Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

A Level 4 out of 5 “moderate” risk of severe storms has been posted across parts of Oklahoma by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for Sunday. This risk covers more than 2 million people across the state, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

These powerful storms will be able to produce large hail, a few strong tornadoes (EF2 or stronger) and destroy winds on Sunday afternoon and into the night. These storms are associated with an evolving low-pressure system and a front that extends from the Midwest through the southern plains.

“The potential exists for a pair of long-range supercells to evolve and track east-southeast through Oklahoma along and just south of the front,” the SPC said.
A supercell is simply a thunderstorm that has rotation associated with it. Almost all supercells produce severe weather, such as heavy hail, destructive winds or even tornadoes.
The threat of tornadoes is highest on Sunday across areas of Oklahoma and northern Texas on Sunday afternoon and into the evening hours. Tornadoes that occur at night are more than twice as likely to be fatal as those during the day.

“Interstate 35 from Dallas to Oklahoma City will be particularly busy on Sunday because of the ‘Red River Rivalry’ game between Texas and Oklahoma that took place on Saturday,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said. “That means a lot of fans could drive home this afternoon and evening – highest timing for the storms.”

Over 20 million people at risk

Oklahoma is not the only area at risk of severe storms Sunday. The severe storm threat extends from central Missouri through the heart of Texas.

An “improved” level 3 risk surrounds the moderate risk and includes the Dallas-Fort Worth and Fort Smith, Arkansas metros.

A “small” level 2 risk includes Springfield, Missouri; Waco, Texas; and Wichita Falls, Texas. In all, more than 20 million people are at risk of severe storms on Sunday.

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These storms are driven by a clash of seasons. Prior to the system, temperatures are well above average in places in the central United States, and moisture also flows north from the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly a dozen daily high temperature recordings are possible ahead of this system as temperatures rise into the 90s on Sunday.

Behind this system, temperatures are settled below the average across the western United States. Just like in spring, this clash of air masses and excessive humidity becomes fuel for severe storms.

“Tornadoes and other severe weather are not limited to the spring season. Southern states from Texas to Georgia incur a secondary severe weather season in October and November,” Chinchar said.

On Monday, the severe storm risk moves into the Midwest, threatening more than 40 million people, including Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. Louis.

More severe storms later in the week

The severe storm threat returns to parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday as another system pushes out into the central plains.

A frontal system current entering the Northwest Pacific will dive south and east all day Sunday, bringing the season’s coldest air.

This front crosses into the Rockies on Monday, bringing heavy snow to the many mountain ranges of the West. While the West saw some snow showers on Friday and Saturday, this storm will bring the season’s first significant snowfall.

This system will be strengthened on Tuesday as it tracks across the Rockies and into the central United States, bringing another round of severe storms to the central United States where all dangers are possible: damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.

Tuesday’s severe storm risk includes more than 15 million people from southwestern Minnesota to western Texas. The highest threat to these storms is expected across parts of southern Nebraska, Kansas and northern Oklahoma. The timing of these storms will be in the evening through the night.

“(The severe storm) risk is likely to continue overnight as the powerful system progresses on the central plains,” the SPC said.

Severe weather that occurs overnight can increase the risk of injury and death, as people often sleep and are not as associated with weather forecasts as they may be during the day.


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