May 17, 2017

Tornadoes Slam Wisconsin, Oklahoma; More Severe Weather in Store

Elk City, OK
USA
by
Bob Henson
,
Category 6
Giant hail fell on Sayre, OK, from a supercell thunderstorm that went on to produce a deadly tornado in Elk City, about 110 miles west of Oklahoma City. Photo: Stacey Valdez, via AP
Giant hail fell on Sayre, OK, from a supercell thunderstorm that went on to produce a deadly tornado in Elk City, about 110 miles west of Oklahoma City. Photo: Stacey Valdez, via AP

Storm surveys were under way on Wednesday after tornadoes killed at least two people and injured dozens on Tuesday in Wisconsin and Oklahoma. Severe weather will continue to rake the central U.S. throughout this week, with an especially worrisome set-up for strong tornadoes lining up for Thursday (see below).

As of midday Wednesday, the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center had received 28 preliminary tornado reports from Tuesday, along with 92 reports of severe wind gusts and 108 reports of severe hail. Baseball-sized hail was reported in northwest Wisconsin, southwest Kansas, and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, with a report of softball-sized hail from western Oklahoma. At one point Tuesday night, severe thunderstorm watches extended from the Texas-Mexico border to the Great Lakes.