Storms tonight could bring widespread wind damage in Tulsa area
By John Dobberstein, Editor
The Storm Prediction Center upgraded the Tulsa metro area into the “moderate” risk for a significant severe weather event tonight.
Storms with large hail, tornadoes and wind gusts over 75 mph are possible. Storm modes will start off more discrete in western Oklahoma before congealing into a large squall line that will move northeast at 50 to 60 mph or more.
“The warm air that was over us a few days ago is starting to return north as an extremely powerful weather system (the one that made it snow around Los Angeles) moves into the area,” says Steven Piltz of the National Weather Service office in Tulsa. “It appears the warmer air will arrive in time to fuel a line of severe storms that will race across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas tonight. The result could be widespread damaging winds in the red and purple areas (see graphic above).”
Based on the forecast, hurricane-force wind gusts could occur at a number of locations and significant power outages are possible, Piltz says. If the warm air return is a little slower than forecast, the line of storms still occurs but the edge will be taken off the wind potential. “Generators and battery-powered equipment need to be checked today,” he says.
“The storms will move at, or more than, a mile per minute. A few tornadoes also could occur along the line of storms. A strong tornado is possible. Listen carefully to the warnings tonight. You may need to take shelter during a severe thunderstorm warning.”