Oklahoma and Kansas Brace for Severe Weather; Major Storms Expected

Severe thunderstorms poised to sweep across the Southern and Central Plains on Monday are expected to bring significant hazards including large hail, damaging winds, and intense tornadoes, according to meteorologists. The National Weather Service has highlighted that over 8 million residents are at an elevated risk of encountering these dangerous conditions.

The focus of the potential severe weather event is primarily on Oklahoma and portions of south-central Kansas. Kelly Butler, a meteorologist at the Wichita office of the National Weather Service, emphasized the seriousness of the situation on Sunday. “We’re looking at the possibility of not only strong but potentially long-track tornadoes, accompanied by very large hail, some possibly as large as baseballs or softballs,” she explained.

Residents in these high-risk areas are strongly urged to prepare and review their safety plans. The current atmospheric conditions in southern Kansas and Oklahoma bear similarities to those observed during previous significant and even historic severe weather and tornado occurrences.

Concurrently, a front moving out of the Rockies is expected to induce showers and thunderstorms across eastern Kansas, Nebraska, western Iowa, and Missouri. These storms are likely to produce heavy rainfall. The Weather Prediction Center has identified a moderate risk—a level four out of five—of severe thunderstorms persisting into early Tuesday.

Forecasters warn that many of these storms could be severe, potentially unleashing strong winds and tornadoes, particularly in south-central Kansas. Expected hazards include frequent lightning, wind gusts reaching up to 74 miles per hour, and hail measuring two inches in diameter or larger.

The National Weather Service office in Wichita also cautioned about “bursts of moderate to heavy rain” continuing through Monday morning. Additional concerns about excessive rainfall have been raised by the Weather Prediction Center, with a slight risk extending over parts of the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley from Monday into Tuesday. Such conditions may lead to flash flooding in urban locales, roadways, small streams, and low-lying areas.

This severe weather alert follows a series of more than two dozen tornadoes reported last weekend, which resulted in the deaths of at least five individuals in Oklahoma and Iowa, including an infant, as confirmed by authorities.