Tornado Watch Issued For Most Of Oklahoma

May 29, 2013

Storms will continue to move eastward through the evening and early overnight. Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary concerns for locations across central Oklahoma.
Credit National Weather Service / Storm Prediction Center

A Tornado Watch is in place for most of Oklahoma as a storm system is poised to make its way through the state.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say it's important to be aware of the weather over the next three days, though it's not time to panic.

“It’s very difficult and very challenging striking a balance between freaking people and telling them what they need to be ready for,” says warning coordinating meteorologist Rick Smith with the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office.

Speaking at a briefing this morning, Smith says the greatest threat of tornadoes is in the northwest corner of Oklahoma, including Woodward.

“If you see a storm developing this afternoon, it’s probably going to be a supercell,” Smith says. “We have very high moisture content in the lower part of the atmosphere. The cloud bases are very low. The low-level wind shear is very strong today, so if a storm can develop anywhere today it will have a tornado potential. So watch out, and that’s the bottom line.”

Forecasters also say severe thunderstorms that developed in southwest Oklahoma this afternoon could move into central Oklahoma between 6 and 9 p.m. The storms could affect the recovery efforts in Moore, Shawnee, Carney, Edmond and other areas affected by last week's tornadoes.