Severe storms possible this weekend

Team Radio Marketing Group - October 19, 2017 11:13 am

The weekend forecast has changed significantly since Wednesday, Ponca City Emergency Management Director Paula Cain said Thursday morning.

“This is concerning because most of us don’t consider this the time of year for severe weather,” Cain said.  “But severe thunderstorms and their risks, including strong damaging winds, large hail and yes, tornadoes, are possible any time of the year.  In fact, some of the most dangerous storms have occurred in the so-called “second” tornado season, October through December.”

Cain said she wanted to alert residents to the possibility of severe thunderstorms this weekend.

“A cold front will surge into the state mid- to late Saturday afternoon,” she said. “The Storm Prediction Center has already identified a large area of Enhanced Risk and the event is still several days off.  This Saturday I hope you will be out enjoying the fine weather and having a great weekend, but please keep in mind there is a strong possibility for severe weather.  Don’t let it catch you by surprise!”

Sometime between 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, a cold front will surge into northwest Oklahoma, Cain said.

“Super Cell thunderstorms are expected to develop near and ahead of this front as it moves into the state,” she said.  “These storms could produce damaging winds up to 80 mph and some hail up to tennis-ball size.  Some flash flooding could also occur.  Tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

“Sometime after 7 p.m., storms should merge into a squall line and continue moving east and southeast, at this time becoming more of a wind event with 80 mph gusts continuing, and some large hail,” Cain said. “Remember that 80 mph winds can do serious damage to structures and vegetation.  And flying debris is the primary risk for human injuries.  Don’t take chances.”

Cain said that as always, this forecast could change, for better or worse.

“Enjoy your weekend, but don’t forget that severe weather is possible,” she said.


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