Oklahoma storms: Severe weather updates

Read about severe storm updates, road closings and travel conditions below. The following tweets are from reporters, state officials and meteorologists.

FROM LOCAL REPORTS Modified: May 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm •  Published: May 31, 2013

Tornadoes swept through central Oklahoma Friday evening, leaving semis and cars overturned on Interstate 40 in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Read about severe storm updates, road closings and travel conditions below. The following tweets are from reporters, state officials and meteorologists.

Bryan Painter 2:50 p.m. Please make your plans now for possible severe weather this afternoon. Storms may start soon to the west of the Oklahoma City metro. Please be where you need to be by 4 p.m. Know where you will take shelter.
Bryan Painter 3:23 p.m. Tornado Watch likely to be issued and to go from the Red River to Oklahoma City metro through Tulsa to midnight.
Bryan Painter 3:29 p.m. Tornado Watch includes 38 counties in Oklahoma until midnight.
Bryan Painter 3:34 p.m. This is a PDS Tornado Watch, that stands for Particularly Dangerous Situation.
Bryan Painter 3:41 p.m. From the National Weather Service Website, a Q&A: I noticed the wording "THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION" in some of your watches. What does this mean? What is the criteria for a PDS watch?
The "particularly dangerous situation" wording is used in rare situations when long-lived, strong and violent tornadoes are possible. This enhanced wording may also accompany severe thunderstorm watches for exceptionally intense and well organized convective wind storms. PDS watches are issued, when in the opinion of the forecaster, the likelihood of significant events is boosted by very volatile atmospheric conditions. Usually this decision is based on a number of atmospheric clues and parameters, so the decision to issue a PDS watch is subjective. There is no hard threshold or criteria. In high risk outlooks PDS watches are issued most often.
Bryan Painter 3:53 p.m. ODOT has said that: Highway message boards are on and warning about severe weather. They are displaying messages in OKC, on the Turner Turnpike, and in Tulsa,
Bryan Painter 4:01 p.m. At 3:45 p.m., 104 degrees at Altus, Oklahoma Mesonet
Bryan Painter 4:03 p.m. Significant weather advisory Kay County until 4:30 p.m.
Bryan Painter 4:16 p.m. From the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office: Watching convergence area across Caddo and Comanche counties at 412pm. Winds have backed about 30 degrees and increased in speed last couple of hours. This is coincident with a pool of slightly higher dewpoints of 73-74 degrees. Watching closely
Bryan Painter 4:25 p.m. FYI: (From National Weather Service, Wichita, Kansas) 3 miles west of Independence, Kansas brief tornado touchdown at 4:18 p.m. That is Montgomery County, which is north of the Oklahoma counties of Washington, Nowata.
Bryan Painter 4:35 p.m. From National Weather Service, Norman: Initiation Northern Caddo and Souther Blaine counties
Bryan Painter 4:44 p.m. Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Kay County
Bryan Painter 4:45 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning coming for storms Caddo-Washita-Blaine
Bryan Painter 4:48 p.m. Severe Thunderstorm for Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Custer, Kingfisher,
Bryan Painter 4:56 p.m. Significant weather advisory for Garfield County
Bryan Painter 4:59 p.m. Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Garfield, Kingfisher counties
Bryan Painter 5:02 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Osage County
Bryan Painter 5:02 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning Kay County
Bryan Painter 5:05 p.m. Severe thunderstormn warning continues for Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Kingfisher counties
Bryan Painter 5:05 p.m. Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Garfield, Kingfisher counties
Bryan Painter 5:10 p.m. Garfield County Emergency Management: Deploying spotters in the southern part of the county for the Bison storm in southern Garfield Co
Bryan Painter 5:13 p.m. Hwy 81 and Reed Rd. in Garfield Co., spotters reporting dime size hail
Bryan Painter 5:14 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Kay County continues
Bryan Painter 5:16 p.m. Oklahoma City metro, Edmond, Guthrie, up to Stillwater be watching these storms west of you
Bryan Painter 5:18 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Blaine, Garfield, Kingfisher, Logan counties
Bryan Painter 5:20 p.m. Update from National Weather Service, Norman: Storms went up fast and quickly became severe. Cluster west of metro best orgznied now. TDWR at 1.0 degree showing first signs of hook wrapping around southern edge of storm in S Canadian county. Believe we may see some separation/consolidation as this cluster develops a dominant updraft and continues moving E thru Canadian county. Stay alert.
Bryan Painter 5:26 p.m. Report of wall cloud beginning to rotate over Marland.
Bryan Painter 5:27 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Kingfisher
Bryan Painter 5:30 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning Kay, Noble counties
Bryan Painter 5:35 p.m. 5:34 p.m. Update from the National Weather Service, Norman: Two main storms of interest now - near Hennessey and west of El Reno. Both have fairly tight rotation and increasing convergence on rear flanks. Interference is keeping storms from really taking off right now. Stay tuned.
Bryan Painter 5:36 p.m. 5:35 p.m. TOR being issued for the storm along I-40 in Canadian County
Bryan Painter 5:37 p.m. Tornado Warning for Canadian County
Bryan Painter 5:41 p.m. Tornado Warning for Osage County until 6:15 p.m.
Bryan Painter 5:43 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning for Comanche, Cotton, Stephens counties
Bryan Painter 5:45 p.m. El Reno seek shelter if you have not
Bryan Painter 5:50 p.m. 5:48 p.m., Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Garfield, Kingfisher, Logan, Noble, Payne counties
Bryan Painter 5:53 p.m. Nickel size hail between Fairmont and Garber, in Garfield County. 2 miles west of Hwy 74 and Hwy 412
Bryan Painter 5:57 p.m. 5:57 p.m. : New circulation developing south of the original, south of I-40. May have two tornadoes at this time. TVS evident 2-3 S of I-40
Bryan Painter 6:01 p.m. 6p.m. Next tornado warning will include Union City and Mustang, and eventually W OKC. This is a dangerous storm
Bryan Painter 6:08 p.m. Union City, Mustang, Yukon seek shelter
Bryan Painter 6:09 p.m. Tornado warning Candian and Grady
Bryan Painter 6:14 p.m. El Reno, Yukon, Mustang, Union City should all seek shelter and west Oklahoma City prepare
Bryan Painter 6:18 p.m. This could reach the south part of Yukon about 6:35 pm according to National Weather Service, Norman seek shelter now!
Bryan Painter 6:19 p.m. 6:18 p.m. Tornado Warning continues for Canadian, Grady counties
Bryan Painter 6:22 p.m. 6:19 p.m. Tornado for LOgan, Noble, Payne counties
Bryan Painter 6:23 p.m. Baseball size hail Geronimo
Bryan Painter 6:25 p.m. TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR THE EL RENO STORM
Bryan Painter 6:27 p.m. Tornado Warning for Canadian, Grady continues
Bryan Painter 6:28 p.m. Yukon and Bethany seek shelter NOW!
Bryan Painter 6:29 p.m. Tornado warning Candian and Oklahoma counties
Bryan Painter 6:40 p.m. Newcastle Emergency Operations Center has activated
Bryan Painter 6:41 p.m. Tornado warning for Logan, Noble, Payne counties until 6:45 p.m.
Bryan Painter 6:43 p.m. 6:42 p.m. Meso increasing now S of Calumet, SW of El Reno! Circulation tightening
Bryan Painter 6:54 p.m. Tornado warning contiues fo rcandian Oklahoma
Bryan Painter 6:55 p.m. 6:54 p.m. new tornado emergency coming for lead storm
Bryan Painter 6:56 p.m. Two new tornado warnings coming for Canadian county storms
Bryan Painter 6:58 p.m. Tornado warning for Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma
NewsOK 6:59 p.m. Oklahoma Highway Patrol urges all motorists in the Oklahoma City metro area to exit Interstate 40 now and seek immediate shelter from the severe weather.

