, Texas.

Update at 6:45 p.m. CDT Thursday:

Possible tornado damage to a roof, uprooted trees and downed power lines was reported on the east side of Rotan, Texas.

Update at 6:23 p.m. CDT Thursday:

A tornado was reported in Rotan, Texas by local law enforcement officers. Winds of 110 mph were recorded.

Update at 5:49 p.m. CDT Thursday:

Hail the size of tennis balls was reported 12 miles southwest of Aspermont, Texas.

Update at 4:45 p.m. CDT Thursday:

In the early evening hours, three tornadoes were reported in northwestern Texas. Winds gusting to 92 mph with blowing dust were also reported near Jayton, Texas. The wind downed power lines and moved dumpsters.


Severe thunderstorms will fire up across northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma through early Thursday night as a disturbance moves out of New Mexico. Explosive development in the region can produce some tornadoes.

A stubborn front slicing northwest to southeast across central Oklahoma was already responsible for severe thunderstorms near the tornado-ravaged city of Moore, Okla., early Thursday morning.

South of the front, heat and humidity will build across southwestern Oklahoma and northwestern Texas. A disturbance will emerge from New Mexico later Thursday into this heat and humidity, creating a volatile situation.

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"There will be explosive development this afternoon and evening from the Texas Panhandle to southwestern Oklahoma," Expert Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "We expect tornadoes to threaten this region along with damaging winds and hail," Rayno added.

Amarillo, Lubbock, Childress, and Wichita Falls will be among a host of other cities in northern Texas that will be threatened by these storms. The threat will extend into Lawton and Altus, Okla., as well.

"Deep moisture funneling into the region is a significant factor for this severe threat," Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. "The deep moisture will contribute to flash flooding as well," Anderson added.

Oklahoma City and Moore will be on the fringe of the severe weather, but the greatest threat will remain well southwest of these cities.

While a few severe thunderstorms will persist later Thursday night, flash flooding will become predominant threat. The loss of daytime heating will contribute to fewer severe thunderstorms.

Lingering warmth and humidity will lead to additional thunderstorms across the aforementioned areas into the Memorial Day weekend, but the severe threat will be significantly lower. Unfortunately, these thunderstorms will slow cleanup efforts ongoing in Moore, Okla.

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