Weather watchers are warning Plains residents to prepare for severe weather, starting late Tuesday afternoon (April 26).
A “moderate” rating on NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center predicts strong tornadoes, softball-sized hailstones, and damaging winds for affected areas.
The severe thunderstorms are most likely to occur in “parts of the central and southern Plains, particularly in southern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, north-central and central Texas. The threat may spread into western Missouri, Arkansas, and east, as well, into the evening,” according to The Weather Channel.
The tornado index (TOR:CON) has been raised to a 7 out of 10 in central and east Kansas—which means a 70 percent likelihood of a twister touching down. Central and east Oklahoma are bracing for a 60 percent chance of the same.
NOAA has produced a Preparedness Guide to help the public be ready for thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning.
“A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles,” NOAA says on its website.
— NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) April 25, 2016
The Mid-Del Schools district in Midwest City, Okla., has posted a notice on Twitter, saying all schools will close on Tuesday due to the impending storm.
“Three years ago, Mid-Del Schools developed a 3-point tornado plan for the safety and security of our students and staff. The first step in the plan would be to cancel school if we had prior notice of severe weather.
We have been following local weather stations and have participated in weather webinars with the National Weather Service in Norman. Projections indicate that severe weather could be in our area during the end of our school day as well as during release time.
Because we have additional days built into the school calendar, we have made the decision to close Mid-Del Schools on Tuesday, April 26. This will not require us to add any days at the end of the year for students.
The safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority.”
- Cause an average of 60-65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year
- Can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mph
- Can be 1 mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles