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Severe Storms Rumble Over Oklahoma, Eye Red River Valley

UPDATED 10:30 PM CDT, October 22, 2011

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Towering thunderstorms barreling across the Oklahoma countryside will spread into northeastern Texas and western Arkansas later tonight. Packing a punch, they will squeeze out briefly heavy rain, large hail and destructive wind gusts before losing steam in the Lower Mississippi Valley early Sunday.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch continues for central and southeastern Oklahoma, extreme north-central and northeastern Texas and far southwestern Arkansas until Midnight CDT. Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., and Denton and Paris, Texas, are included in the watch box.

An upper-level disturbance rocketing across the southern and central Plains is teaming up with strong daytime heating and a warm front, bringing an outbreak of powerful thunderstorms across Oklahoma, northeastern Texas and eventually into western Arkansas by Sunday morning. Already, dangerous thunderstorms roaming across central Oklahoma will multiply tonight, before shifting eastward and southeastward toward the Red River Valley.

The biggest threat with the thunderstorm activity will be large hail up to baseball size, damaging wind gusts approaching 70 mph and a quick-burst of blinding rainfall. Those passed by the most intense thunderstorms will pick up a quick 1 to 2 inches of rain, meaning localized flooding in areas of poor drainage will be possible.

Large hail and gusty winds have raked parts of Oklahoma with tonight's round of storms. Near grapefruit sized hail blasted Union City, Okla., with baseball sized hail for Ada and Boley, Okla. Wind gusts topped 71 mph near Hectorville, Okla., with trees and power lines down across Beggs, Okla., this afternoon.

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