Update: El Reno tornado now reported as the widest EVER at 2.6 miles, and also EF5 rated.
— Aaron Shaffer (@AShafferWNTV) June 4, 2013
We posted yesterday about some of the upcoming severe threats for this week – and unfortunately there are still more on the horizon. We’ve seen flooding in places like St. Louis, with a levee breach causing some evacuations yesterday evening/last night (click here for more information on that). We’ve also seen *flash* flooding in places like the Oklahoma City area – even the El Reno region.
Check this out:
If you recall, El Reno, OK, was the site of some major chasing related tragedies, as well as just human tragedies on Friday in general. Now, this morning I came in around 2AM this morning to work, only to find El Reno under the threat of severe storms and heavy rain. Soon after, we saw a flash flood warning issued. Some spots in Oklahoma have recorded rainfall tallies of 6 to 9″ over the past seven days.
Today there is another threat for organized severe storms. This one is due to a secondary low pressure center that is brewing toward the southern Plains again… with similarities to last week’s storm set-ups.
Yesterday we actually saw four tornado reports from areas that don’t typically see them: Montana and far SW North Dakota. The low pressure center responsible for creating those storms is moving east today – but with less “oomph” than its younger brother over the Texas and Oklahoma’s panhandle regions.
Dewpoints are plentiful for severe storm development, but there are some questions surrounding other variables:
You can see some decent surface winds (about 10-15 knots, which is more than sufficient if you have upper level wind support), and they’re coming in from the Southeast. The big question mark is upper level wind support: Can a storm survive or will it rain itself out of existence?
We’ll be watching this. Tomorrow’s threat is decent as well. A similar setup, but this time with a little less well-defined separation of air masses (i.e. the moist air vs. the dry air).
Stay tuned here on WeatherNation – we’ll continue to track these storm threats & update you on the specifics of where & when we’re expecting the next several rounds of stronger storms.
WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV