A significant severe weather outbreak erupted across the central and southern Plains on Monday, unleashing drenching rain, flash flooding and at least two dozen tornadoes. Oklahoma City water rescuers have been working tirelessly to rescue people trapped in gushing flood waters. And Tuesday and Wednesday promise little reprieve as the stops batter on as the central US is being put on alert.
Severe weather alerts are in place across much of the central US for the rest of the week.
The National Weather Service said: “Widespread flooding is ongoing across parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri due to very heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours.
“The threat for severe thunderstorms producing tornadoes, strong winds, large hail, and additional flash flooding, will continue to shift slowly eastward across the region today.
“Additionally, dangerous flooding is expected.”
Accuweather meteorologists have said this weather has become much more dangerous than the severe weather seen last week, and the bad weather is spreading.
One meteorologist said: “Troubles with storms continue across the nation’s mid-section right through Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Looking at our Tuesday weather the rough weather shifts from Oklahoma and Kansas into Missouri and Arkansas.
“Large hail, flooding downpours, tornadoes and damaging wind gusts – all modes of severe weather will be possible.”
He added: “Rain is also a big concern. Travellers, we’re looking at road closures from these torrential downpours.”
The dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to spread eastward on Tuesday, with more populated areas at risk.
The storms will then spread eastward into Columbia and Springfield, Missouri, as well as Little Rock, Arkansas, during the afternoon hours.
St. Louis, Missouri; and Springfield, Illinois; could then be in the path of these storms during Monday evening.
A second area of severe thunderstorms could fire up on Tuesday afternoon from central Kansas into central Nebraska.
These storms are forecast to be more isolated in nature and rather short-lived.
While the risk of strong tornadoes is not expected to be as high as Monday, there will be a continued risk of tornadoes on a localised level.
Damaging winds, large hail and flooding downpours will be the primary threats with Tuesday’s storms.
Wind gusts of up to 80mph are possible, which can knock down trees and cut off power.
The threat for life-threatening flash flooding will add further risks as the storms unload several inches of rainfall.
Oklahoma City picked up over two inches of rain from the storms on Monday night, while Tulsa received nearly four inches of rain.
As much as six inches of rain fell in surrounding communities, including El Reno.
There is also snow piling up on the cold side of the storm, in the mountains of Colorado and into Wyoming.
You should keep an eye on forecasts on the NWS for warnings affecting you.