I-40 is shut down at this time.
Bryan Painter 7:03 p.m. TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR WILEY POST AIRPORT...WILL ROGERS WORLD
AIRPORT...BETHANY...DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY...AND NORTH MOORE...TAKE
IMMEDIATE TORNADO PRECAUTIONS NOW.
Bryan Painter 7:05 p.m. Fairgrounds area seek shelter
Bryan Painter 7:05 p.m. BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
658 PM CDT FRI MAY 31 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
CENTRAL CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 655 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED 4 MILES NORTH OF UNION CITY...AND MOVING EAST AT
30 MPH.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE
IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
EL RENO...YUKON...BETHANY...MUSTANG...WARR ACRES AND UNION CITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

DO NOT STOP UNDER BRIDGES OR HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. THEY WILL NOT
PROTECT YOU FROM A TORNADO.
&&

LAT...LON 3533 9758 3536 9787 3535 9790 3537 9794
3537 9795 3535 9795 3535 9797 3537 9802
3553 9804 3558 9760
TIME...MOT...LOC 2357Z 264DEG 25KT 3546 9794

$$
WR


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TORNADO WARNING
OKC017-027-109-010045-
/O.NEW.KOUN.TO.W.0061.130531T2357Z-130601T0045Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
657 PM CDT FRI MAY 31 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
NORTHWESTERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
EASTERN CANADIAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 745 PM CDT

* AT 651 PM CDT...A THUNDERSTORM WITH A HISTORY OF PRODUCING STRONG
DAMAGING TORNADOES WAS LOCATED 4 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BETHANY. A TORNADO
MAY DEVELOP AGAIN AT ANY TIME. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS DANGEROUS
STORM MOVING EAST TO SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

THIS IS A TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR WILEY POST AIRPORT...WILL ROGERS WORLD
AIRPORT...BETHANY...DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY...AND NORTH MOORE...TAKE
IMMEDIATE TORNADO PRECAUTIONS NOW.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...DANGEROUS AND EXTREMELY LARGE DESTRUCTIVE
HAIL UP TO SOFTBALL SIZE IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
OKLAHOMA CITY...MOORE...DEL CITY...YUKON...BETHANY...MUSTANG...WARR
ACRES...NICHOLS HILLS...FOREST PARK...VALLEY BROOK AND LAKE ALUMA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

DO NOT STOP UNDER BRIDGES OR HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. THEY WILL NOT
PROTECT YOU FROM A TORNADO.
Bryan Painter 7:13 p.m. State Fairgrounds seek shelter
Bryan Painter 7:14 p.m. Flash Flood Warning for Canadian, Oklahoma counties
Bryan Painter 7:15 p.m. Getting power bumps in National Weather Center
Bryan Painter 7:19 p.m. 7:17 pm from National Weather Service, Norman: 100 mph Rear Flank Downdraft winds may have sent a surge far enough south to disrupt the inflow into this storm. We are hoping that's the case
NewsOK 7:24 p.m. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph says mother and child injured in El Reno. Law enforcement en route to assist them.
Bryan Painter 7:28 p.m. Will Rogers World Airport in 15 to 20 minutes from 7:27 may get 80 to 90 mph winds
Bryan Painter 7:28 p.m. North Moore and Valley Brook be watching these storms
Bryan Painter 7:29 p.m. 7:28 pm: National Weather Service, Norman WARNING DECISION UPDATE - will maintain two tornado warnings. Strongest circ SW of Mustang. Easternmost storm over OKC is extremely energetic and continues to maintain high tornado potential
Bryan Painter 7:32 p.m. 7:30, National Weather Service, Norman: Rear Flank Downdraft surges continue to push outflow boundary further south of south storm flank. Boundary currently 5-6 miles south of south precip flank. Not reducing tornado potential a lot
Bryan Painter 7:35 p.m. The HE Bailey Turnpike northbound lanes at mile marker 107 is now closed due to tornado events.
NewsOK 7:38 p.m. OG&E reports more than 31,000 customers without power.
Bryan Painter 7:51 p.m. Tornado warning Cleveland, McClain continues
Bryan Painter 7:53 p.m. Blanchard seek shelter now, please
NewsOK 7:54 p.m. From photographer Jim Beckel: At least six semis on their side at weight station on I-40 west of Banner Road.
NewsOK 7:55 p.m. Photographer Jim Beckel also reports horses are running loose on I-40.
Bryan Painter 7:57 p.m. Tornado warning for Clevelend and Oklahoma counties
Bryan Painter 8:02 p.m. Tornado warning Canadian and Grady county
NewsOK 8:06 p.m. OG&E reports more than 40,700 customers without power right now.
Bryan Painter 8:06 p.m. Update from National Weather Service, Norman: 804pm - gust front has now pushed 10 miles south of the main storms, with cold outflow pouring out behind it. This outflow boundary tucks back into the updraft area west of Bethel Acres. We REALLY need to emphasize the flash flood threat in the OKC metro area, as well. Very dangerous situation
Bryan Painter 8:10 p.m. 8:09 report of power flashes east side of Newcastle
Bryan Painter 8:14 p.m. Remember Flash Flooding is another Major Concern in these storms!
Bryan Painter 8:14 p.m. Flash Flood Warning for Canadian, Oklahoma counties
NewsOK 8:16 p.m. Update from EMSA: Interstate 40 and Banner, multiple injuries.... We are trying to get there, but hurricane force winds and low visibility are preventing us from getting there.
NewsOK 8:27 p.m. MM 83 HE Bailey north bound trafficis being diverted onto us62 due to tornado events.

MM 107 north bound HE Bailey is still shut down at this time.
NewsOK 8:27 p.m. Power outages according to OG&E:

Bethany 3,950
Del City 4,702
El Reno 2,235
Midwest City 75
Moore 11,854
Yukon 16,088
Oklahoma City 14,004
NewsOK 8:52 p.m. Oklahoma City police Lt. Jay Barnett said at about 8:40 p.m. that there are no confirmed fatalities in Oklahoma City.

Damage reports are coming in from about NW 19 and MacArthur to Sara Road, down into Del City, he said.

Some of the damage is flood related, some of it is wind related, he said.

