As Texas Bakes, a New Weather Warning for Oklahoma

More twisters may be headed to Sooner State, while heat index in Texas hovers near 120 degrees
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2024 10:30 AM CDT
Forecasters: Oklahoma May Get Hit by Twisters Again
High winds overturned this semi-trailer on Interstate 280 west of Davenport, Iowa on Friday. Several tornadoes were reported in Iowa and Illinois as storms downed power lines and trees on Friday, just after a deadly twister devastated one small town.   (Roy Dabner/Quad City Times via AP)

Forecasters are warning of another day of heightened risk of dangerous tornadoes in the Midwest on Saturday and telling people in South Texas it may feel like close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit almost four weeks before summer starts. The weather service in Oklahoma compared the day to "a gasoline-soaked brush pile," per the AP. Forecasters aren't certain storms will form, but any that do could explode with large hail, dangerous winds, and tornadoes. "There's a small chance most of the matches are duds and we only see a few storms today," the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, wrote on Facebook. "Still, that's not a match I would want to play with. It only takes one storm to be impactful." Excessive heat, especially for May, is the danger in South Texas, where the heat index is forecast to approach near 120 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend.

The region is on the north end of a heat dome that stretches from Mexico to South America, National Weather Service meteorologist Zack Taylor said. Sunday looks like the hottest day, with record-setting highs for late May forecast for Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, and San Antonio, Taylor said. "Red Flag" fire warnings are also in place in West Texas, all of New Mexico, and parts of Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado, where very low humidity of below 10% and wind gusts of up to 60mph are combining with the hot temperatures. "We've got very dry air, warm temperatures, and strong winds creating a high fire danger over a wide area ... that can lead to rapidly spreading or uncontrollable fires," Taylor said. Meanwhile, several inches of snow fell Friday into early Saturday in Rolla, North Dakota, about 10 miles from the Canadian border.

April and May have been busy months for tornadoes, especially in the Midwest. Climate change is heightening the severity of storms around the world. April had the country's second-highest number of tornadoes on record. In 2024, the US is already 25% ahead of the average number of twisters, per the Storm Prediction Center in Norman. Iowa has been the hardest hit so far this week, where a deadly twister devastated Greenfield. Other storms brought flooding and wind damage elsewhere in the state. The storm system causing the severe weather is expected to move east as the Memorial Day weekend continues, bringing rain to Indiana and more severe storms in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky. The risk of severe weather moves into North Carolina and Virginia on Monday, forecasters said.

(More tornadoes stories.)

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