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Threat Of Severe Storms Continues Tuesday Evening Across Western Oklahoma

Updated 9:02 p.m. The National Weather Services says, "Strong to severe storms seem to be increasing in coverage as winds just off the surface (low level jet) is intensifying. Most of these storms are becoming severe quickly, with large hail and very heavy rainfall the primary concerns. Storms may eventually merge into one or more clusters and move north and east. Stay alert as we head into the overnight hours in case storms intensify in your area."


Updated 8:35 p.m. The threat of tornados has decreased over central Oklahoma at this hour, but heavy thunderstorms that could contain high winds and hail continue to develop. The National Weather Services says, "Storms are rapidly developing near Chickasha and will move northeast into southern parts of the OKC metro in the next hour. Large hail may accompany these storms, in addition to heavy downpours. Tornado threat remains very very low. Further north, the severe storm near Enid continues to produce golfball to tennis ball sized hail."


Updated 7:00 p.m.: Tornado Warning expires for counties west of the Oklahoma City metro


The Tornado Warning issued for three counties west of the Oklahoma City area has been allowed to expire, but National Weather Service meteorologists are monitoring the cell near Bridgeport in case it redevelops.


Updated 6:41 p.m.: Severe storms developing west of Oklahoma City metro


Several severe thunderstorms popping up in western Oklahoma are making their way into the metro. A tornado has been confirmed by news helicopters and storm chasers just east of the town of Weatherford moving east along Interstate 40. A Tornado Warning has been issued for Blaine, Caddo, and Custer counties.


A severe thunderstorm is also developing near Watonga. Golf ball-sized hail has been reported, but the storms are still well to the west of the Oklahoma City metro, but they could move into more populated areas over the next two or three hours.

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Expect flooding issues to continue at least through this weekend as more rain is forecast to fall on saturated soils and swollen streams.

May has been a persistently wet and stormy month for Oklahomans, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon.

Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, said there’s a chance for rain each day through at least Sunday.

“The ground is just so super saturated with water,” Smith said. “If you get any amount of rainfall falling over of a short period of time, that water has nowhere to go. So it’s just going to run off and result in flash flood problems.”

Smith said the more rain the region gets this time of year, the more it seems to prolong the onset of drier, warmer summer weather.

“As long as this pattern sticks around, we’re going to keep seeing repeated bouts of rain, heavy rain, even severe weather. We’re going to say waterlogged for a while it looks like,” Smith said.

Oklahoma County emergency management director David Barnes said the biggest obstacle to forecasting flash flood events is knowing where torrential rain will fall.

“Some locations we can forecast because we know the water flow tendencies and the patterns of the water flow,” Barnes said. “We obviously don’t know specifically where a significant amount of rainfall may end up.”

Thursday night through Saturday may bring the highest chance for storms and significant flooding. The chance for storms will decrease Sunday into Monday.

Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma. While still a student, he became the host of what is now The Weekend Blues. He currently serves as KGOU’s Program Director where he supervises all aspects of KGOU’s on-air programming output.
Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.
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