Martinsville, VA 24112

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Martinsville, VA 24112

Severe Storms Rake Oklahoma, Push Into Miss. Valley

UPDATED 10:45 PM CDT, April 13, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Seth Carrier

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Dangerous storms with a history of tornadoes, large hail and gusty winds are booming across the southern Plains tonight. Unfortunately, this is only a precursor to what could be a greater severe storm outbreak to start the weekend.

A Tornado Watch continues in much of Oklahoma, while a Severe Thunderstorm Watch remain in place across the Texas Panhandle. Oklahoma City, Vance AFB, and Tulsa, Okla., and Childress, Texas, are all included.

Big storms are converging along the Interstate 35, 40 and 44 corridors extending from the eastern-most Texas Panhandle all the way to southwestern Missouri tonight. Warm, moist air surging north through the Plains clashing with drier air sweeping south through the western High Plains is providing the battleground for these storms to fire.

Individual storms will merge into clusters as they parallel the Interstate 44 corridor from Oklahoma into southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri through early Saturday morning. Even a few powerful storms could clip northwestern Arkansas.

The single biggest threat with the thunderstorms will be large hail greater than baseballs. Eventually, the threat will transition to a tornado risk, with the potential for destructive wind gusts reaching 70 mph. Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Stillwater, Okla., Springfield and Joplin, Mo., and Fayetteville, Ark., will all be at risk for violent weather through tonight.

Beyond the full contingent of severe weather, the clusters of severe storms will trigger very heavy rain and intense lightning seen on Earth Networks Total Lightning Network.

Severe weather reports have increased early tonight. An unconfirmed tornado ripped through Norman, Okla., causing property damage and injuring a half-dozen people. A 70-mph thunderstorm gust was clocked in Cooperton, Okla. In addition, reports of quarter-sized to tennis ball-sized hail have been measured from Lawton, Okla., to Miller, Mo.

Although these thunderstorms have been strong and damaging, they will pale in comparison to Saturday`s potential storm outbreak. Low pressure responsible for the late week severe weather will rocket onto the western Kansas and Nebraska Plains on Saturday. This will place the bull`s eye for potentially catastrophic tornadoes, baseball-to-softball size hail and damaging wind gusts squarely along the I-35 corridor from Oklahoma City to Salina, Kan.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to get the latest severe weather watches and warnings for your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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