Strong tornadoes, wind damage and flooding threaten Tulsa metro again tonight
By John Dobberstein, Editor
It looks as though the severe weather threat has clarified a bit since this morning, as the National Weather Service (NWS) has posted a tornado watch that includes Broken Arrow and Tulsa County.
The tornado watch is in effect until 10 p.m. tonight and includes much of central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas.
There is a “moderate” chance of severe weather along most of south-central, central and southwestern Oklahoma, the NWS says, surrounded by a smaller area of “enhanced” threat that includes Tulsa.
Forecasters say the air mass across Oklahoma and northern Texas continues to destabilize and a capping inversion in the atmosphere is preventing any early decontamination of storm conditions.
Strong tornadoes and giant hail are expected across southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas, with a wind-damage and tornado threat emerging in central and eastern Oklahoma this evening as well.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman says storms that move east out of the eastern Texas Panhandle may eventually merge into a “severe” mesoscale convective system (MCS) that could bring widespread damaging winds to the state. Further supercells may develop as well along parts of Oklahoma tonight.
Flooding is also a concern, as a flood watch has been issued for Tulsa and Wagoner counties and numerous others in eastern Oklahoma as storms are expected in over areas that are already saturated from earlier rains. This may result in flash flooding, and mainstem river flooding, especially rivers that have seen rises from recent rainfall.
The NWS believes 2-3 inches of rain is expected to fall between now and Thursday afternoon in these areas, with locally heavier amounts of 5-6 inches.