At least one killed as tornado hits Oklahoma, Arkansas, northeastern Texas


Early winter gusts met with record fall warmth on Friday, leading to a powerful and severe storm system in the south, creating the largest tornado threat the United States has seen in more than five months.

McCarten County, Oklahoma, has reported devastating storm damage, with at least one person dead, according to Cody McDaniel, the county’s emergency manager.

Preliminary tallies from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center show that nine twisters have formed in Texas, four in Arkansas, and one in Oklahoma.

The total number is likely to increase during the day on Saturday, and the intensity of each will not be known until the local NWS office conducts a damage survey. This may take several days.

In Texas, damage was confirmed in west Paris and near Sulfur Springs in the northeastern part of the state.

As the system moves eastward, parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have tornado warnings in place from Friday night through midnight.

CNN Weather

In Hopkins County, Texas, the tornado damaged at least four homes, the state sheriff’s office said. No injuries have been reported.

In neighboring Lamar County, where Paris is the county seat, “there is considerable damage and some injuries,” Lamar County Constable Travis Rose told CNN Friday night.

In Oklahoma, a woman was injured by a fallen tree while heading to a windbreak shelter, Choctaw Emergency Management Volunteer Lewis Collins told CNN. Unknown, he said.

The Storm Prediction Center highlighted areas of “moderate risk” (level 4/5) for severe thunderstorms on Friday in eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, southwest Arkansas, and northwest Louisiana.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area remains at 3 out of 4 risk on Friday.

“Areas most likely to generate strong tornadoes [EF2 or higher] “From southeastern Oklahoma to eastern Texas, east of Interstate 35,” said the Prediction Center.

Monitoring in effect until midnight includes parts of western and central Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma, and eastern and northeastern Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, in addition to violent tornadoes, there is also the potential for scattered large to very large hailstones over the size of a golf ball (2 inches in diameter).

The main threat will turn from tornadoes Friday afternoon and evening to destructive winds as thunderstorms align and enter the nighttime hours that span Arkansas and Louisiana.

A significant wind event causing widespread damage is forecast for parts of the Arc-La-Tex region late Friday night as the storm pushes eastward. As such, the Prediction Center has upgraded its threat level for Friday.

“The storm will continue late into the night and will reach much of Louisiana and Arkansas, as well as western Mississippi.

This storm system moves rapidly from west to east, minimizing the potential for flash flooding across the Ark Latex region. Further north, large areas from Kansas to Wisconsin will see 1 to 4 inches of rain through Saturday.

Rainfall is much needed in the region as recent droughts have pushed the Mississippi River to record low levels, impacting shipping and supply chains.

In total, 42 million people from Texas to Wisconsin were at risk from severe storms on Friday. At-risk areas also include Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Kansas City, and Wichita.

Last time risk increased for Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area That was May 24th.

Tornadoes in the United States can occur in any month of the year, but are most common in the spring due to the collision of cold and hot air that accompanies the changing seasons. Similar temperature changes occur in autumn. As such, we often see a second “hard season” later in the year.

According to the New Orleans National Weather Service, “Spring is the busiest time of year weather-wise, but we’re seeing a secondary increase in tornado activity in November.

Texas had the most average number of tornadoes in November (7), followed by Alabama (6), Louisiana (5), and Mississippi (5).

The time of day a tornado occurs makes a big difference in mortality. Tornadoes at night are more dangerous because many people are asleep and unaware that they need to find a safe place. The greater tornado threat for this particular event exists during the day, but there is still the possibility of some spinning storms during the evening hours.

Before bad weather strikes, prepare a severe weather safety plan. Know where to go if bad weather hits, and make sure your flashlight works and your phone is fully charged in case of a power outage.

According to the New Orleans Weather Service, “One of the most important features of a severe weather safety plan is having a reliable means of receiving severe weather warnings.”

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