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    Saturday Severe Storms Target Little Rock, OKC, Dallas Area

    By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
    June 08, 2014, 2:12:57 AM EDT

    Severe thunderstorms will continue to once again target the southern Plains and the mid-Mississippi Valley through Saturday night.

    Saturday has already started with strong thunderstorms whipping up 60-mph winds in Marshfield and Grovespring in south-central Missouri.

    The thunderstorms also dropped penny-sized hail as they passed through Springfield.

    Additional severe thunderstorms will erupt through Saturday evening from western Tennessee (southeast of St. Louis) to Arkansas and to communities between Oklahoma City and Dallas.

    Other cities in this zone include Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and McAlester, Oklahoma.


    North of these severe thunderstorms, drenching rain will spread from northern Missouri to Chicago's southern suburbs.

    Also through Saturday evening, another round of severe weather will erupt across southeastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, West Texas and far western Oklahoma. Such thunderstorms will target Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, and Tucumcari, New Mexico.

    Damaging wind gusts past 70 mph and flooding downpours will be the main threats with the strongest thunderstorms through Saturday evening. Hail is also a concern with the largest hailstones, potentially up to the size of baseballs, set to slam the southern High Plains.

    Although the threat for tornadoes does not appear to be as high as it was on Friday, a few twisters may still spin up late Saturday afternoon.

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    Thunderstorms through Saturday night may ruin outdoor plans as frequent lightning can make it dangerous for activities such as baseball games and cookouts.

    Later Saturday night, thunderstorms with flooding downpours and strong wind gusts will tend to cluster together and take aim at places along the border of Oklahoma and Texas.

    The northern extent of the intense thunderstorms later Saturday night will graze Oklahoma City as heavy rain pours down to the north.

    The flood threat through Saturday night will be especially greatest in locations that are hit by several storms.

    Rainfall amounts are forecast to total as much as 2 to 4 inches over a large area in the southern Plains with local amounts upwards of 6 inches possible.

    This will be enough rain to cause roads to flood and rivers to rise toward flood stage, forcing some people living closer to rivers and streams to take action.

    Remember that if you come across a flooded roadway, it is advised that you do not attempt to drive through it since the water may be deeper than it appears. Turn around; don't drown.


    Although these storms may cause flooding as the drop copious amounts of rain, they will bring some good news with them.

    Portions of Oklahoma and Texas that are in the path of these severe thunderstorms are currently experiencing an extreme to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    Storms over the past several weeks have already begun to reduce the severity of the drought as they delivered much needed rain across the region.

    In Oklahoma alone, rainfall from rounds of thunderstorms have reduced the exceptional drought from 34 percent to 21 percent over the past two weeks.

    Even though much more rain is needed to end the drought, this batch of storms will put another dent in the drought as rain fills rivers, lakes and water reservoirs.


    Looking ahead to Sunday, flooding downpours will focus on central and eastern Oklahoma as the threat for strong thunderstorms stretches from northeastern Texas to the southern High Plains. Heavy and gusty thunderstorms will also rattle the central High Plains, including Denver.


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