OKLAHOMA CITY – Severe storms and tornado warnings swept through the state on Wednesday after days of severe weather that damaged homes and businesses and cut power to thousands of people.
Many Oklahoma residents have woken up to storm sirens as storms Tuesday night through Wednesday wreaked havoc in western Oklahoma and triggered tornado warnings in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area . Downed power lines and roof damage have been reported in Clinton, about 85 miles west of Oklahoma City. Damage was also reported at the Clinton Regional Airport.
Forecasters said severe thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado were moving over northeast Oklahoma City. KFOR-TV meteorologist Mike Morgan said the storms created several tornadoes on Tuesday evening.
“One was a strong tornado; it was a fairly good size, cone shaped tornado, and then became a multi-vortex tornado,” he said.
Tornadoes hit Oklahoma again. Here are the latest updates.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said a multi-vortex tornado is created when the wind circles several different small centers within the tornado, as opposed to a center of a tornado.
“Sometimes you have two or three crosses that the wind is spinning around,” he said. “They can be a little more dangerous, you can have a little more damage, a few different bands of damage along the path of each of the vortices. But it still depends on the wind speed, more than anything.”
Cities across Oklahoma are still recovering from a severe storm system on Sunday that brought tornadoes, heavy rain, destructive winds, baseball-sized hail and flash flooding. At least seven tornadoes had been confirmed and several more were pending verification, according to the National Weather Service. Thousands of Oklahomans have lost electricity due to storms that caused wind gusts of up to 70 mph.
The storms have spread to parts of Kansas, Missouri and Texas, Pydynowski said, adding that the front was weakening.
“There will be thunderstorms, especially later in the day across Texas, but the threat could turn into a flood threat in Texas as opposed to a severe storm threat.”
It has been a relatively calm year for tornadoes so far, and the total number of tornadoes for 2021 is lower than the recent three-year average. But there were a few peaks in the spring and summer, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia. Contribute: The Associated Press