Southern plains stuck by tornadoes, severe storms ahead for the region

May 19, 2019 10:08 AM |

On Saturday, waves of severe thunderstorms struck the Southern Plains, bringing tornadoes, large hail and flooding rains. The National Weather Service cautions more severe storms are set to hit the region.

Early on Saturday, an EF2 tornado with winds of up to 130 mph struck east of Geronimo, Oklahoma. As per reports, it demolished at least 2 homes and left 1 person with slight injuries. Power lines downed by winds left thousands of people in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where a suspected tornado damaged the roofs of numerous homes.

According to a state official, in northwest Arkansas multiple people were stuck on recreational trails due to downed trees. Meanwhile, energy companies for both states reported thousands of people without power.

The severe weather threats extend from Texas to the Upper Midwest, with everything from large hail to flooding rains and more tornadoes possible through Monday.

May 20 is forecast to be the most devastating day, with an unusually strong low-pressure area for this time of year centered near Kansas, drawing up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and providing the strong winds needed for rotating thunderstorms to form.

The National Weather Service is warning of a heightened risk of tornadoes, including strong tornadoes, and flash flooding across the Plains. On Monday, a swath from North Texas to Iowa looks to be the focus of the most dangerous weather conditions.

As this is the peak tornado season, the Plains have been pounded by strong winds, with at least 34 tornadoes reported since Friday morning across the central US, including Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.

Image Credit: Axios

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