Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications

Tornadoes to spin up again on Tuesday as severe weather outbreak continues to unfold across the central US

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 21, 2019, 10:19:14 PM EDT


For the latest live updates on the severe thunderstorms and flash flooding, click here.


After a severe weather outbreak hammered the southern Plains with flooding and tornadoes on Monday and Monday night, the central United States is being put on alert for the same violent weather on Tuesday.

As AccuWeather meteorologists predicted, this latest outbreak has become much more significant than the days of severe weather late last week and over the weekend.

Early Monday morning, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a high risk for its day one outlook. Around midday Monday, the SPC highlighted a small corridor from the northeastern part of the Texas Panhandle to central Oklahoma in a 45 percent probability of EF2-EF5 tornadoes to occur within 25 miles of a point. This is the first time a 45 percent tornado area has been issued by the SPC since April 14, 2012.

The SPC issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watch early Monday afternoon for much of West Texas. A second PDS tornado watch was issued for western and central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, a few hours later.

Some Oklahoma schools were closed on Monday ahead of the severe weather. In addition, Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City is reportedly evacuating all aircraft due to the high risk.

A powerful storm system set off the major severe weather and tornado outbreak across the central and southern Plains on Monday and Monday night.

The volatile nature of the atmosphere was showcased early Monday morning as damaging storms were already underway across West Texas and Oklahoma, with multiple tornado watches and warnings issued into the evening hours.

There were several reports of tornadoes on Monday, including in Mangum, Oklahoma, where a large tornado touched down and caused substantial structural damage in the western and northwestern parts of the town, according to AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer.

A family miraculously survived without injuries on Monday night after a tornado that ripped through Peggs, Oklahoma, flipped and seriously damaged their mobile home.

Hail, including some that was golf ball-sized and larger, was reported, along with strong wind gusts across portions of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

Monday marked the sixth anniversary of the powerful EF5 tornado that ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, in 2013. Fortunately, no tornadoes impacted the Moore area on Monday.

The dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to spread eastward on Tuesday, with even more populated areas at risk.

Tue severe close up


Storms from Monday night were ongoing during the morning hours on Tuesday from near Dallas to Wichita, Kansas.

The storms will then spread eastward into Columbia and Springfield, Missouri, as well as Little Rock, Arkansas, during the afternoon hours.

St. Louis, Missouri; and Springfield, Illinois; could then be in the path of these storms during Monday evening.

A second area of severe thunderstorms could fire up on Tuesday afternoon from central Kansas into central Nebraska. These storms are forecast to be more isolated in nature and rather short-lived.

People living and traveling through the region are urged to stay up to date on the weather situation through Tuesday evening. Download the free AccuWeather app to receive severe weather and tornado warnings for your area.

While the risk of strong tornadoes is not expected to be as high as Monday, there will be a continued risk of tornadoes on a localized level.

Damaging winds, large hail and flooding downpours will be the primary threats with Tuesday's storms.

RELATED:
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
Why washing dishes or showering during a storm can be extremely dangerous
How to stay safe when severe weather strikes at night
Tornado safety: What to do if you encounter a tornado while driving
The difference between tornado watches and warnings

Straight-line wind gusts, in lieu of a tornado, can reach an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 80 mph, which will knock down trees and cut off power in some communities.

The threat for life-threatening flash flooding will add further risks as the storms unload several inches of rainfall. Oklahoma City picked up over 2 inches of rain from the storms on Monday night, while Tulsa received nearly 4 inches of rain. As much as 6 inches of rain fell in surrounding communities.

There can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 12 inches of rain from near the Red River of the South to eastern Kansas, northeastern Oklahoma, southern and western Missouri and southern Iowa through Tuesday.

Motorists traveling along stretches of interstates 40, 44 and 70 should be wary of downpours that can drastically reduce visibility and create a heightened risk of hydroplaning while traveling at highway speeds.

"Motorists should consider fully exiting major highways as storms approach and never attempt to drive through flooded roadways," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Check back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

Report a Typo

Comments

Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News