Midwest on High Alert: Tornado Threat and Texas Heatwave Spell Trouble for Travelers

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 27, 2024 14:32 PMNews
Dark storm clouds over a rural road and wind turbines
Severe storm clouds signal dangerous weather ahead. Source: pixabay

Weather experts are issuing alerts about a significant threat of violent tornadoes across the Midwest this coming Saturday, alongside predictions of scorching heat in southern Texas, with temperatures possibly hitting triple digits—still a month shy of summer’s start.

The Oklahoma weather bureau likened the atmospheric conditions to "a gasoline-soaked brush pile." While the formation of storms remains uncertain, any that develop could rapidly intensify, unleashing large hail, perilous winds, and tornadoes. Travelers venturing out for the Memorial Day weekend have been cautioned that these extreme weather conditions could disrupt their plans.

By late morning Saturday, temperatures neared 90 degrees with a heat index of 104 in Brownsville at the U.S./Mexico border, as reported by the National Weather Service.

Additionally, Red Flag fire warnings have been declared across western Texas, all of New Mexico, and select areas of Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado. This alert underscores the combined threats of sub-10% humidity levels, wind gusts reaching 60 miles per hour, and elevated temperatures.

In a stark contrast, Rolla, North Dakota, located about 10 miles from the Canadian border, witnessed several inches of snow from Friday into early Saturday.

The tornado activity for April and May has surged, particularly in the Midwest, amplified by climate change which is escalating storm severity globally. According to the National Weather Service, this April saw the second-highest tornado count ever recorded. Additionally, the U.S. has surpassed the average annual tornado frequency by 25% this year, as stated by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

This week, Iowa has suffered the most severe impact. A lethal tornado wreaked havoc in Greenfield, located roughly 55 miles south of Des Moines, resulting in at least five fatalities and numerous injuries. Concurrently, other parts of the state faced storms causing flooding and wind damage.

By Monday, the threat of severe weather is projected to reach North Carolina and Virginia, according to weather experts.

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