Weather Map Reveals Today’s Storms, Tornado Risk Update

Weather Map Reveals Today’s Storms, Tornado Risk Update

Those living in the central United States have been warned to expect another wave of inclement weather over the Memorial Day weekend, with thunderstorms forecast across the central Plains and heat warnings for the Gulf Coast and southern Texas.

According to a map produced by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Saturday, there is a 15 percent risk of tornadoes for a section of Oklahoma and southern Kansas, with a reduced 2 percent risk area stretching well into neighboring Texas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Over the past few weeks, significant stretches of the country have suffered from dangerous weather, with President Joe Biden issuing a presidential disaster declaration for parts of Texas. The state has been hit by a wave of extreme weather since late April, which has included powerful thunderstorms triggering flooding and tornadoes. On Thursday, a tornado tore through Olustee, Oklahoma, with footage widely shared on social media. The NWS has also issued a “critical-to-extreme fire weather” warning for New Mexico on Saturday.

The NWS map also shows there is a 5 percent tornado risk on Sunday to most of Kentucky, along with southern parts of Indiana and Illinois and eastern sections of Missouri, with a lower 2 percent risk extending further out.

Newsweek has reached out to the NWS via email for further comment.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service map showing the risk of tornados across the United States on Saturday.

National Weather Service

In its latest short-range forecast, published at 3:05 a.m. ET on Saturday, the NWS forecast heavy thunderstorms for parts of the Great Plains.

“The start of this Memorial Day weekend will feature yet another round of severe weather impacting the central United States as the next storm system strengthens across the central Plains. A textbook Great Plains severe weather setup is expected as a warm front lifts to the central Plains and middle Mississippi Valley while a sharp dryline extends south of the low into the southern Plains,” the agency said

It continued: “The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Moderate Risk (level 4/5) for severe thunderstorms in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and far southwest Missouri. Additionally, storms are expected to contain intense rainfall rates that could lead to scattered instances of flash flooding from the central/southern Plains to the mid-Mississippi Valley into tonight.”

Powerful winds, along with the risk of flash flooding, are expected from Missouri to Kentucky while on Monday a cold front is forecast to pass along the Appalachian Mountains.

Further west, NWS Red Flag fire warnings are in place across New Mexico, western Texas, southeastern Arizona, along with the western Oklahoma Panhandle. In these areas, a combination of low humidity, dry vegetation and strong winds mean fires could spread rapidly.

According to the NWS, “above average temperatures leading to a summerlike feel” are expected over the weekend for the Eastern U.S., Central and Southern Plains and Midwest, with cooler conditions for the Northwest, North-central and Rockies.

However, “heat will reach oppressive levels across South Texas, the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida, with heat indexes into the triple digits and the potential for daily record highs.” Consequently excessive heat warnings remain in place across the south of Texas.

On Sunday, the NWS also warns there is “the potential for strong storms [to] shift to the mid-Mississippi and Ohio valleys.”

Storm stock photo
A state trooper is seen as debris from shattered windows line the ground in Houston, Texas, on May 17. Those living in the central United States have been warned to expect another wave of inclement…

CECILE CLOCHERET/AFP/GETTY

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