Extreme Weather Hits the Midwest

The Midwest has been experiencing a variety of extreme waether patterns over the past month.

Courtesy of Associated Press

The Midwest has been experiencing a variety of extreme waether patterns over the past month.

Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

 A major outbreak of severe weather came across the southern Plains with portions of Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma since last week on April 22 and 23 and has continued throughout the week.

Massive hail, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms with winds up to 80 mph strike the nation’s midsection with dangerous weather stretching from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. 

The cause for the severe weather came from a battle of air masses that plagued the Plains. 

According to AccuWeather, there have been 492 tornadoes that have been reported across the nation. So far this year, 2020 has been the nation’s top years for tornadoes far above the average of 307 and has resulted in the most tornado-related deaths in the U.S since 2011. 

The first tornado was reported near Springer, Oklahoma and was tracked directly through Madill crossing Highway 377. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there have only been four tornadoes reported in Oklahoma all year. 

A large tornado was also reported in Polk, County, Texas about 80 miles north from Houston. The reports said that there were multiple people trapped and injured after the tornado hit 30 to 40 mobile homes in the area.

 Multiple buildings were damaged and huge trees were knocked down blocking roads. It was confirmed by the Polk County Emergency Management, that there were 20-30 people injured and about three deaths. 

Tornado threats are greatest across eastern Oklahoma and far western Arkansas. Over 14 million people are in the area under a huge risk for hazardous weather. 

According to the forecast’s models, strong tornadoes are likely over parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. A strong tornado is classified with wind speeds of 111 to 165 mph Whereas violent tornadoes can pick up to speeds of 166 to 200 mph sometimes even more.

Dallas-Fort Worth is at greatest risk since there have been severe weather outbreaks and deadly tornadoes that have struck parts of that same region.

Additionally, flooding has also been a threat with storms dumping one to two inches or more of rainfall an hour for multiple hours. With the number of storms moving through parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama there are high chances for flooding.

A cold front has brought an unexpected chill for the rest of the nation and these below-average temperatures stretch from Ohio River Valley, Mid-Atlantic. And Northeast. 

Meanwhile sizzling temperatures are in effect in the desert Southwest and the interiors of Southern California. Phoenix has reached over 100 degrees, the first of 2020, and there has been excessive heat warnings in the area.