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Storm-weary residents of Plains to face more violent weather into Memorial Day weekend

By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 24, 2019, 3:40:09 AM EDT


After severe weather outbreaks hammered areas from Texas to Kansas and Missouri earlier this week, more severe weather and flooding will threaten these same areas into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Nearly 60 tornadoes were reported on Monday and Tuesday.

A tornado outbreak followed on Wednesday afternoon and night in northeastern Oklahoma and Missouri. One tornado killed three people in Golden City, Missouri.

A large tornado, later rated as an EF3, also struck the capital city of Jefferson City, Missouri, producing extensive damage. There have been no confirmed fatalities in Jefferson City at this time.

Additional storms brought hail and even a few tornadoes to the Plains on Thursday.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Iesha McClain looks through her destroyed home Thursday, May 23, 2019 after a tornado tore though Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

This aerial image shows severe storm damage in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Carey Riley looks over damaged cars at a Toyota dealership he owns with his two brothers Thursday, May 23, 2019 after a tornado tore though Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A worker walks past tornado-damaged Toyotas at a dealership in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado tore though late Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

In this aerial photograph, the Missouri Capitol is seen Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Jefferson City, Mo. Material covering part of the exterior of the building as it undergoes a renovation was damaged during a strong storm overnight.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

This aerial image shows severe storm damage in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Severe storm damage is seen in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A tornado tore apart buildings in Missouri's capital city as part of an overnight outbreak of severe weather across the state.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Severe storm damage is seen in an aerial photo in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Tavaris McClain, left, and Tyree Thompson clear debris to free McClain's mother's car outside her destroyed home Thursday, May 23, 2019 after a tornado tore though Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jessica Rodgers and a neighbor, Ray Arellana, carry a stroller carrying Rodgers' sister Sophia Rodgers over downed power lines in Jefferson City, Missouri, Thursday, May 23, 2019.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A woman surveys damage Thursday, May 23, 2019 after a tornado tore though Jefferson City, Mo. late Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

(DroneBase via AP)

This aerial image shows severe storm damage in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight.

(Chris Higgins via AP)

This still image taken from video provided by Chris Higgins shows a tornado in Carl Junction, Missouri, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. The tornado caused damage in the town about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin Airport.

(Twitter photo/ Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin)

"Those winds were strong. But we are stronger!" Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said in a tweet on Thursday night.

(Twitter photo/ Missouri Gov. Mike Parson)

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson traveled to Carl Junction on Thursday, where dozens of homes were damaged from the storm. Parson met with some of the local residents in the Briarbrook subdivision to witness the destruction.

(AP Photo/David Lieb)

A car is trapped under the fallen metal roof of the Break Time gas station and convenience store in tornado-hit Jefferson City, Missouri, Thursday, May 23, 2019.

(AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

The sign for the Hidden Oaks apartment complex in Jefferson City, Missouri, stands bent Thursday, May 23, 2019, from a tornado in front of a tree that was ripped apart.

(Shayla Brooks via AP)

This still image taken from video provided by Shayla Brooks shows a tornado on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Carl Junction, Missouri.

(AP Photo/Stechshultsy)

This image posted on the Twitter account of Stechshultsy shows tornado-hit Jefferson City, Missouri, on Thursday, May 23, 2019. The NWS confirmed a large destructive tornado caused heavy damage.

(AP Photo/David Lieb)

A destroyed sign for a car wash is seen in tornado-hit Jefferson City, Missouri, Thursday, May 23, 2019, with a heavily damaged gas station in the background.

(Twitter photo/@MoPublicSafety)

This images shows the damaged Missouri Division of Employment Security Office in Jefferson City.

(Twitter photo/@MoPublicSafety)

Debris is scattered across Jackson and Dunklin Streets in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Thursday, May 23. Public safety officials are urging residents to allow crews room to clean up the tornado's aftermath.

(AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

Plastic chairs lie in the road and metal from a damaged gas station roof is twisted around a downed power line in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a large tornado ripped through the state's capital.

(Twitter photo/@MoPublicSafety)

The Missouri Department of Public Safety tweeted out images of extensive damage in Jefferson City, the state capital, including signs ripped from their posts along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54.

(Twitter photo/@MoPublicSafety)

The Missouri Department of Public Safety tweeted images of extensive damage in Jefferson City, including downed power lines along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54.

(Twitter photo/@MSHPTrooperF)

This image from the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows downed trees and power lines after a tornado struck Jefferson City, Missouri, Wednesday night.

(AP Photo/David Lieb)

A wall collapsed in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Thursday May 23, 2019 after a violent tornado struck the area.

