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Elevated Tornado Threat from Des Moines to Oklahoma City

A wound-up storm rolling out of the Rockies has potential to bring the worst tornado outbreak since May to parts of the Plains into tonight.

The combination of very warm, humid air at the surface, shifting of winds with height, and a strong jet stream overhead has the atmosphere locked and loaded from Oklahoma to Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and the northwestern half of Missouri.

There is an elevated risk for multiple violent thunderstorms in this corridor, and a number of which can produce strong tornadoes.

There is substantial risk to lives and property from late today into tonight, when the storms will reach maximum intensity.

According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, “This situation seems likely to produce a number of tornadoes of EF-3 strength.”

Tornadoes of this magnitude on the Enhance Fujita Tornado Damage Scale produce winds of 136 to 165 mph and can not only bring severe damage to structures, but also pose a major threat to lives due to flying debris.

Major metropolitan areas at risk of being hit by the tornado swarm include Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Omaha, Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Story by Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist.

A reminder to be “weather aware”.

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