POSTED: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 2:03pm
UPDATED: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 7:39pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — UPDATE: At least two people were killed when a tornado destroyed parts of the downtown area of Quapaw, Oklahoma, according to officials. And another died as a tornado hit Mayflower, Arkansas.
•Two people are reported dead in Quapaw, Oklahoma, after a tornado ripped through the north side of town around 5:32 p.m.
•A long-track tornado struck Mayflower, Vilonia, and El Paso, Arkansas between 7:20 and 8:10 p.m. Early reports indicated significant damage. One death was reported.
•An 89-mph wind gust damaged at least two buildings in Norway, Iowa, around 4:20 p.m.
•A barn was blown down near Martinsburg, Iowa, around 3:30 p.m., injuring one person.
•A tornado damaged homes in Lovilia, Iowa, around 3 p.m.
•Strong winds ripped part of a roof off a storage facility and knocked over at least one tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in Odessa, Missouri, around 12:55 p.m. Odessa is about 35 miles east of Kansas City.
Strong winds and gusts are what we have been talking about for the past two days.
And although we did register 90 mph gusts in the San Agustin Pass in Dona Ana County, that is nothing compared to what we will experience in the next couple of days in northern Texas.
A dust storm packing gusts over 50 mph swept through Lubbock, Texas on Sunday, limiting visibility to 1-3 miles and sparking fire concerns.
Large hail, destructive winds, and tornadoes are an expected possibility the next few days.
Some Meteorologists are predicting this kind of severe weather for Alabama, Texas and all the way up to South Dakota and over into areas of the Midwest.
On Sunday the destructive weather threat moves more toward the east.
Huge hail and destructive winds become a concern once more, but the chance of tornadoes increase greatly today.
The greatest chance for such storms is in Arkansas along with parts of Louisiana, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
On Monday it's looking like the system will continue to hold together and move even further eastward and so does any possibilities for devastating weather.
Cities keeping close tabs on the threatening weather through the early morning hours on Monday include North Platte, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, Springfield, Ill., Joplin, Missouri, St. Louis, Miss., Little Rock, Ark., and Shreveport, La. The severe weather is likely to break out again on Monday, only a bit further to the east.
It looks like the greatest chance for the weather now is located around the majority of Mississippi and the western region of Tennessee.
On Tuesday, even though, that is a far ways out, some weather reports show that there could be a an additional day of potential destructive weather in a region that reaches from Alabama and Mississippi all the way up to parts of Kentucky!
How many remember the largest tornado that swept through back in 2011? Well some meteorologists are thinking that if this severe weather does strike the outbreak will happen exactly three years to the date of the largest tornado outbreak the nation ever had.
That tornado outbreak went on for four days which would be similar to this one, and spawned the infamous Tuscaloosa tornado which went all the way into suburban Birmingham, Alabama on April 27, 2011.
Now for the Borderland and the Valley, tornadoes aren't really a problem, but for those who are near the tornado zone, it can be very easy to forget what you learned about tornado safety, and in fact that is what some meteorologists are afraid of.
Just because the tornado season for 2014 has been fairly silent so far does not mean that the threat is over.
In 2013, 55 tornado-related fatalities happened in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois and Arkansas.
In 2011 there were 553 people killed by tornadoes in what was considered the most deadly tornado season since 1936.
Remember: Anyone who lives in areas that are prone to tornadoes are recommended to review tornado escape plans and always pay very close attention to swift changes that happen with the weather.
For example, across Arkansas, there is an ample supply of low-level moisture to supply storms with energy, along with significant amounts of wind shear, which is when winds vary in speed or direction with height, or both. Wind shear is a critical ingredient in tornado-formation.
Some tornado warning signs to look out for include green or dark colored skies; huge, dark, low hanging clouds; large falling hail and a loud roar that may sound like a freight train. These are all according to the Centers for Disease Control.
While it is unclear whether a worst-case scenario, a multi-day tornado outbreak featuring violent, long-lasting tornadoes will occur, meteorologists are urging residents in affected states to stay tuned to the latest forecasts, and prepare to take tornado precautions if necessary.
So these light winds are truly just a prick on the finger when it comes to severe weather. Stay safe everyone.