(Twitter photo/@MSHPTrooperF)

This is one of several vehicles damaged on or near WB BUS 54 near Eldon, Missouri, on Wednesday evening.

(Twitter/@FirstLadyTeresa)

The tornado that tore through Missouri late Wednesday night destroyed trees and homes.

(Twitter/@FirstLadyTeresa)

The tornado that hit Missouri Wednesday night tore through Eldon, Missouri, downing power lines, snapping trees and destroying houses.

(Twitter/@FirstLadyTeresa)

The roof of this building was torn from it during the tornado that hit Missouri on Wednesday night.

(Twitter/@FirstLadyTeresa)

Residents of Eldon, Missouri clean up the damage left by the tornado that hit on Wednesday night.

Twitter/Master Sergeant Casey Utterback

The tornado that struck Jefferson City on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, tracked close to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Law Enforcement Academy.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperGHQ)

The tornado that struck Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, tore off the roof of this home and caused other major structural damage.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperGHQ)

Trees and power lines were torn from the ground and downed during the tornado that hit Jefferson City on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperGHQ)

These trees were uprooted and snapped in Jefferson City, Missouri by the tornado that hit late Wednesday night on May 22, 2019.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperGHQ)

The tornado that hit Jefferson City on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, not only downed power lines, but flipped cars, as seen in the background of this photo.

Twitter/@MSHPTrooperC

The tornado that struck Jefferson City on Wednesday, May 22 launched this piece of metal into the side of a building.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperC)

Parts of Jefferson City, Missouri lie in pieces after the devastating tornado that struck on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperC)

An battered semi lies on its side after the tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

(Twitter/@MSHPTrooperC)

A metal sheet is wrapped around a storm-battered car after the tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

(Twitter/@MissouriOA)

The tornado that hit Jefferson City, Missouri on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, didn't spare the Employment Security Building.

(Twitter/@ChristiesPics)

The flooding occurring at Harry S Truman Dam grew worse after the storm blew through on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.


More severe weather will threaten areas from western Texas to Iowa and Missouri into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, partially due to a large and persistent dip in the jet stream across the western United States.

Each storm system that dives through the West and Four Corners region has nowhere to go but into the southern and central Plains. When these systems interact with moisture and humidity being drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico, the ingredients come together for severe weather outbreaks.

"In addition to the damaging aspect of the severe weather, the thunderstorms can repeat over the same areas and be followed by a period of drenching rain, which can exacerbate the flooding across the region," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Fri severe May 23 pm


On Friday, another round of severe storms and flooding downpours will erupt in nearly the same region of the southern Plains but expand to around Chicago along the northern edge of a dome of heat building across the South.

Saturday's danger will be nearly identical to the zone on Friday.

Severe Sat 5-24-19 am


All modes of severe weather can be expected Friday and Saturday, from damaging winds to large hail, flooding downpours and isolated tornadoes.

Because multiple storms may move repeatedly over the same locations late this week, flooding will again be a major concern. Some communities may receive another 3 to 6 inches of rain on top of what already fell early this week with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 12 inches.

flooding May 23


Oklahoma City has received nearly 10 inches of rain already this month, which is more than double what the city typically receives for the entire month.

Many rivers from Oklahoma to Missouri and Illinois are currently in moderate to major flood stage. The additional rainfall can further push these waterways and streams further out of their banks, flooding neighboring land and communities.

Bird Creek at Avant, Oklahoma, reached a record crest of 36.52 feet on Tuesday, breaking the old record crest by over 4 feet.

With volume on the roadways increasing late this week ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, motorists can expect even longer travel delays on parts of interstates 40, 70 and 80, as well as surrounding roadways, as a result of the stormy weather.

Officials are urging travelers to check road conditions as some highways have been closed due to flooding. This includes a stretch of I-40 in eastern Oklahoma near Webbers Falls.


Be sure to reduce speeds on wet roadways and in heavy downpours to reduce the risk for hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds. Never drive through a flooded road to avoid a potentially deadly situation.

In addition, large hail can cause serious damage to crops and vehicles not under a garage or protective covering and also endanger the lives of anyone caught outdoors.

Related:
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If a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued for your community, be sure to seek shelter inside a basement or storm shelter away from doors and windows to lessen the threat for death or injuries.

Download the free AccuWeather app to keep up to date on the latest severe weather alerts. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

Have a backup generator handy, if possible, since the strong winds can knock down trees and power lines, leading to widespread power outages.

Memorial Day May 23


Unfortunately, the weather pattern responsible for the severe weather shows no signs of changing through the Memorial Day weekend. Residents in the Central states should remain vigilant and be prepared for additional rounds of severe weather through early next week.

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