Barnett said a tornado touched down in Canadian County, but there is no confirmed touch down in Oklahoma City, though there were multiple large rotations.

"What we don't have is a confirmed touch down of a tornado in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area at this time."
NewsOK 9:04 p.m. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph confirms two fatalities on Interstate 40 in El Reno during the severe weather, a mother and child.
NewsOK 9:08 p.m. Update from Oklahoma City Police Lt. Jay Barnett:

"We are overwhelmed right now with calls of people trapped in vehicles in high water, to the point that we are having grave difficulty even responding to all of them. The flooding is the major problem in the Oklahoam City metro. A lot of that has to do with people who, for whatever reason, instead of sheltering decided to outrun the storm and got caught in it."

No reports of serious injuries or fatalities - that doesn't mean we won't have any.

We're hopeful the tornado did not set down in Oklahoma City.

We may not have had a tornado set down at all. We're just fortunate.

There is flooding on a large scale, a lot of people trapped in vehicles.

If you don't absolutely have to travel, don't travel at all right now. Not to any part of the city. We have widespread flooding. I don't know what else to say about that. Areas of the city that don't normally flood - we're seeing flooding.

We're also still dealing with traffic jams that resulted from high traffic volume that appears to have been generated by the storm.

NewsOK 9:22 p.m. At 9:20 p.m. the OG&E website showed more than 64,000 customers in the metro Oklahoma City area were without power.
NewsOK 9:57 p.m. 9:42 p.m. This is Bryan Painter in the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office and I just spoke with David Andra, the meterologist in charge of this office.
Andra said, "Said there were some smaller tornadoes that occurred with some of the storms today, but the primary tornado, the one that produced the bulk of the damage, was the one that occurred out in Canadian County and weakened as it came into Oklahoma County."
In an overall recap of the severe weather of the afternoon and evening, Andra said, "Based on radar estimates we are looking at a time around 5:55 p.m. for the start of what was the primary tornado. It started in rural areas that are on the southwest side of El Reno. It tracked initially southeast and east and then turned northeast crossing Interstate 40 to the west of Yukon. We think it probably crossed there about 6:35 or so. That's where we're hearing about some of the injuries and other impacts there. And then it moved into far west Oklahoma City and was weakening at that point. It would have been to the north of Will Rogers Airport probably when it finally dissapated at a much diminished size and intensity. Right now, we're most concerned about flash flooding in the metro area and there's quite a few power outages and impacts from wind damage that occured throughout the area. Probably locally 80 mph -plus in some areas of Oklahoma and northern Cleveland counties. There's a lot of water rescues we believe."
NewsOK 10:00 p.m. The HE Bailey Turnpike northbound lanes at mile marker 107 are now open.
Bryan Painter 10:02 p.m. Meteorologist David Andra:

"There were some smaller tornadoes that occurred with some of the storms today, but the primary tornado, the one that produced the bulk of the damage, was the one that occurred out in Canadian County and weakened as it came into Oklahoma County."

In an overall recap of the severe weather of the afternoon and evening, Andra said, "Based on radar estimates we are looking at a time around 5:55 p.m. for the start of what was the primary tornado. It started in rural areas that are on the southwest side of El Reno. It tracked initially southeast and east and then turned northeast crossing Interstate 40 to the west of Yukon.

We think it probably crossed there about 6:35 or so. That's where we're hearing about some of the injuries and other impacts there. And then it moved into far west Oklahoma City and was weakening at that point. It would have been to the north of Will Rogers Airport probably when it finally dissipated at a much diminished size and intensity.

Right now, we're most concerned about flash flooding in the metro area and there's quite a few power outages and impacts from wind damage that occurred throughout the area.

Probably locally 80 mph -plus in some areas of Oklahoma and northern Cleveland counties. There's a lot of water rescues we believe."
NewsOK 10:10 p.m. Several thousand people, including an estimated 1,200 passengers, took shelter in a tunnel at Will Rogers World Airport, said airport spokeswoman Karen Carney.

She estimated people were in the shelter one-and-a-half to two hours before the all-clear around 7:30 or 7:45 p.m.

At 9:30 p.m., power was still out, though some auxiliary power was lighting the terminal. There was "lots of debris on the airfield," she said.

"Nothing is going in or out right now," Carney said.

Southwest Airlines had canceled its flights, and the one Frontier flight scheduled to depart was canceled, she said.

“We still have a terminal full of people,” Carney said.

Those in the terminal were trying to arrange transportation or hotels, she said; flooding on Meridian Avenue limited access to the airport.

There was a report of one hangar with a damaged door, Carney said. There was some water dripping from the ceiling and floors were wet from water blowing in the doors, she said.

People who rode out the storm in the tunnel were "really patient. People were so good."


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